It’s upsetting and frightful to wake up to your partner screaming and feeling them terrified under the covers. For many couples, this is the case when their partners experience PTSD. Night terrors are frequently brought on by PTSD, and they may not even remember them the next day. But possible help is available for them and you may give them the medical care which they require during these night terrors.
About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD )
An extremely serious mental illness called post-traumatic stress disorder is brought on by terrifying or life-threatening events and experiences that are perceived to be horrible.
Being the victim of violence, seeing violence, being in a terrible accident, or experiencing abuse are all possible causes of PTSD.
Even though not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD, those who do face this disorder may have the following disruptive, frightening, and challenging symptoms like:
- Strong startle reaction
- Self-destructive actions
- Irrational outbursts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Intrusive and frightening memories
- Night terrors
- Social isolation
- Negative thoughts
What are Night Terrors?
Some PTSD sufferers have night terrors, also known as sleep terrors. Mostly children may experience them but sometimes adults can too.
A person seems to awaken and scream or shout in terror during this mental condition. Night terrors do not genuinely awaken someone majority of the time.
Sleepwalking may be present along with night terrors.
They can make you thrash around in bed, sweat, have a beating heart, flushed complexion, and have dilated pupils. It will be difficult to rouse up someone experiencing night terrors. The following day, they might have no idea of it.
Important- Night Terrors vs. Nightmares
Night terrors are distinct from nightmares, which PTSD can also cause. Typically, you remember your nightmares clearly when you wake up.
After a night terror, you might get a brief flash of a vision, but you won’t often recall it. When having a night terror, you could not even wake up.
Professional treatment is crucial as this mental condition makes your living so difficult especially if your partner is facing this problem. Book an appointment with a top psychiatrist right now to get effective treatment.
Ways to Help Your Partner with Night Terrors
Following are the ways which you need to follow for helping your partners with night terrors.
1 Speak calmly but avoid waking them
In the midst of a night terror, one may act violently and unreasonably. It can be risky and ineffective to try to wake them up.
In night terrors, a lot of people don’t wake up at all. You can give them comfort by speaking to them in a soothing and quiet tone.
Encourage them back to bed if they get out of bed but do not get too upset about it.
2 Make the bedroom safer
It’s important to get rid of anything that could harm you or the person experiencing a night terror because these individuals frequently thrash and shift, or even get out of bed.
Clear the bedroom of all items, including sharp objects and weapons.
3 Keep a sleep journal
In terms of controlling night terrors, knowledge is power. Maintain a record detailing each episode’s specifics as well as the start and stop times of the terrors.
Because most of the occurrences won’t be remembered by your companion, this is really helpful.
4 Wake them before the terrors begin
Once a pattern has been formed, you can start rousing your partner before the typical start of the night terrors. The cycle may be broken by this disturbance.
15 minutes before the night terrors often begin, set an alarm for yourself and wake up your partner. Before going back to sleep, stay awake for a while.
5 Try a smartwatch app
In order to lessen sleep disturbances in adults, the experts recently granted marketing permission for a new device.
Before the nightmare begins, it awakens the wearer using data from the watch, such as heart rate.
Even though the software was made to help with nightmares, it could also help with night terrors. It is anticipated that the therapists will soon provide it as a management plan to PTSD.
6 Manage stress and sleep
The likelihood of experiencing night terrors increases with stress, sleep disturbance or deprivation, and exhaustion.
Help your partner establish a healthy sleep schedule and learn to manage stress in their daily lives.
Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time even on the weekends.
7 Talk about it in the morning
Because of the embarrassment, your spouse might not want to discuss what happened last night. They’ll feel much more pressure as a result.
Assure your spouse that you are not upset with them or you realize it is out of their control, and that there is no shame in experiencing night terrors as a reaction to trauma by being upfront about the episodes.
In the midst of a night terror, a partner who is typically loving and compassionate may become angry, upset, or even violent.
Put your safety first while you attempt to support your partner through these episodes. Attempting to wake them up in the middle of the episode can make them lash out and unintentionally damage you.
Be distant if your companion is irritated. Go to a safe place if they start acting violently, swinging their arms, kicking, or even coming after you.
Close the door and retreat to another room until they have calmed down. If they lash out at you and hurt you, you can’t assist them.
Sleepless nights are terrible. It’s frightening for you and challenging to watch your partner go through this PTSD symptom.
Urge your partner to seek therapy first from the best psychiatrist, but also take action to assist them in managing night terrors and improving their sleep.