Night Terrors

Every couple of weeks I hear a child screaming right around midnight. This isn't a normal sound, like one would expect from someone angry or hurt. These cries are laced with the unmistakeable sound of horror and panic; as though someone fears for their life. The sound is quickly followed by what sounds like pounding and then, usually within 30 seconds, it all stops and an eerie calm descends upon the neighbourhood. Today I traced this sound to the house next to mine, where a young boy of six or seven lives. It sounds as though he is visited by night terrors.

The factors that generally lead to this sleep disorder include age, sleep deprivation, medications, stress, and fevers. Young kids might experience this from time to time between the ages of 3 and 12, though they usually have no memory of the event the next day. Given how the modern news outlets portray the world, I'm honestly surprised that more people — particularly adults — don't suffer from night terrors. There's a lot that can keep a person awake at night.

Hopefully the boy next door grows out of these sleep interruptions. It can't be easy on his parents, who are some of the most decent people I've had the chance to meet1.


  1. Most of the people in the neighbourhood are great. This is a pretty decent place to life.