Have you ever waked to find yourself screaming? Standing? Walking? All while absolutely positive that something or someone was in the room with you?
I have. I have night terrors.
Night terrors are not nightmares. You might wake from a nightmare with a start, but you typically won't wake to find yourself standing on the other side of the bed or walking in your living room, all while completely freaked out and possibly screaming. I thankfully do not have these often but they are memorable. I typically only remember a face, or a shape standing over me, or possible a snake in my bed ... and I am positive at the moment of waking that whatever the terror is at that time, it is real and nearby.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (and, no, I don't take any), about 6.5% of all children may have been affected by night terrors; however, children generally grow out of it. The number drops to 2.2% of adults. Somehow, that doesn't make me feel special in a good way. I look at the list of potential causes and continually shake my head: no substance abuse issues, no post-traumatic stress disorder (unless dating counts), none of the possible medication complications, etc. I don't know what causes my occasional terror; I only know they occur approximately 4-6 times a year.
Most often, if I have a night terror, I'll wake screaming. [I'd feel a bit sorrier for my neighbors if any of them had EVER come to check on me ... or called the police.] I remember waking during a Disney family vacation and finding myself on my knees in bed, screaming, with my then husband trying to calm me. On rarer occasions, I've found myself standing on the opposite side of the bed in a frantic state. One time, I was circling a chair in my living room as I calmed down and reminded myself that no one was really there.
Why am I even thinking of this quirk of mine right now?
Because my night terror reached a new level last night that will likely cause me to add this to the "Hi, Doc" discussion at my annual physical this year. As is often the case, I have no memory of a dream last night other than KNOWING someone was in my room. I was sleeping on my side and had a pillow between my knees. The difference this time is that my scream wasn't stopped by me waking up and coming to my senses, my scream stopped abruptly when my head hit the dresser ... three feet away from my bed.
My pillow was still between my knees.
Honestly, it was as if I was sucked from the bed Exorcist style, hitting the floor first with my soon-to-be purple booty then the dresser with my head. I have no idea how I did this booty bed jump.
I only know that I have a sore bottom and knocked noggin. And a new topic of discussion for my doctor.