What causes night terrors in 9 year olds?

Are you tired of being woken up in the middle of the night by your child screaming like a banshee? Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many parents have to deal with their little ones having night terrors. But what causes them in 9 year olds? Let’s take a look.

A Brief Overview of Night Terrors

Before we dive into what causes night terrors specifically in 9-year-olds, let’s first understand what they are.

Night terrors are different from nightmares as they occur during non-REM sleep and can cause intense fear or panic. Usually occurring between midnight and 2:00 am, it is common for sufferers to wake up screaming or yelling out loud.

While most people grow out of these types of episodes after infancy, some unlucky folks experience them well into adulthood cue our nervous laughter.

Now that we’ve got an idea about what night terrors really mean…let’s move ahead!

Short Answer – Why Do Youngsters Have Nightmares?

There isn’t necessarily a certain answer for why youngsters have trouble sleeping at times. However here are a few reasons:

  1. Fear: Dracula underbed stories
  2. Separation Anxiety: Leaving parents’ room too early
  3. Stress

These three factors factor might just be more relevant than adult when looking at kid who bear such issues.

Why does your calm nine-year-old run wild at nights?

From our research on this topic… Here are five reasons as to why kids may suffer from night terror attacks:


Nobody likes feeling too hot under their covers while trying to get some shut-eye! Similarly overheating would indeed play a vital factor resulting towards increased body temperatures which further leads one towards uneasiness while sleeping.

It makes complete sense then… especially since a nine-year-old’s ability to regulate their own body temperature hasn’t quite fully developed which could lead to discomfort if the sheets are too heavy, or if they overheat in general.

Sleep Deprivation

Being sleep-deprived is not good for anyone- even your little ones. They need ample time to recover and rejuvenate.

Without enough rest, children may experience intense nightmares as well as exhausted morning wake-up calls leaving them feeling generally on edge during the day.

Ensuring an environment that isn’t too loud -unnecessary sharp noises especially at nights and also shutting electronics down before bed can make all the difference in promoting healthy sleep habits earlier.

Diet Choices

We see it now… Junk food before bed? Oh dear! This would include candy bars or just about any kind of sugary snacks.

It undoubtedly leads towards spikes and drops in energy levels – making one prone to experiencing night terrors. Children who eat excessively sugary foods suffer from interrupted sleep patterns alongside decreased quality of necessary deep sleep.

Stressful Times

Who remembers being young & stressing out about upcoming exams? Life can be stressful even for our young ones… Especially given current situations such as global pandemic already creating naturally high-stress environments worldwide.
Any traumatic event triggered in child’s life enhances risks of him suffering from night terrors.


A fever caused by diseases like strep throat, stomach viruses or other infections results in confusion during REM cycles of sleeping wherein later drives one towards vivid hallucinations followed by screaming aloud unsure what happened previously!

A Few More Factors…

While we’ve discussed most main things causing these nightly panic attacks there here are some less talked-about factors:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Night terrors may run genetically along with family history transferred via inheritance among nephews/nieces etc.

  • Irregular Sleep Cycle:Our body needs proper rest periods… Not getting the right amount of rest causes a cascading effect which leads on to sleep related issues ranging from small dreams to full fledged night terrors in extreme cases.

  • Certain Medications: Never forget that some medications can play an active role towards poor sleep resulting into these attacks.

Is It Time for a Drastic Endeavour?

Are you feeling utterly helpless now? – By this point, it is important to remember that night terrors are very common among all age groups especially younger children. They tend to peak around 3 years before subsiding automatically as time passes.

While there isn’t much you can do beyond creating relaxing environments and keeping your child away from sleep deprivation or things listed above, constant monitoring through professional medical help with therapy could provide a solution.

Please do not feel embarrassed about it – seeking expert guidance when required is essential during such times!

So…we hope those tips helped! Say goodbye (hopefully) to those late-night panicky wake-up calls!

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