Jimmy is a normal, healthy 7-year old boy who lives in Mill Valley, California. He lives with both parents, and leads a comfortable life. Jimmy is about to experience a medical phenomenon called a night terror. This past week, Jimmy has been very active. His parents just bought him a new skateboard and he has been riding it quite often. Along with his skateboarding, Jimmy school, and chores at home. These various activities have put extra stress on his body, causing him to become vulnerable to illness. Jimmy has to stay home from school because he is so sick.
He has symptoms of a small cold. Right now, he is battling with a fever. He eventually falls asleep, after a couple hours of discomfort. Jimmy goes through the normal stages of sleep, and finally reaches stage 4, or NREM sleep. When his body tries to transition in stage 5 sleep, his sleep cycle is interrupted and he becomes agitated and fearful. Jimmy bolts upright and begins to scream and cry uncontrollably. His heart rate has risen, and he thrashes around in his bed. Jimmy seems to be awake, but his eyes are glazed over in fear. Jimmy’s mom comes downstairs when she hears Jimmy yelling.
When she tries to console Jimmy, he pushes her away and continues to cry. He is inconsolable, and seems fearful of his mother’s touch. Jimmy’s mother is terrified, and calls the emergency number for the family pediatrician. She is worried that there is something seriously wrong with Jimmy. After listening to his mother’s story, the doctor who answers the phone tells her Jimmy is experiencing a night terror, and instructs her to stay by Jimmy’s side till the episode is over. After listening to the mothers story, the doctor who answers the phone tells her Jimmy is experiencing a night terror, and instructs her to stay by
Jimmy’s side till the episode is over. She waits by Jimmy’s bed till he calms down Jimmy finally returns to normal sleep, and his mother goes back upstairs to return to sleep as well. She is quite shaken by the incident, and is confused why Jimmy was so terrified. The next morning, Jimmy feels a lot better. His fever has gone away and he asks his mom if he can go and use his skateboard. Jimmy’s mom asks him if he remembers anything from the previous night, but Jimmy seems to be completely oblivious. Jimmy’s mother is relieved and lets him go outside to play.