Night Terrors: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose night terrors?

Usually no testing is required to diagnose night terrors. Doctors can make the diagnosis after learning about your child’s sleep history. Sometimes, we ask families to keep a sleep log to write down when their child goes to bed, wakes up and when night terrors happen. In rare cases, we may do a sleep study to confirm that these are night terrors and not nightmares or seizures.

How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

Our sleep specialists can determine whether these events are common night terrors or whether they are a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Doctors at Children’s Colorado will combine the information they learn from your child’s sleep history, physical exam, and other tests, like a sleep study when necessary, to make the diagnosis.