Night terrors can be real problems for adults and children. Night terrors are different than nightmares. Nightmares are bad dreams caused by any number of problems of which I won't get into in this article. They usually occur during REM sleep. Night terrors are usually something completely different. They occur most often during the deep, non-REM sleep periods. The sufferer suffers extreme terror and an inability to regain conciousness. The subject can wake up gasping, moaning and screaming. Most times the subject will return to sleep without fully waking.
The night terror can often last 10-20 minutes with the subject not waking. There is normally not a particular dream involved, but the emotion itself. Rather than being chased by a monster, the fear itself is all that happens. The fact that there is no reason for the fear leaves a woken subject in a much more severe condition than normal than with a regular nightmare.
My first-born had night terrors for a while. It was during the average age of 4-6 years, although night terrors can happen to people of all ages. It happened only once in a while for a couple years and then stopped all together. That's a typical case of it. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months. It can be caused by things such as anxiety and stress or a high fever.