Coping with night terrors

Yet another topic from It Gets Better: Things That Rarely Happen To Older Kids: Night Terrors.*

Dawn, who has a 16-month old son, is feeling helpless about the night terrors he's experiencing. It seems like there's no real cure (as we've concluded here whenever we talk about them), so she's looking for coping techniques. And ways to not feel so helpless.

Which goes along nicely with what may be turning into this week's theme of "Sometimes it just sucks and you're really not incompetent."

So, who had or has a child who experiences night terrors? We never had them, but apparently what differentiates them from bad dreams is that a kid will wake up from a dream and be able to e comforted and talk (if they have words yet) about the dream and come back to waking life. A night terror is just possibly-not-dream-generated fear expressed with screaming and terror that a child has a really hard time coming out of and doesn't seem to have that same dreamworld-as-separate-from-awakeworld component.

Is that an accurate description, for those of you who've dealt with night terrors?

And how did you weather them? Do there seem to be things (in egenral or just for your child) that are triggers (Foods, exciting holiday times, family changes, etc.)? Or are they random?


* I apologize for the poor colon usage.