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During a nightmare your body muscles which are under your control (except for eyeball muscles) such as legs, speech, arms, etc are paralyzed--ie you can't run downstairs!! What she had was called a "night terror"--similar to what others do when sleep walking. The person is asleep, may occasionally wake up spontaneously, but until that time has no idea what is going on--night terrors are really most frightening for the observer vs the patient. To learn more about sleep issues pick up a copy of "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems".
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