Something alarming is happening to my child at night; he wakes up (usually around midnight) breaks out of his room, screams and runs up to me (I am passed out on the couch at this time) freaking out as if he has been battling with monsters with three heads.

I try to calm him down, I put him on my chest and hug him tight. Sometimes this works and he falls asleep after some effort on my part, and sometimes he is too shaken up to calm down.

My son’s pediatrician told me that this could be considered night terrors.

As far as I understand them, night terrors appear effect babies and toddlers in this way:
–the child is startled by a scary dream
–he/she starts freaking out but is not actually awake
By freaking out I mean physically shaking, arms (and possibly legs) flailing about and screaming
When I saw my son experience night terrors for the first time, I was alarmed and had no idea what to do. This article says that you should not try to restrain your child if they have night terror. Personally, I find this advice hard to follow. When I see my son in distress I want to help him.
Has anyone ever experienced this with their child? What did you do?