Do you have nightmares?
- 6 Months ago
Many of us have woken up all of a sudden in the middle of the night, shaken by a terrifying dream. Nightmares are vividly realistic, unpleasant and can cause a strong emotional response from the mind such as anxiety or fear. These begin in childhood and tend to reduce after the age of 10. However, there are people who have such nightmares from their teenage years, adulthood or throughout their lives.
Nightmares seem so real, that they often become disturbing as the dream unfolds. These are usually nothing to worry about. They can become an issue only if you have them regularly and cause you to fear going to bed or keeping you from getting good sleep.
Nightmares may be associated with another sleep disorder. However, there are several other factors that can trigger nightmares, such as:
• Trauma: Nightmares are quite common after an accident, or a traumatic event. They are prominent in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
• Stress: Ordinary stresses of life such as a family issue, problem at school and so on can trigger nightmares. Even a major change such as death of a loved one can have the same effect.
• Substance abuse: Alcohol and illegal drugs can cause nightmares.
• Bedtime snacks: Eating right before bed can lead to a boost in your metabolism and brain activity can lead to nightmares.
• Medications: Drugs such as antidepressants, beta blockers and drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease can trigger nightmares.
• Illness: Being sick can trigger nightmares especially if the illness is accompanied by a fever.
• Horror movies and scary books: Watching horror movies and reading scary books right before bed can cause nightmares.
Having occasional nightmares is usually not a concern, but experiencing disturbed sleep regularly can be. This can cause excessive daytime sleepiness which can lead to difficulties at work, school or even while driving. In such cases, please seek medical attention.