A nightmare is a sleep disorder that causes intense anxiety, agitation, or fear. It usually occurs when awake is imminent.Most of the time, people with stress have nightmares.If nightmares are regular and affect various aspects of their lifestyles, it can become a health problem.
In general, children before 10 years of age start having nightmares. Girls are more prone to nightmares than boys, however, nightmares are not considered dangerous if they do not affect sleep or physical and mental development. Adults can have nightmares in the event of extreme stress, anxiety, or fear of something. It may also be one of the symptoms of various mental health problems. Nightmares can become a health problem. The symptoms of a diagnosed nightmare look like this:
Remembering the details of your dream events clearly, often repeating dreams, and often dreaming of events that cause you to feel extremely fearful. Dreaming is often about survival, safety, or the security of life. And often occurs during a short nap.
- Feeling awake and always waking up
- Feeling unhappy in life, activity or socializing
- Having frequent nightmares, even without the use of drugs or drugs that can cause these symptoms.
How do nightmares happen?
Nightmares often occur during dreaming (Rapid Eye Movement (REM)). Dreaming begins when signals are sent from the brainstem to the thalamus. To transmit these signals to the brain cortex responsible for learning, thought processes and information manipulation As brain cells send that signal The body stops the work of nerve cells in the spinal cord. As a result, the limbs cannot move for a while. If something interferes with this process For example, a person who dreams of playing sports may run to a chair or hit a person lying next to it if the dream is competing with an opponent. However, retaliation is rare.
People with nightmares often develop the condition near the morning. Because the dreaming period eats longer and longer sleeps, especially the near awake period, the dreaming phase is the sleep phase in which the brain is awake and processes memory or learns new information. As a result, the brain processes it appears realistic and affects moods when sleeping and dreaming. Each person will dream differently. But most of the time People have common patterns of nightmares, such as dreams of running away from something dangerous or falling from a height. For those who have experienced a shocking event such as an accident or being hurt May dream of those events repeatedly.
Why do you have a bad dream?
Nightmares are a state of sleep that can happen to everyone. With several factors that cause nightmares as follows.
Eat before going to bed People who eat meals or snacks before going to bed may sleep with nightmares. This is due to the fact that eating before bedtime increases the work of the metabolic system. It also sends signals to the brain to be more alert.
Sickness People who are sick and have a fever may have nightmares.
Withdrawal of drugs or substances Withdrawal of certain medications and alcohol or substances that have sedative effects. May be related to nightmares If the person who is withdrawing certain drugs or substances has frequent nightmares. You should consult your doctor immediately.
Side effects from drug use Some medications cause nightmares. This is because the components of the drug interact with brain chemicals such as antidepressants. Analgesic drugs with addictive effects. Or drugs to lower blood pressure.
Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep is also a common cause of nightmares.However, it is unclear how little sleep can lead to nightmares, leading to health problems.
Drinking too much alcohol Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol It is a factor that causes nightmares.
Experiencing mental health problems Stress or anxiety can be a factor that can cause high nightmares. Accounted for 60 percent. In addition, many mental health problems can cause nightmares such as depression. Experience a shocking incident (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD ), it is often nightmares of the shocking events that happen to oneself. With repeated nightmares and a chronic illness.
Have a sleep-related illness If nightmares are diagnosed as not due to any of the other reasons mentioned Chronic nightmares can be the result of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Or restless legs syndrome, however, those with family members or relatives experiencing nightmares may be prone to chronic nightmares.
How do nightmares affect health?
Nightmares are a condition that occurs during sleep. This affects health and life in many ways. Persistent nightmares may not get enough rest. This results in other health problems, such as heart disease, depression and obesity, while those suffering from anxiety or depressive illness are more likely to experience the distress of their dreams. Suffer from illnesses of existing mental health problems. Those who have nightmares as a result of untreated Sleep apnea Or suffering from a stressful illness after a shocking incident Until affected both physically and mentally Others still believe that nightmares may be related to suicide. It has not yet shown evidence of how nightmares lead to suicide. However, see a doctor for regular advice in case of nightmares. Because the above conditions affect the quality of life.
What to do when having a bad dream?
Nightmares are a common occurrence, however, they are prevented and managed in the following ways:
Create sleep hygiene Establishing good sleep hygiene will help prevent nightmares. Should begin to go to bed and wake up at regular intervals. Should not take a nap during the day in case of not being sick or getting enough rest, should not eat or exercise close to bed. And avoid reading books or watching movies with scary content.
Exercise People who suffer from anxiety or stress nightmares should exercise regularly. To alleviate the nightmare may play yoga or meditation to help calm the mind.
Provide a good environment The bedroom should be arranged in an environment that is suitable for relaxation.
Avoid stimulants You should consume limited amounts of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. This is because both stimulants can remain in the body for more than 12 hours, causing sleep disturbances.
How to manage nightmares
Change the dosage or drug treatment Certain medications can cause nightmares. Which is a side effect from drug use Patients affected with the above should consult their doctor. To request to adjust the dosage or change the drug for treating self-health problems
Being treated for health problems Some sleep disorders can lead to nightmares, such as sleep apnea. Or restless legs syndrome Patients with this disease should be admitted for treatment for their illness and recovery. To address the problem of nightmares resulting from these diseases
Imaginary therapy Imagery Rehearsal Treatment is a thought and behavior therapy for those who suffer from repetitive nightmares or post-traumatic nightmares. It allows patients to practice changing their thoughts on the images of dreams that appear. Post-traumatic stress patients may be offered therapy in conjunction with medications, however, such treatments have not yet appeared. Its efficacy is evident compared to therapy alone.
How to deal with nightmares that happen to children?
Parents may help their children not to have nightmares. By following methods that help the child have a good night And comfort when the child awakens from the nightmare:
Practice sleeping for time Parents should train children to go to bed and wake up on time on a regular basis.
Help children feel at ease Parents should make their children feel safe and comfortable before going to bed every time. By doing various activities together, such as bathing young children Read stories to listen to Or talk and hug your child before going to bed.
Make your bed, choose a comfortable bed, and make your bedroom airy and free from noise.
Avoid watching scary movies. Do not let children watch movies. Or listen to horrible stories that may be kept dream.
Teach children to understand Always tell the child that nightmares are not true. It only happens in dreams and cannot harm children.
Choose an item or blanket that you like. Should choose a toy or blanket that the child likes for the child to cuddle with.
How to comfort a child when having nightmares?
Being around children if they are frightened by their nightmares. Parents should approach and be nearby to help keep their children calm and safe.
Speak to the child to understand. Parents should tell the child that what happened was a nightmare. Not true It should make your child feel that they are still safe when they wake up.
Comforting a child Parents should show an understanding of the child’s feelings of fear. And convince the child that nightmares can happen to everyone And can cause fear or anxiety This is normal, not a serious problem.
Lull the child to sleep Parents should help their child relax by providing toys, blankets or bolster for the child to hug. Turn on the music softly, turn on the soft light, or shake hands and hug the child.
Be a good listener Parents should listen when their children tell about the nightmares that occur. It can go from giving the child a simple talk to telling a story through other activities that make the stories less intimidating, such as drawing or writing to describe the nightmares the child dreams of.
Turn on soft lights. Parents can leave a soft bedside lamp on to save the child from fear. This is because children are relieved when they see familiar objects or know where their parents are.
Leave the door open If parents separate the bedroom with the child May leave the children’s bedroom door open. To help children feel reassured and reassured that their parents are nearby