Nightmares are scenes or parts of dreams that cause panic, fear, or anxiety. These dreams are vivid in all systems of perception, and the plots are perceived so realistic that they make you wake up. Awakening is usually accompanied by rapid heartbeat, pulse and breathing, sudden movements. These dreams, like the rest of the plot, arise in the phase of REM sleep, where rapid eye movements are characteristic, which means the appearance of visual images.
Nightmares in children are more frequent than in adulthood, but there is still a certain line when frightening dreams become a symptom of mental illness. Such violations can signal as disorders of the affective sphere, and somatic. There are cases when it is through a plot of nightmares that a person can reveal a disease that has not yet manifested itself at the physical level. Psychologists consider such dreams to be a signal of the presence of unconscious or suppressed anxiety, and if we pay attention to repeated scary dreams in time, then not only mental exhaustion can be prevented, but also real impending problems.
The subject of terrible dreams for each person will be his own, which is based on personal traumatic experiences, the state of the body and mind.
Nightmares in adults are more associated with psychological and stressful experiences, suppression of emotions and can be expressed in the plots of loss of control (inability to escape, scream, open the door), in children they are more justified by physical changes of the body and have more physiological moments (sudden drops in deep holes , flights, etc.).
Why do nightmares night
The causes of nightmares can be quite diverse in their category or depth of perspective. So there are dreams caused by changes in metabolism due to a hearty dinner or an excess of sweet and spicy dishes, when the brain increases the activity of the whole organism to process absorbed. Some drugs have a similar effect, so if you experience bouts of nocturnal fears, you must tell your doctor to change therapy.
Alcoholic and narcotic substances can give not only a calming effect, but also activate the nervous system, which leads to nightmarish plots. Especially often this happens against the background of withdrawal symptoms.
Psychological spectrum disorders, such as depressive reactions, PTSD, increased anxiety, panic attacks, attacks of paranoia, and others, have terrible dreams in their list of symptoms. In the case of post-traumatic syndrome, dreams will contain plots of a traumatic situation, with excessive nervousness, possible options for future fears. It was noticed that lack of sleep also provokes the occurrence of nightmares - in these cases, everything is quickly eliminated by several sessions of drug sleep.
Any strong emotional experiences are stressful for the body and usually there is not enough day time and resources to process them. Therefore, nightmares are often a way for the psyche to process the received strong information, knocking out of the usual rhythm. This may include quarrels, scandals, accidents, as well as the birth of a child, a wedding, unexpected pleasant surprises.
It doesn’t matter how strong emotions are painted - they shake the nervous system, so people’s wonder why they begin to dream bad dreams against the background of sharp positive changes is quite understandable by this fact. Any emotions suppressed during the day lead to an increase in internal tension, the need for relaxation of which is realized by the psyche through nightmares. It doesn’t matter exactly what you held back, both anger and hugs can lead to terrible sleep - only the degree of effort spent on restraint is important and the more of them, the worse the plot.
Organic brain lesions give nightmares, not retractable by psychotherapy and sedatives - here you need a comprehensive treatment of the first disease. This may be oxygen starvation or hypoxia, brain tumors, trauma, infectious and inflammatory diseases, intoxication. In case of frequent recurring nightmares, it is necessary to consult a physician (general practitioner, neuropathologist, psychiatrist) to rule out serious biological pathology.
In addition to internal and psychological moments, external circumstances can spoil sleep. So the temperature of the room (cold or heat), stuffiness or fullness with unpleasant or acrid odors activate the nervous system, make a person wake up. This is a protective mechanism designed to lead to wakefulness when environmental conditions deteriorate.
For example, stuffiness can be a signal that oxygen is running out and you can simply not wake up. An inconvenient bed, the presence of crumbs, extraneous sounds or bright lighting can degrade the quality of sleep, and in combination with the instability of emotions lead to nightmares. For people with a mobile organization of the nervous system, its sensitivity and general impressionability, nightmares occur against the background of evening experiences. These are horror films, horror stories, news feeds about murders and catastrophes, as well as other similar moments.
How to get rid of nightmares
If nightmares have appeared in your nightlife, then it is worth starting with the simplest methods - improving sleep conditions. It is necessary to take care not only of the comfort of the bed, its orthopedic and cleanliness, but also of the general environment, including light, sound, temperature and the amount of oxygen. Adjust the settings of all gadgets by setting the night mode to suppress blue light or eliminate them altogether a couple of hours before bedtime. Watch your evening habits. This includes the time of admission and the amount of food, alcohol, coffee, drugs and nicotine, as well as some drugs.
Now there are many products and accessories to improve sleep - use them. These include aroma lamps with soothing oils, audio recordings designed to harmonize the emotional background, and various night-lights that mimic natural sources of light (campfires, candles). On the phone you can download programs of noises and sounds to fall asleep, and if the nightmarish dreams are triggered by unexpected sounds, then you can stock up on earplugs.
Learn to relax and during the day, then it will help avoid the accumulation of nervous tension and improve the state of the nervous system. A variety of practices from yoga, meditation, visualization, as well as breathing techniques to help stabilize the emotional state, provide for the development of complacency. So you can regulate your condition all day, calm it down before bedtime, and even if you wake up from the next horror, you can quickly recover. But in addition to passive and contemplative-sedative exercises, include physical activity - this helps to relieve excess stress accumulated during the day. The ideal option would be an evening visit to the pool, where accumulated emotions come out due to physical exertion, and general physical relaxation occurs due to water.
Make sleep a ritual that requires adherence to time frames and specific sequences. This will help your psyche to calm down and clear the space in advance. Arrange a pleasant hour before bedtime - let there be time for your dreams, conversations with pleasant people and pleasant slow classes. Creativity and watching pleasant movies, taking a bath with relaxing oils and walking in the evening park will do. You can arrange yourself soothing dinners by candlelight, without gadgets, with herbal teas or warm milk.
Drug treatment is indicated after the established basic diagnosis. If nightmares are caused by a tumor, then a planned operation is indicated, if it causes a disorder of the depressive spectrum, then antidepressants are prescribed, anti-anxiety drugs are indicated for stress disorders. These are extreme cases, and mostly terrible dreams are triggered by increasing levels of stress, so the main activity should be directed at combating it. You can independently identify the main stress factors in your life and try to eliminate them, sometimes for this you have to format all your thinking and perception style.
In the case of difficult situations or the consequences of traumatic situations, if you do not have enough of your own resources and opportunities to understand and change the situation of your life, you may need to work with a specialist. Usually, the psychotherapist works on the subject of dreams, but if they are not related to immediate life events, then other areas are affected.