Poor sleep every night is a good reason to change your lifestyle. What to do if you have nightmares at night, and when it makes sense to pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor, we will tell in this article.
Nightmare dream of a person as a consequence of severe stress
Chases, terrible accidents, falling into an abyss, mortal danger, meeting with monsters — if something like this happens in a person’s dream, then he is included in 30–50% of people who are haunted by nightmares from time to time. And about 8% of the adult population of our planet sees such dreams regularly.
The word “nightmare” comes from two French words: caucher — to crush, and mare — a ghost. Many years ago, people considered nightmares to be the machinations of evil spirits. So, for example, in Slavic mythology, a bad dream of a person let in a brownie, and in German — elves. What is a nightmare really?
From the point of view of scientists, a nightmare is one of the types of dreams that most often appears during REM sleep. During the night, these phases become longer, so nightmares (as well as any other dreams) most often visit a person closer to the morning.
A nightmare is a kind of stress. A person feels a terrible weakness, cannot run away from the enemy or fight him off. Sometimes he screams in his sleep or wakes up in the middle of the night in a state of great fear, his heart rate quickens, sometimes sweating increases (woke up in a cold sweat). Having come to his senses, the victim of a nightmare for a long time cannot come to his senses from the horror he has endured and fall asleep again.
The most common cause of nightmares is a tragedy. If a person had to endure a strong emotional shock, for example, an accident or the loss of a loved one, this plot can be repeated again and again in his dreams.
If nightmares haunt a person constantly, his sleep can hardly be called complete. And sleep disorders, as you know, not only do not allow the body to replenish its energy supply, but also threaten the development of certain diseases. Therefore, if nightmares haunt you regularly, it makes sense to pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor.
Nightmare as a reason to make an appointment with a doctor
As you know, a person’s nightmare is the result of his imagination. This means that it can be influenced. If a bad dream recurs regularly, try to recall its content and redo the plot. For example, if in a dream a person falls from a great height, then let a parachute open above him, and if a meeting with monsters is the basis of a nightmarish plot, then let them become benevolent creatures who want to get to know each other. At its core, a nightmare is a kind of scary tale, to which you can always come up with a happy ending if you wish.
There are several methods for transforming scary dreams. A good ending can be spoken or drawn. It doesn’t matter which method is used. The main thing is to make sure that the “happy ending” is firmly entrenched in the head and emerges during sleep. It is better, of course, to do this with the help of a psychotherapist. Moreover, in our time, you can make an appointment with him by phone.
Good bedtime habits
Useful habits of behavior will help get rid of nightmares:
Lying in bed, many of us begin to analyze the events of the past day, remembering the smallest details of unfinished business and past conflicts. Negative emotions not only prevent you from falling asleep quickly, but also provoke the appearance of dreams with a not very pleasant plot, in particular, nightmares. Pleasant emotions and positive thoughts before going to bed will help to correct the situation. Therefore, when you go to bed, switch — try to think about upcoming pleasant events, remember the good moments of the past day, imagine yourself in those places that cause peace.
The modern rhythm of people’s lives (especially urban residents) is filled with stress, therefore, it does not have the best effect on their psychological state, and, accordingly, on the quality of sleep. All kinds of fears and negative emotions, especially suppressed ones, are also reflected in night dreams.
If a person often experiences stress, it makes sense to purposefully find sources of positive. Moreover, there are more than enough opportunities for this — yoga, doing what you love, walking in the fresh air, swimming, watching pleasant films, relaxing baths, and so on. Well, if you can’t switch from negative emotions to positive ones on your own, you can always make an appointment with a psychotherapist who will help you cope with the problem.
Well, if it is possible to allocate a separate room for the bedroom. It is undesirable to combine a sleeping place with a study, because work is often associated with stress. In the bedroom, a person should feel comfortable and calm. It is recommended to hang thick curtains on the windows, which will prevent the penetration of street lighting. In other words, the atmosphere of the room should be conducive to calm and relaxation. By the way, sometimes it is an uncomfortable bed that causes nightmares.
The blue color emitted by all these devices interferes with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. People who prefer to watch TV or sit at the computer until late at night, there is a violation of circadian rhythms, and, accordingly, the quality of sleep. Therefore, about a couple of hours before a night’s rest, it is recommended to arrange a “silence mode” for yourself. For a restful sleep, in which there will be no nightmares, lamps with muted yellow light will help you set yourself up.
Having received another portion of energy with food, the body must spend it on something. But since a person is resting, that is, he does not perform any physical actions, the activity of the brain increases, which begins to actively generate dreams. It is especially not recommended to eat sweets at night, because glucose is the main fuel for the brain, which also needs to rest at night. It is also better to refuse coffee, alcohol and cigarettes a couple of hours before bedtime. Or at least limit their use as much as possible.
Good healthy sleep without nightmares is promoted by sports. Just don’t overdo it. Consult with a specialist on the choice of physical activity. To do this, it is recommended to make an appointment with a doctor in advance.