Nightmares - what affects them? How to deal with them?
Our mind can generate many paintings and thoughts that, as a result, can have the same influence as real -happening events in our lives. A perfect example of such internal experience are nightmares, which can be remembered for a very long time, and we experience the accompanying emotions for the next days, and sometimes even weeks. So what exactly are nightmares, what affects them and how can we deal with them?
What are nightmares?
As if it didn't sound, nightmares are one of the forms of dreams. In contrast to our dreams, these are characterized by unpleasant content and emotional color. During their duration, we have the impression that events were happening in the real world, and their content most often concerns directly threatening us or our closest danger. Hence, they are accompanied by anxiety and terror.
Nightmares usually occur in the Rem sleep phase, i.e. the much shorter one, when we are more awake, our body is flaccid. Interestingly, such nightmares seem to us that all eternity is ongoing, and in fact the mentioned sleep phase lasts about 15 minutes! Due to the fact that we have nightmares in the mentioned phase of REM, after waking up, we usually regain consciousness, logical contact and we are able to recover. Unfortunately, there is also the other side of the coin - we feel the emotions that we experienced and physiological fears of stress reaction, i.e., even faster heartbeat, accelerated breath or sweating. Unfortunately, the reality of such experience can have negative effects, including in the form of falling asleep problems.
Why do we dream of nightmares?
The exact mechanism of nightmares of nightmares has not yet been determined. One thing, however, is certain - they can happen to us regardless of gender and age. Adults affect very often. We also know what we have already mentioned, that in the vast majority of cases they appear in the Rem sleep phase, as well as pleasant dreams. It is certain, however, that nightmares may appear in a situation where we experienced something that stuck in our memory during the day and we constantly think about it. This is due to brain activity during the ReM sleep phase. It is then that the areas of the brain related to emotions and memory are stimulated, and as our thoughts during the day were directed towards the unpleasant situation that met us, our brain subconsciously again "reproduces" experience of the day, but often in completely different context.
Nightmares - causes
To a large extent, we have already given you the most common cause of sleepy nightmares. However, this is not the only reason. Other, equally common reasons can be:
- Permanent stress,
- Post -traumatic stress disorders,
- Eating too abundant meals before bedtime,
- Inadequate position during sleep.
How to get rid of nightmares?
Of course, we can and should prevent nightmares because they have a negative effect on our body. They also lead to difficulties at work or in social life. Therefore, it is worth taking care of a calm and uninterrupted sleep. For this purpose:
- Let's avoid contacts with devices generating blue light, i.e. with a TV, smartphone, laptop,
- Let's take care of the place where we sleep. The bedroom should be a friendly and safe place for us that will relax and soothe. In turn, it should not cause associations with work or unpleasant events,
- Let's limit alcohol and smoking. It is these types of stimulants that often cause anxiety and waking up in the middle of the night. Instead, let's try brewing herbal tea or other drinks conducive to peaceful sleep,
- Let's not eat before bedtime. Such snacking slows down the metabolism, activates the brain to act and leads to nightmares. So, as we can see, eliminating night eating, we will take care not only about the comfort of our sleep, but also about health,
- Practice physical activities. It is worth getting tired before bedtime. Thanks to this, we secrete endorphins, we become more quiet and joyful. A tired body, in this brain will not have strength for unnecessary "thinking at night".