The Truth About Why Do I Keep Having Nightmares
Nightmares are dreams that are upsetting or distressing. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, over fifty percent of grown-ups report having sporadic nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares). Nevertheless, some individuals have nightmares that happen more regularly.
These are named recurring nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares). Recurring nightmares lead to occur more often in infants than in adults.
Not all recurring nightmares are identical every night. Many nightmares reflect similar issues and tropes but may vary in content.
Although, these nightmares usually produce similar sentiments once you wake up, including:
These ideas and emotions can make it difficult to get back to sleep again.
Recurring nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares) usually have an underlying condition. In this study, we’ll examine the basic causes of recurring nightmares, as well as therapy options for some of the underlying ailments.
Causes of why do I keep having nightmares
Nightmares can happen for various reasons, but here are 5 of the most popular.
1. Stress, anxiety, or depression
Stress is one of the sentiments that many individuals have difficulty channeling productively. Because of this, dreams may be one of the only possibilities for the body to run through those sensations.
One research hypothesized that anxiety and trauma from infancy can produce recurring nightmares later in life.
Anxiety and sadness can create nightmares, as well. These nightmares may involve situations linked to self-worth, illness relapse, and for some, also panic attacks.
Up to seventy-one percent of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) undergo nightmares. PTSD is one of the main reasons for recurring nightmares in grown-ups.
One of the most typical manifestations of PTSD is “re-experiencing,” or having flashbacks to traumatic experiences or circumstances. Sometimes these flashbacks can display as nightmares.
For individuals with PTSD, recurring nightmares can have a mixture of negative consequences, including:
- adding to or worsening PTSD signs
- adding to or worsening depression
- decreasing sleep quality
The content of these nightmares can change from individual to individual. For some individuals, these dreams are replicative nightmares in which the initial shock is replayed again and again.
For others, the nightmares are representative of the sentiments and beliefs of the initial trauma.
3. Underlying medical conditions
Some sleep disorders can point to recurring nightmares. Sleep apnea is a disease identified by irregular breathing during sleep.
Narcolepsy is a dysfunction of the nervous system that produces hard daytime drowsiness, hallucinations, and rest paralysis.
Situations such as these can influence the degree of sleep and maybe an underlying condition of recurring nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares).
Some medicines, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and other medications utilized to treat specific conditions, can produce why do I keep having nightmares.
One older research from 1998 discovered that the most prevalent nightmare-causing medications combined sedative and hypnotic medications, beta-blockers, and amphetamines.
5. Substance abuse
Many signs of withdrawal happen from substance misuse, including why do I keep having nightmares.
These nightmares may be more severe at the onset of withdrawal but regularly, decrease off within a few weeks of sobriety. Alcohol withdrawal most usually creates nightmares.
Nightmares vs. night terrors
Although nightmares and night fears may seem alike, they’re quite distinct experiences.
Nightmares are scary, lucid dreams that normally produce the person to awaken quickly. These dreams are usually quickly remembered.
Night terrors are difficult to wake up from. An individual may feel intense agitation, such as flailing about, shouting, or even sleepwalking.
Despite these natural reactions, individuals who undergo night terrors regularly sleep through them.
Night terrors and nightmares occur through different grades of sleep. When you doze off, you’ll typically pass through 4 steps of sleep.
In steps one and two, you’re in a moderate state of sleep. In steps three and four, you slip into a more profound sleep.
About every ninety minutes, you begin what is often regarded as the fifth grade of sleep, which is fast eye movement (REM) sleep.
Night terrors usually occur when you’re in non-REM sleep, while nightmares happen during REM sleep.
Treatments for why do I keep having nightmares
In various cases, managing recurring nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares) includes treating the underlying disease.
Depression and anxiety
Managing ailments such as panic and anxiety can assist to solve the ideas and feelings that may be heading to why do I keep having nightmares. Some of the therapy opportunities for these conditions may involve:
- psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy
- medicines, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- support organizations
- relaxation methods, such as yoga, meditation, and long breathing
- daily exercise
- Sleep positions
Therapy for sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy, may change. Sleep apnea is usually managed with breathing machines, medicines, lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, even operation.
Narcolepsy is most frequently managed with long-term medicines, such as tonics and certain antidepressants.
If nightmares are produced by PTSD, it’s essential to look for professional treatment. There are specific strategies that can be used for PTSD nightmares, such as representation rehearsal treatment and visual-kinesthetic dissociation.
Representation rehearsal therapy includes recalling the nightmare (or nightmares) when alert and replacing the ending so that the dream is no longer dangerous. Visual-kinesthetic separation treatment is another method used to help rewrite traumatic thoughts into a different memory that is less traumatizing.
In addition to managing anxiety and depression, cognitive behavior treatment may likewise be utilized for treating why do I keep having nightmares caused by PTSD.
In one new research, researchers studied whether using CBT for PTSD would also assist to alleviate trauma-induced recurring nightmares. Members of the study experienced CBT for 20 weeks. The researchers discovered that after twenty weeks of CBT, seventy-seven percent of members no longer encountered recurring nightmares linked to their PTSD.
In the event of nightmares created by PTSD, a medicine may be accepted as part of a therapy protocol for the overall ailment. Nevertheless, outside of PTSD, it’s unusual for a medicine to be utilized in the treatment of recurring nightmares.
If you observe that recurring nightmares (why do I keep having nightmares) are influencing your kind of life, reach out to a specialist or mental health expert. Once you heal the root of the recurring nightmares, you may be capable to decrease or eliminate them for good.