An Overview Of Nightmare Disorder

Nightmare Disorder

List of Contents

  • Overview of Nightmare Disorder
  • Symptoms of Nightmare Disorder
  • Nightmares are considered as a disorder when:
  • Causes of Nightmare Disorder
  • Treatment of Nightmare Disorder

Overview of Nightmare Disorder

A nightmare is defined as a disturbing dream related to negative thoughts and feelings like fear, phobia, anxiety, or stress that awakens you from sleep. Children are likely to have nightmares sometimes due to overstressing or anxiety. However, nightmares can happen to people of any age.

If you’re having nightmares occasionally… don’t worry it happens and there is nothing to stress about. Nightmares are commonly observed in children of age 3-6 years old and are decreased by the age of 10. Additionally, during teenage, nightmares are mostly observed in girls over boys. And they are usually carried out as adulthood and remain throughout their lifetime.

Nightmare disorder is rare meanwhile nightmares are common. Nightmare disorder takes place when the nightmares are the reason for distress, disrupted sleep, and causes issues in everyday activities. This blog contains everything you need to know about Nightmare disorder.

Symptoms of Nightmare Disorder

Symptoms of Nightmare Disorder

Nightmares are likely to take place after the second half of the night. Nightmares can occur several times in a night. They can also take place in episodes. They are the reason you might be awake the whole night and going back to sleep looks difficult during nightmares. Some common signs and symptoms of a nightmare disorder are:

  • Dreams are real and vivid. Dreams are the reason behind stress and becoming disturbing every night.
  • Dreams have some story to tell and are mostly related to threats, safety, or survival, or other sleep-disturbing themes.
  • Dreams keep you awake the whole night.
  • You feel anxious, scared, disgusted, or sad after waking up from the nightmare.
  • Pounding heartbeat or sweat after waking up from the nightmare.
  • You can narrate the details of your dreams.
  • Dreams cause distress that disturbs you from achieving daily chores.

Nightmares are considered as a disorder when:

    • Frequent
    • Impairment of daily activities
    • Persistent fear or anxiety and bedtime anxiety
    • Reduced memory and concentration
    • Always thinking about the images related to the dreams
    • Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
    • Problems in everyday functioning
    • Fear of the dark or behavioral issues associated with bedtime

If you or your loved one is experiencing something like this, Calm Sage strongly recommends booking an appointment with a certified mental health provider ASAP before concluding anything on your own. To connect with a certified mental health provider, click here.

Causes of Nightmare Disorder

Causes of Nightmare Disorder

Parasomnia is the scientific term used to refer to Nightmare disorder. Parasomnia is a type of sleep disorder wherein the person experiences undesirable things that mostly occur during sleep or trying to fall asleep. As per researchers and professionals, nightmares mostly occur during the rapid eye movement stage (REM). Additionally, the exact reason behind nightmare disorder is still unknown.

Some of the common causes behind the triggers of nightmare disorder are:

1. Trauma: Nightmares are commonly observed after sexual abuse, traumatic event, injury, or an accident. Nightmares are also common for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

2. Stress or anxiety: Overstressing in your everyday life can also be the reason behind nightmares. Additionally, major changes like the death of a loved one can show the same effects.

3. Reduced sleep: Irregular sleeping or continuous changes in your lifestyle can also be the reason behind triggers of nightmare disorder. Insomnia is also related to an increased risk of having nightmares.

4. Excessive medication: Some drugs and excessive medications can also be the reason behind nightmares.

5. Substance abuse: Recreational drugs or excessive alcohol can trigger episodes of nightmare disorder.

6. Other mental health issues: Depression and other mental health issues are also related to nightmares. Chronic illness and support can also trigger nightmares.

7. Scary movies or books: People who read or watch scary stuff before going to bed are at a high risk of having nightmares.

Risk Factors related to Nightmare Disorder

Some common risk factors related to nightmare disorder are:

Treatment of Nightmare Disorder

Treatment of Nightmare Disorder

When the nightmares start disturbing everyday life, it would be beneficial to consult with a certified mental health provider. Treatment options for nightmare disorder are:

1. Medical treatment: If the reason behind nightmare disorder is related to medical conditions, it can be treated along with the treatment of underlying health conditions.

2. Anxiety or stress treatment: If stress or anxiety is associated with nightmares, then your therapist may use techniques for reducing stress and anxiety. In such instances, consulting with a certified mental health professional is important. To connect with a mental health provider from BetterHelp, connect here.

Visit BetterHelp Here

Disclaimer: As BetterHelp Affiliate, We may receive compensation from BetterHelp or other sources if you purchase products or services through the links provided on this page.

3. Imagery Rehearsal Therapy: Nightmares are often related to PTSD, therefore imagery rehearsal therapy is prescribed by the mental health provider.

I hope this blog helps you to understand nightmare disorders in brief. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading.

Next Read:

How To Stop PTSD Nightmares & Sleep Peacefully?

What Is Chronic Insomnia & How To Treat It For Peaceful Sleep?

Myths And Facts Associated With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

All You Want To Know About Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior Disorder

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