Most of us don’t remember what we dream about, but sometimes we wake up from a pleasant dream that we just don’t want to end. And no matter how hard we try, we cannot fall back asleep into that dream.
Then there are times when dreams can be very unpleasant, and the very idea of falling back asleep into the same dream is terrifying. This type of dream is known as a nightmare and is associated with negative feelings. Nightmares tend to evoke strong responses from the mind and cause you to feel things like anxiety and fear during the dream.
Nightmares are quite common in children, but they can affect people of any age. A one-off nightmare is disturbing enough but imagine having that same dream regularly. When a bad dream is repeated again and again, it is known as a recurring nightmare. But why do they happen, and is there anything that can be done to prevent them?
What Causes Recurring Nightmares?
There is no exact cause of recurrent nightmares, and we don’t know much about why we even dream in the first place. Some people believe that dreams, and even nightmares, have deeper meanings;some even study dreams. But there are those who believe that dreams, and nightmares in particular, are caused by traumatic experiences. When it comes to nightmares that repeat, it would seem as though there must be some underlying cause.
For example, those who have experienced a traumatic experience such as a car crash or the death of a loved onemight go on to dream about it in some way on a regular basis. Some people believe that until the individual has some sort of counseling or therapy to deal with the trauma, they will be unable to move on and thereforewill continue to have these disturbing dreams. Reliving the same traumatic experience, whether through flashbacks or nightmares, is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people believe PTSD to be a leading cause of recurrent nightmares.
Recurrent nightmares can also be triggered by substance abuse. Abuse of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication can affect the way the brain works, and some substances are linked with recurrent nightmares. Furthermore, withdrawal from some substances can lead to recurrent nightmares as well.
There are times when mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can be the cause of recurrent nightmares. It is thought by somethat the brain and body try to work through the various feelings and emotions associated with these mental health issues during sleep because the individual is unable to process them productively during the day.
Treatment for Recurrent Nightmares
The only way to treat recurrent nightmares is to deal with the underlying cause. This will usually mean that the individual will need to try a variety of therapies as well as stress-relieving exercises. In the case of PTSD, anxiety,or depression, there are many things that can help, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. Relaxation techniques are also useful for helping to relieve stress and anxiety. The experts at Maloca Sound say that trying out various techniques such as yoga, sound therapy, breathwork, and meditation can help the individual to sleep better and may help to reduce recurrent nightmares.
It is also a good idea to limit or cut back on substance use. Nevertheless, if you are using prescription medications, it is advisable to speak to your doctor first before you stop taking them. As mentioned above, withdrawal can sometimes make recurrent nightmares worse.
To conclude, there are many causes of recurrent nightmares and the best way to prevent them is to deal with the underlying issue.