Why do we have nightmares?
We all know that nightmares are not reserved for children, but if in children, nightmares are often associated with psychological development, in adults, they are often the cause of environmental factors. Representing a real sleep disorder, it can be interesting to determine their causes in order to sleep more serenely.
Here are what our nightmares can be triggered by:
The following list will help you get to the root of why you are experiencing these terrors.
- post-traumatic stress
- an unconscious injury
- sleep disorders
- eating too much
- taking or withdrawing from certain medications
- a feeling of danger
- a lack of expression of feelings during the day
😨 In adults, the frequency and intensity of nightmares decrease over the years, to the point where it would even seem that past the age of 60, they disappear completely!
Are nightmares useful?
However, it is impossible to completely get rid of nightmares, and in a way, that is good, because they aren’t as harmful as we might think. Indeed, night terrors help regulate our emotions and feelings. They allow us to distance ourselves from a situation that disturbs us, angers us, or upset us. Nightmares are in fact just like dreams and also help us to digest a brutal change. The more we have a big shock to absorb, the more unpleasant the dream will be, but it helps us to overcome these traumas. The nightmare can no longer play this function as soon as it becomes chronic. Having nightmares every week, or even worse, every night is a signal that should not be ignored.
What are the solutions in the case of frequent nightmares?
Depending on their frequency and intensity, there are a few solutions that can be put in place to facilitate sleep:
- Try to take control. This is an exercise that requires training, but it is possible to change the way your dream is going or to become aware that you are dreaming. You can then transform your dream or simply stop it.
- The return to calm after a night awakening. To go back to sleep after a nightmare, you must go through a return to calm. Turn on the light, drink a glass of water and practice some breathing exercises to feel better.
- Play sports. Regular physical activity helps you fall asleep more easily and deeply.
- Keep a dream journal. Keep a notebook on your nightstand to record the dream content and nightmares as soon as you wake up. You can then review what you've written to better understand what's bothering you and why this is affecting your sleep pattern.
- Finally, therapy, and more specifically Ericksonian hypnosis, can relieve some people who have recurring nightmares. In any case, you should not hesitate to talk about your experiences, as we have seen, the more we keep things buried inside us, the more they will be reflected in our dreams.
The editor’s opinion: Find their meanings
Having recurring nightmares, or even the same nightmare, is a clear signal that something is wrong in your mind. It is a warning sign that should not be ignored. Until the problem is resolved, the same nightmare can haunt you for years. So you need to ask yourself what the nightmare is about, what it means? And if these nightmares become too invasive, do not hesitate to turn to a professional.
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