(ORDO NEWS) — Everyone has nightmares sometimes. They are different: in one dream a person falls into the void, in another his teeth fall out, in the third someone runs after him, and so on. Usually the end of a nightmare is the same – a person wakes up in a cold sweat, a strong beating heart and heavy breathing.
For some people, nightmares recur regularly, and the plot in them does not change. The question arises – because of what bad dreams dream? Some people blame the love of horror films for bad dreams, they say, “they’ve seen enough of their horror films and can’t sleep.”
But how, in this case, to explain the fact that nightmares are also dreamed of by people who are very far from such entertainment? In fact, there are many reasons for the occurrence of nightmares, and now we will consider the most common of them.
Interesting fact: the word “nightmare” comes from the French “cauchemar”. It, in turn, is composed of two middle words caucher (press) and mare (night ghost).
It is immediately worth noting that sleep is one of the most mysterious phenomena that has not yet been fully studied by science.
Scientists cannot give exact answers to the questions why people need sleep, why there are nightmares among them and what they mean. The causes of nightmares described below have been identified through observation of people.
1- Nightmares due to stress and anxiety
There is a hypothesis that nightmares are a kind of training of the nervous system, which makes it easier to cope with stress in reality.
For example, if a person often sees persecution in a dream, in life it will be easier for him to confront the problems that haunt him. Based on this, it is believed that people with chronic stress and anxiety are more likely to suffer from nightmares, because their body suits them with training in this way.
At one time, the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud said that night dreams are the road to the unconscious. This means that during sleep, all his deepest experiences emerge in a person’s head.
Suppose, if throughout the day a person is worried about his future, most likely, at night he will dream of something that he is so afraid of. Sometimes in dreams you see images of the past – this is a consequence of mental trauma.
2- Nightmares due to discomfort
Sometimes there is not much stress in a person’s life. In this case, the environment may be the cause: stuffy and hot room, uncomfortable bed, bright light from the window, noise from neighbors, and so on.
In one of the previous articles, we have already found out that sleeping in the heat is harmful to the human body. Lack of air, overheating of the body and other external factors directly affect the functioning of the brain, which can cause frightening images to appear in the mind.
The hormone melatonin, necessary for sound sleep, is produced only in complete darkness – extra light can make rest superficial, and there can often be no talk of any pleasant dreams.
3- Nightmares due to sleep disturbance
This point will sound trite, but without it the article will not be complete. Often, nightmares are suffered by people who stay up late at work, sit in front of a smartphone for a long time and after all this get up early – the duration of sleep is less than 6 hours.
In this mode, sleep paralysis often occurs, in which the human brain wakes up, and the body remains immobilized.
In this state, a person feels the presence of a monster nearby, sometimes it seems to press on the chest. Any attempt to move or shout leads to nothing, the person hears his wheezing at most. You can read more about sleep paralysis here.
4- Nightmares due to drugs
If a person often has nightmares, he needs to pay attention – is he taking any medications? Some of them directly affect the nervous system, which increases the risk of nightmares many times over.
Sometimes nightmares are reversed, due to stopping the medication. Some of them shorten the duration of the REM phase and, after stopping the intake, it lengthens dramatically – there are good conditions for the onset of nightmares.
5- Nightmares due to illness
Sometimes nightmares are the result of a high body temperature – in this case, you need to take an antipyretic and wait for recovery.
Also, people with mental disorders often complain about nightmares: depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, and so on. People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often suffer from reliving traumatic events from their past in their dreams.
Finally, it is worth noting that nightmares can be a sign of a dangerous disease that affects people aged 40 and older.
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