• Get Help Now!
    480-830-3900
    (No PCP Referral Needed)
Call Us: 480-830-3900

4 Things You Should Know if Nightmares Haunt Your Sleep

4 Things You Should Know if Nightmares Haunt Your Sleep

While your body rests and rejuvenates during sleep, your mind is actually more active than while you’re awake. The mind stays active to help sort and file information gathered throughout the day, but the heightened mental activity during sleep can also lead to intense dreams. Dreams exist on an emotional spectrum ranging from happy to bizarre to terrifying. If you’ve ever had a nightmare, then you’ve probably awoken rattled and filled with questions starting with the word “why”.

4 Things You Should Know if Nightmares Haunt Your Sleep

If you frequently have nightmares, here are four things that you should know about your haunted sleep life:

1. Nightmares are different than night terrors
Nightmares and sleep terrors are commonly perceived as variations of the same experience. However, there are significant differences between the two when it comes to how your body reacts, when they occur, and how your sleep is impacted.

 
According to the National Sleep Institute, nightmares are dreams with vivid and disturbing content that occur during REM sleep. While they are more common in children, adults also experience nightmares. Nightmares can typically cause you to awaken, and be recalled easily upon waking up.

 
Night terrors however, occur during non-REM sleep, and cause physical responses from the body such as:
• Enlarged pupils
• Agitation
• Sweating
• Increased blood pressure

 
People who suffer from night terrors are also more likely to sleepwalk, and usually can’t recall the nature or content of the extreme dream they experienced.

 
2. Many things can cause or trigger nightmares
Nightmares are bound to occur at some point during your lifetime, if not many times. While the reason behind disturbing dreams hasn’t been succinctly determined, scientists have identified some causes or triggers, including:

 
• Stress and anxiety
• Trauma
• Breakups or marital issues
• Intra-personal relationship struggles (friends, family, spouse)
• Depression
• Medications
• Highly active imaginations

 
3. Journaling your dreams can help you reflect and relax
If a nightmare causes you to wake up at night, then it can often be very difficult to go back to sleep and get the rest you need. Information about nightmares published by The Huffington Post suggests that relaxation methods such as meditation or journaling your dreams can help you relax and drift back off to sleep more quickly. Keeping a journal of your nightmares can also help for reflection later on, and you can even rewrite your dream to be more positive to help shift your mindset before sleeping.

 
4. Chronic nightmares might indicate underlying sleep issues
If you are experiencing nightmares, night terrors, or sleepwalking on a very regular basis, then the lost sleep due to disturbed nights could very well be negatively impacting your sleep and your health. Luckily, for most people, nightmares are infrequent, and go away when stress or another trigger is resolved.

 

Nightmares can, however, be the result of another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. You can reclaim your nights and your sleep by consulting a sleep clinic. After performing a sleep study, the sleep experts can help you better understand if there is an underlying sleep issue and help you treat it.
Client Reviews
cre

"I was especially impressed with Andrew the Respiratory Therapist who reviewed my study with me and answered my questions. Andrew thoroughly explained everything about the Cpap machine-from start to finish. I never felt rushed and was assured I could contact him with any additional questions or needs. Andrew told me he would follow up with a call in a week and he did. I believe this center performed the study appropriately and the added benefit of having Andrew teach me about the machine and what to expect was a bonus."


Candace M.


Scottsdale, AZ

"Great staff, they make you feel so at home. Every medical facility should be this nice. Felt like a nice hotel. Someone has great taste in decorating. Thanks for making us feel at home."


Steve N.


San Diego, CA

"I recommend them highly!! I took my 2 year old daughter for a sleep study and was very impressed. Our sleep technician was amazing with her, very patient and kind. The DVD we brought to watch while getting her hooked up got stuck in the TV and they vowed to return it. We got a call the next day checking on our daughter and saying how sweet she was, they mentioned the DVD. Several days later, we received the DVD plus a new copy of the Lion King with a nice note. They are very good at what they do and if they can make a 2 year old feel at ease, they can probably do the same with anyone!!"


Anthea S.


Tempe, AZ