You suddenly wake up, the sweat drops dripping your face and your heart is in your throat. Meanwhile, just keep saying, “It was just a dream.” Recognizable? And was it “but” a dream? Everyone has once had a nightmare , a really terrifying dream, which you can often refer to in detail! But what are nightmares actually? And what’s the difference with a scary dream?
More than a scary dream
A nightmare is a terrifying dream in which the dreamer experiences a sense of powerlessness . He is chased but can not run away; The floors and walls deposit in or the dreamer is in the water that he can not swim at all. Often people feel anguish and sometimes even physical pain during a nightmare.
A nightmare is not just a scary dream. For a nightmare, you do not sleep like a bad dream, but suddenly you wake up in the middle of the dream. After waking up, you often know all the details of your dream yet. This is also a difference with night anxiety , which often remembers one person. Night anxiety is a sleep disorder that awakens a deep sleep with a sudden panic attack.
Everyone can sometimes have a nightmare, but they usually occur in small children from about 4 to 7 years old. These can be “loose” nightmares, but also recurring themes – a nightmare that comes back every time. In adults, nightmares also occur, but often the frequency decreases as you grow older. Women seem to suffer from nightmares than men, but talk about it more.
How is a nightmare caused?
In small children nightmares are mainly caused by the development. Also, small children often spend longer time in REM sleep , the sleepmoment in which dreams and nightmares occur. Therefore, they suffer more and more regularly.
During sleep, experiences are taken during the daytime. So if an anxious moment has been experienced during the day, this could lead to a possible nightmare. Children often experience nightmares, because they can not always see the difference between reality and dream.
In adults, a nightmare is often caused by emotions that spell out nasty situations from everyday life or past events such as:
– Traumatic experiences
– A death
– Violent events
– Long-term use of sleepers
Can you do something about nightmares?
In children the nightmares with the years are less; they grow over there. In adults, nightmares often do not occur automatically. The cause of the nightmare must be addressed. Problems that cause a lot of stress, for example.
If a nightmare clearly emerges from a traumatic experience or nasty event, then processing plays an important role, for example, for someone in special therapy. In addition, it is important to relax in bed . Do not go to sleep on electronic devices – reading a book, taking a bath and taking a walk will reduce the chance of nightmares.