Nightmares

Posted by Lachmi Deb Roy on Sat, Nov 19, 2011  
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Everybody has to deal with night mares at point of time. Some get bad dreams regularly while others once in a while. Current neuro- imaging studies of the dreaming brain suggest that dreams are actually a result of mix and match of the brain’s processing of the day’s experiences as it stores important stuffs in the memories and discards the unnecessary.

 

The five most common themes of nightmares are falling from a building, being chased, being late and death of a loved one. While being fired from a job and violence were common in men, while nightmares about sexual harassment or death of a loved one have become very common amongst women. Through dreams brain actually tries to deal with the stressor. Usually, people work through their negative emotions first and then during the latter half of their dreams negative emotions turn into positive emotions. 

 

While nightmares are generally caused by stress, but nightmares can happen when a person has lost some body very close to his or her heart and at the same time excessive use of alcohol and medication can also lead to nightmares. When a person is running very high temperature he gets nightmares.

 

Prazosin HCL, an antihypertensive medication is effective for reducing nightmares for some people. Like any other medication, this medication too has side effects and should be used only with the consultation of a physician. When you discontinue this medication, the beneficial effects of medication do not last as long as those of behavioural treatment.

 

There are a few self helps techniques which one can follow to avoid getting these night mares. One should avoid watching horror movies which has lots of violence in it. Eat light snacks like milk or yogurt. Both contain calcium and tryptophan, which can have a relaxing effect. Try making a journal of your dreams by just writing it down and then finding out how it relates to your life at present to prevent it from recurring.

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