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Nightmare Disorder Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Nightmare Disorder?

Nightmare disorder, or dream anxiety disorder, is a sleep disorder marked by frequent nightmares.

Such nightmares usually occur during the REM stage of sleep.

A diagnosis of nightmare disorder is only made if the nightmares cause distress, fear of sleeping or problems with daytime functioning.

Causes Of Nightmare Disorder:

Nightmare disorder can be caused by a number of reasons.

Ordinary stresses, such as problem at home, can trigger nightmares

Accidents, injuries and other traumatic event may cause post-traumatic disorder. PTSD may cause nightmares.

  • Sleep deprivation.

Irregular sleeping and waking times can increase risk of having nightmares

Drugs, used to treat Parkinson’s disease, may trigger nightmares as side effects.

  • Substance abuse.

Alcohol and illegal drug use or withdrawal can trigger nightmares.

  • Scary books and movies.
  • Other disorders

Some medical conditions and mental health disorders as well as other sleep disorders can be associated with having nightmares.

Symptoms Of Nightmare Disorder:

Nightmares experienced by those suffering from nightmare disorder may include the following features:

  • Nightmare seems vivid and real, often becoming more disturbing as the dream unfolds
  • Dream storyline is usually related to threats to your safety or survival
  • One feels scared, anxious, angry, sad or disgusted as a result of the dream
  • one feels sweaty or have a pounding heartbeat, but do not leave the bed
  • one can think clearly upon awakening and can recall details of the dream
  • the dream keeps one from falling back to sleep easily
  • Usually the sleeper may scream or yell out things

Diagnosis Of Nightmare Disorder:

Nightmare cannot be diagnosed through tests.

The doctor may refer the individual to a psychologist for assessment and management.

Moreover, a sleep study can be done to diagnose sleep disorders.

Treatment Of Nightmare Disorder:

If nightmare causes one distress, treatment can be seeked.

Knowing the underlying cause of nightmares helps in providing treatment to cure it.

The following treatments are available:

  • Medical condition treatment.
  • Stress or anxiety treatment.
  • Imagery rehearsal therapy

By : Natural Health News

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