Are you having nightmares? Are you looking for medication for nightmares? First, you need to know what a nightmare is and how they occur. Read ahead to get to know everything about nightmares.
Have you ever fallen from a building in your dream or felt a shadow pulling you towards or sitting on you? If yes, then this piece of knowledge is for you. However, sleep is supposed to be peaceful and free of any stress. But what if there is continuously something running on your mind? That “something” is called a dream that does not let you sleep in peace.
Dreams are of various kinds; however, nightmares are the most troublesome dreams. Nightmares are mere chaos. Have you ever experienced a nightmare? Or are you taking any medication for nightmares? If you have recurring dreams, you may have nightmare disorder.
To better understand nightmares, their types, causes, and treatments, read this article and decide in what category you lie.
Table of Contents
What are nightmares?
A nightmare is a dream, but not an ordinary one. A nightmare is a terrific or disturbing dream associated with negative feelings. Most of the time, nightmares occur in the second half of the night or when the person is in a deep sleep.
Nightmares are commonly associated with children, but they are also frequent in some adults who have a history of mental illnesses and life problems. It has been estimated that about 60% to 85% of adults have nightmares. It won’t be wrong to say that adults have more nightmares than children.
Types of nightmares
There are various types of nightmares recorded. All have different causes; additionally, medication for nightmares solely depends on its type.
These nightmares are the repetition of the same traumatic incident over and over again. It does overlap with recurrent and post-traumatic nightmares in some characteristics. Let’s say I had recently been in a car crash, so that I might be having a continuous dream about that.
People are usually afraid of sharing their fears and insecurities. Those insecurities are stored in the subconscious of a person. Hence when we go to sleep, we will see some confused, jumbled-up nightmares. It may send chills down our spines, and we will not be able to analyze what has happened or is happening.
As their name suggests, recurrent dreams are frequently occurring plans. They might show an individual’s relevance with the place or person appearing in the dream. For instance, I see an old abandoned park with only one boy sitting on a bench. It might indicate that I have a relationship with either the place or the boy.
Idiopathic dreams are imaginary dreams and have no relevance to your real life. For instance, if you see Dora playing basketball with your siblings in a dream, that is an idiopathic dream. They are common in kids and eventually disappear when kids are grown. Stress or anxiety can cause Idiopathic dreams.
Post-traumatic dreams usually occur when an individual goes through some traumatic experience in life, as a result of which he has developed PTSD. It consists of real life, even in absurd form. For instance, in the TV series Riverdale, Archibald Andrews goes on a war, and in that war, he fails to protect his soldiers in the blast, which leads to PTSD. He sees a similar dream of his batchmate dying and being suffocated by that.
Are you seeing yourself in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly you see a beam of light emerging from one corner? These types of dreams are prophetic dreams. The prophetic dreams indicate the coming of order after chaos in life. For example, you have been failing financially for months and have this dream. Researchers say that prophetic dreams indicate that your problems are near to being solved in this situation.
Inspirational dreams indicate the achievement of specific goals in a person’s life. For instance, you dream of going up or flying in the sky. This suggests that you will achieve what you have been struggling for.
Why do we have nightmares?
Nightmares are different for every individual. If you see yourself drowning, the other person might see himself flying. There could be various causes behind these nightmares.
Getting off of any medication may also lead to the occurrence of nightmares. They may also occur if you are taking antidepressants or any other medicines for mental illness. If this is the situation, then you are supposed to contact the doctor who has prescribed that medicine for you. Tell him how you are having nightmares and also other symptoms if visible. The doctor might prescribe you an alternative treatment, or he will also give you medication for nightmares.
Anxiety or stress
Have you been under stress lately? Do you have anxiety about your future? Are you also suffering from nightmares? There is a possibility that you are having nightmares because of stress and anxiety. The traumatic life experiences contributing to stress will pave the way toward nightmares. Individuals suffering from chronic stress and anxiety are more likely to suffer from a nightmare disorder.
Is your brother having nightmares? Does he have any history of mental issues? If yes, those could contribute to the occurrence of nightmares. PTSD, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and numerous other mental conditions are most prominent. These conditions may also lead to insomnia. For instance, prazosin for nightmares is often prescribed for PTSD.
Alcohol and narcotics
Alcohol and other narcotics consumption can cause massive damage to your brain. That damage can also cause mental disorders, physical illnesses, and sometimes nightmares. For instance, if you are at a bachelorette party and get heavily drunk, you may have an intense nightmare. The alcohol in your blood metabolizes your system.
Are you working night shifts? Are you deprived of sleep? The rapid eye movement caused by sleeplessness will contribute to the happening of nightmares and other vivid dreams. If you are an insomniac, you should consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and he might prescribe you dream suppression medication for better sleep.
Horror movies or books
Are you a fan of horror fiction and reality? Have you recently experienced a paranormal event, read a horror book, or seen a horror movie? If yes, then these things are responsible for your nightmares. Watching horror things right before bed is significantly associated with nightmares.
History of nightmare
If an individual has had nightmares as a child, they may reappear in adulthood. In this case, you must consult a doctor to get medication for nightmares.
Nightmares have themes!
Before moving towards medication for nightmares, it is crucial to be aware of the theme of your nightmare. Nightmares are also thematic, which symbolize what is happening in your life. Written below are some of the common themes of nightmares.
Falling from height is the most common theme in dreams. Approximately 168 million people search for the meaning of descending dreams on google. It indicates the frequent occurrence of the dream.
Numerous times, I saw myself walking on the edge of a skyscraper and falling or even climbing the stairs and falling from millions of feet. These types of dreams symbolize insecurities and unease in life. It also appears when you are feeling overwhelmed by something.
Oh no, I had an exam, and I am late!
But wait, it’s 5 am! …oh it was a dream
Have you ever encountered this situation where you are running late for an exam or any other major event of your life? Did you wonder what it means?
Running late is one of the most commonly occurring nightmares. Dreams like this indicate our mental condition. Anxiety disguised as a dream makes us see ourselves getting late. When you are panicking or getting anxious regarding a situation in your real life, that panic or anxiety will be subconsciously stored in your brain when you are asleep.
Did you see someone chasing you? Was it a bear or a human? No matter who it was, being chased in a dream holds great significance. It suggests that you might be running from your fear or insecurity. It also tells that there is anxiety in real life which is chasing you like a maniac. It also indicates that you can run away or fight your insecurities. If you see a chaser, it may also tell you your own negative energy as a threatening body.
Dreams about drowning are dark. They usually occur when you face any insecurity or health problem or see your loved one suffer from an illness. Drowning in dreams tends to show the feeling of being overwhelmed. It indicated the fear of becoming powerless in front of a problem of feeling helpless. Drowning in dreams can be considered fatalistic as they reveal your powerlessness in the show of an irresistible force.
Oh no, my teeth fell out! (looks in the mirror).
Phew! It was a bad dream.
Did this ever happen to you? Teeth are the central element of your appearance. They indicate your insecurity about the way you look. You might have complications in accepting how you look and appear or feel judged when someone talks about your appearance. In this scenario, you will have dreams of teeth falling, suggesting that you are worried about how people perceive your appearance.
Being naked in public
What could be a bigger nightmare than seeing yourself naked in public? There could be multiple interpretations of being naked, varying in the setting. If you see yourself naked in front of your loved one, it may reflect that you have a fear of rejection during an intimate moment. Seeing yourself naked in a public setting may suggest your fear of revealing insecurity or weakness in front of others.
Furthermore, seeing yourself naked at your workplace indicates that you feel vulnerable about your position, or you might be oppressed at your work. In summary, being naked reflects a person’s insecurity in any setting.
Are you flying to another state, or have you grown wings overnight? Oh, it was just a dream! But what does that mean? Freedom is usually personified by flying. Similarly, flying in a dream represents escaping from a situation or an individual who possesses a lot of pressure on you. If you are afraid of flying, it indicates that something is keeping you from flying and achieving your dreams, and you lack self-confidence.
What part of the brain controls nightmares?
Are you taking medication for nightmares? Do you know how to prevent nightmares? Are you aware that part of the brain controls what? Are you familiar with what part of your brain holds dreams? If not, then let’s study it!
The brain itself is a complex organ. Knowing what part controls our dream took ages for scientists to discover. Dreams are generated from the temporal lobe of the brain. It is the second most significant brain area located right behind our ears.
The Amygdala, a complex cell structure right in the middle of the brain and attached to the temporal lobe, is said to be responsible for fear behavior. This part is responsible for recreating and rebuilding memories.
Are nightmares trying to say something?
Dreams are regarded as the repetition of everyday routine. However, nightmares are the dreams of our unsolved anxiety and mystery.
They usually symbolize our everyday life and contain suppressed thoughts in our subconscious. Nightmares are absurd, realistic, and disturbing.
It is believed that nightmares indicate what is happening or what could happen in our life. Most often, they are related to negative thoughts. If you are having a nightmare continuously for several days, then your subconscious might be telling you something important. When your emotions are buried inside, they find ways to emerge. Thus when they don’t see a way, they become nightmares.
Ask yourself about how you feel about situations in your life. If you are going through a hard time, vent to someone, see a therapist, or consider dream suppression medication or the medication for nightmares.
Nightmares vs. night terrors
People are seen to be confusing nightmares with night terrors. Although they sound the same, there is a slight difference between them. Both of them occur at different stages of sleep. The table below indicates the difference between nightmare and night terror.
|Disturbing and vividly realistic dreams.||Frightening dreams cause emotional distress.|
|Occur late at night.||Occur in the beginning of the night.|
|Significant effect on children.||It affects both adults and children.|
|It is caused by stress or trauma.||It is caused by disruption of the brain.|
|Occur in the REM phase||Occur in the NREM phase
|Easy to remember||Difficult to remember|
|Include groaning or indistinct speaking.||Can cause physical changes like sweating, screaming or crying|
|The sufferer will have less fear than night terror.||The sufferer will be terrified.|
Is a nightmare a disorder?
The occurrence of nightmares is commonly not associated with the disorder. However, your state might be called a nightmare disorder if you have a history of monsters, recurrence, or visible distress.
Nightmare disorder is also called parasomnia, which occurs when asleep or awakening from sleep. As nightmare disorder is the prevalent occurrence of nightmares, the cause for both is also the same. It may appear due to trauma, stress, or a disorder. Going to a therapist or taking medication for nightmares can be helpful.
How to get rid of nightmares?
Do you want to end the series of your nightmares? Have you given up on your state? Are you not agreeing to take medication for nightmares? Don’t worry; you can help yourself with natural remedies listed below:
Better night routine
If you are under a lot of stress lately, you should relax before going to bed. Take a warm bath, meditate, solve puzzles, read calming books, and listen to white noise or soothing music.
Talk about it or write it
Had a dream? Remember what it was? Write it down ASAP! Experts say that talking or writing about your vision will help you vent out and lower the chances of nightmares.
Use of essential oils
Using essential oils regularly helps relax your mind. Lavender and chamomile are great contributors to sleep. Add some drops of oil in water and spray all over or use lavender oil to massage your forehead.
Using natural herbs also contributes to better sleep. Herbs like passion flower, chamomile, or valerian help relax your nervous system, leading to peaceful sleep.
Who doesn’t like happy endings, but it is not always possible? As far as our nightmares are concerned, we can rewrite the endings. Doing this will reduce the chances of nightmares. For instance, if you had a nightmare about being chased by a wolf in a forest, you may rewrite it as playing with your dog in a park.
Avoid watching or reading scary things
Watching or reading something scary can impact your subconscious mind, resulting in a generation of nightmares. Therefore, avoiding watching anything that may harm your brain is recommended.
Medication for nightmares
There are various medications for nightmares depending upon their cause and intensity. Mentioned below is the list of medicines that can be used in treating nightmares, according to the study.
Prazosin is one of the most effectively used medications. It is known that prazosin has effectively decreased nightmares or eventually brought them to an end.
Prazosin for nightmares is usually prescribed to patients with PTSD. It can be taken before bedtime and the lowest quantity recommended is 1mg. However, you must not take any medication without the doctor’s prescription. Prazosin might be helpful for your friend with PTSD, but for you suffering from depression, this may not work.
Other than prazosin, numerous other medications for nightmares, including Atypical Antipsychotics. Some smaller studies show that these also contribute to lowering the occurrence of nightmares. However, it might have more adverse effects than other medications.
The use of clonidine is limited and not 100% proven because of its narrow approach. It was tested on patients with PTSD, but the number of patients was less, which resulted in denying that it can treat nightmares.
Patients who took trazodone claim it is an ineffective drug for nightmares, and those who approve of it have at least one side effect.
Patients using gabapentin showed minor improvement in their sleep and a decreased amount of nightmares.
No one has control over their nightmares. They are usually because of underlying causes. There could be many reasons for recurrent nightmares, and you want to be cured of sleepless nights.
Try to talk to yourself and look up the reasons which are causing nightmares. Those reasons could be stress, substance abuse, or trauma. It is essential to know the root cause. Otherwise, it will lead to significant mental problems.
It is recommended to visit a therapist as soon as possible. Furthermore, do not take medication for nightmares without a prescription. Your therapist may prescribe dream suppression medication or prazosin for nightmares. Ensure to obey all the instructions given by the doctor.