Nightmare’s Impact on Mental Health:From Night Fears to Daytime Anxiety

In Health
June 06, 2024

Nightmares are more than waking up at midnight by disturbing and nuisance dreams. These dreams are terrible and intense. They have the ability to disturb our daily routine, harm the mental health and physiological health as well. The tremendous consequences that nightmares may have on people are being more and more recognised by therapists and mental health experts.

The Nature of Nightmares

Nightmares are frequent terrible and horrible dreams, which will affect your one’s safety. Although having dreams once in a while is normal, having dreams frequently may indicate more serious psychological problems. Dr. Sarah Williams, clinical physiologist and sleep specialist, states the impact of nightmares like stress, trauma, and mental illnesses. The severity depends upon the interpretation of dream by our brain.

Psychological Impact

Persistent nightmares can have an extensive psychological effect. There are stress and anxiety issues observed in the people who have frequent nightmares. Insomnia is also seen, because of fear of another nightmare estimation when sleeping. It is difficult to escape the never-ending cycle that is created when anxiety and sadness are made worse by sleep deprivation.

As per the Dr. William’s statement, “frequent nightmares have a great impact on sleep cycle and reduces restorative sleep”. This will result in tiredness and weakness in daytime, Consequently leads to lack of concentration and focus. These symptoms will be more intense with passing time, and can make the person’s daily life so difficult.

Connection to Trauma

The nightmares have a close relation with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who have traumatic past, have high risk of nightmares. These past experiences may also affect the treatment efficiency. According to Dr. Williams, if a person has a traumatic past, then nightmares are the replay of that incident, and it is difficult for a person to distance themselves from their past experiences.

Therapeutic Approaches

Overcoming nightmares necessitates a multidimensional strategy. The best choice for therapists is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT changes the perspective of a person toward the nightmare and reduces its impact. imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT) is also given, which includes the replay of nightmares but with a happy ending.

Dr. Williams explains the importance of therapists in the treatment of nightmares. Therapists can reduce the frequency of nightmares with the help of tools and strategies to manage the disorder and also help the treatment of impact disorder caused by nightmares.

Rather than a bad dream, nightmares have a serious impact on mental and physiological health resulting in anxiety, despair, and difficulties going about everyday tasks. Those who are aware about the negative consequences regarding nightmares have suitable therapy to improve their general mental health and reclaim control over their sleep patterns.