Sleep Disorder Due to Nightmares


Q: Im 14 year old and all my life i have had problems sleeping and getting to sleep. when i do get to sleep i have horrible nightmares but when i wake up i can barely remember what happened in the dream. i toss in turn at night to get to sleep and i think i toss and turn while im sleep. Sometimes my dreams are so scary that im afraid to go to sleep. Is there an explanation for this?


A:   Nightmares usually occur when one is in deep sleep and is usually associated with REM sleep ( phase of sleep ). Night mares have been shown to aggravate with stress and anxiety. While there are no medications that can help you certain lifestyle changes and sleep hygiene methods may improve your symptoms. They are :

Try to sleep at the same time every night even on weekends and wake up at the same time
Avoid a very heavy meal just before sleeping, avoid alcohol, coffee and liquids 2 hours before sleep
Do not watch TV/read in bed. If you dont get sleep then still lie in bed.
Avoid excessive exercise just before sleeping , however do exercise during the day or evening as it has shown to help sleep patterns.
Try yoga or meditation and other stress relieving mechanisms. All the best.

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