Unescapable nightmare

Patient

Q: I have a sleeping problem. I moved to college 2 months ago and have been having problems waking up. I never remember my dreams but when I do they are nightmares. I always wake up multiple times throughout the night and its like something is pulling me back to sleep. when I have nightmares I still wake up in the middle of the night but I end up in a different scenario of the same dream. This is affecting my daily life.

Symptoms:  Nightmares, trouble waking up
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. We are sorry that you are experiencing such nightmares. Your nightmares and sleep disturbances are possibly stress related. Since you have newly moved to a new place of residence in college you, are likely undergoing a lot of stress with this change. This is very common among persons who have newly started college and are living away from home. We recommend that you try to utilize some relaxation techniques prior to going to sleep to see if this will assist you in getting a good night's rest. One relaxation technique you utilize is some focused deep breathing to relax your mind and body prior to rest. Another important piece of advise we can give you is to try to avoid excessive caffeine intake throughout the day, especially prior to going to sleep. This effects of this stimulant can delay you sleep and leading to excessive daytime unrestfullness.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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