Nightmare disorder is a sleep disorder. It is also known as an anxiety disorder. Do you think nightmares are just like our normal dreams? I am going to clear it to you that nightmare is a mental illness in which a person has extremely bad vivid dreams associated with anxiousness and fear. So it is not just like our other dreams. 

The subject matter of these nightmares usually contains a threat to his own life or a threat to the life of his family. These nightmares tend to happen during rapid eye movement (REM), it means at the end of the sleep cycle, so they are easy to remember. 

When was a nightmare disorder first diagnosed? Nightmares first emerged as a parent-reported sleep problem in a child of 24-36 months. Typically occurs between 3-6 years old childes. Peak incidence at the age of 7-9 years but can happen at any age. After the age of 10, nightmares decrease. More girls as compared to boys have nightmares. 

How do you know that a person has a nightmare disorder? The sleeper screams during the nightmare. Upon awakening, he may have an increased heartbeat and feels sweating. He may fear to go to sleep again. Daytime sleeping, fatigue and suicidal attempts are also its signs. An individual cannot perform his everyday jobs efficiently or correctly. 

Daily life’s stresses, accidents, irregular sleeping schedule are its causes. Some medications like drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease also cause this disorder. Reading horror books and watching horror movies can also be its causes. 

How the patients get rid of this disease? By using stress reduction techniques like yoga and exercise. Medications such as prazosin and cyproheptadine and correcting the schedule of sleeping can also be used to treat it. Therapies can also reduce frightening themes of nightmares and decreases its occurrence.

Less than one-third believed that their nightmares are treatable and only 38% of them, reported themselves to a healthcare provider. These findings support that these specific problems require specific attention and appropriate treatment. I think this quotation is absolutely true, ”Ignorance is not innocence, but sin”. So these disorders should not be neglected otherwise there will be severe results.

Submitted by “Iram Fatima