The Study of Nightmares


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Nightmares by Rachael Baker

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The Study of Nightmares

  1. 1. • Nightmares are terrifying dreams that occur during REM sleep that effect the sleepers feelings and mood emotionally and particularly their mind. This can leave a very negative impact on the sleeper as the dream can hold experiences of danger, a sad and scarring moment or memory.• Nightmares tend to make the sleeper feel highly anxious, scared or distressed whilst dreaming. The dreamer is also most likely to recall the dream very well since it is during REM sleep and that is when the dreamer is most likely to recall the dreams.
  2. 2. Nightmares are common in both A study of high school studentsgenders, therefore it’s predictable that they will found that around three-quartersoccur in 80-90% of people at one point in their of a group of 300 had nightmareslife. However, they are most common in young at least once a month.children aging from 3-4 and 7 or 8 years old, butthe nightmares will most likely fade away as theyprogressively get older, even though there arestill a fair amount of adults that get them. Because a less amount of adults get nightmares, studies have shown that only 5-10% have nightmares once a month or regularly.
  3. 3. What ? causesNightmares can be caused by a variousrange of possibilities such as:• The simple development stage of a child.• Drugs or medication.• Repressed memories of childhood fears or situations.• The post suffering of a traumatic event.• Experiencing stress in work or with a loved one.• Insecurities of ones self.• Marital problems.• Excessive drinking of Alcohol.• Anxiety of School or friends.Or there could be no real answer orpossibility as to why the person isenduring nightmares.
  4. 4. TheEffects of• After waking from a nightmare it can leave a very unpleasing effect on the dreamer. Some will have a jolt and suddenly feel alarmed, others will scream or moan just before waking.• Health can also be effected when having one or more experiences of nightmares. For instance, peoples emotions can change for a long period of time, fatigue, anxiety, depression or lack of sleep can also occur.• However nightmares can turn out to be more than just bad dreams where the person could be effected on their well being or mental and psychological state. Also nightmares can have a significant interference on relationships and social life, for example someone could have a nightmare about a loved one in a relationship and then decide to end the relationship all due to an interfering, horrible nightmare.
  5. 5. The History ofNightmares do have some background history and a significantpart of it is actually spiritual.Sigmund Freud for instance believed people effected bynightmares could be re-experiencing worrying events from thepast.• The Latin part of the word being ‘mare’ is said to mean the word Demon and different cultures around the world have been found that they consider nightmares being the work of demons at night.• The myth was told that this demon would sit on top of the dreamers chest, trying to paralyse them and prevent the dreamer from breathing.• Such superstition has only be proven to be a myth, even though cultures around the world are still holding their beliefs towards the myth.
  6. 6. Treating• People that are experiencing nightmares frequently have many options in terms of overcoming these bad dreams such as the following:• If the person is on medication, the nightmares may be caused by the medication so it’s probably best to lessen the dosage.• Therapy or Councelling• Imagery Rehearsal Therapy – A way to train the brain to change the nightmares into new, pleasing images. It has been proven by studies on children that it helps reduce the number of nightmares as well.• Cognitive-Behavioural techniques and/or a simple talk with a parent, family member or friend for comfort, which can at times help control nightmares.
  7. 7. Bibliography• author, unknown creation date, Nightmares, retrieved Sunday 20th May2012.•• American Sleep Association, unknown creation date, Nightmares, retrieved Sunday 20th May 2012. Book resource:• Psyched: Psychology for Year Ten: Mulchahy, M.,Cutinelli, P.,Warner, J. & Woodruff, T.(2009), Psyched : Psychology for Year Ten, Port Melbourne, VIC. Cambridge University Press• David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, created on the 22nd of February 2010, Nightmares, retrieved Sunday 20th May 2012. Cline. Published November 1st 2009, The Nightmare Files, retrieved Sunday20th May 2012.