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Definition and Origin of Nightmares: – Defined as disturbing dreams causing fear, anxiety, or despair. – Originates from Old English ‘niht’ meaning night and ‘mare’ […]

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Definition and Origin of Nightmares:
– Defined as disturbing dreams causing fear, anxiety, or despair.
– Originates from Old English ‘niht’ meaning night and ‘mare’ meaning demon.
– Associated with folklore, superstitions, and not exclusive to any culture or time period.
– Often linked to sleep disorders like sleep paralysis.

Causes and Triggers of Nightmares:
– Caused by factors like stress, trauma, or medications.
– Triggers can include certain foods, medications, or environmental factors.
– Manifestation of unresolved emotions or fears.
– Linked to PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders.
– Genetic predisposition may play a role, as per research.

Symptoms, Effects, and Impact on Health:
– Symptoms include sweating, rapid heart rate, and feelings of terror.
– Can lead to sleep deprivation and anxiety disorders.
– More prevalent in children than adults.
– Affects daily functioning and quality of life.
– May indicate underlying psychological issues.

Treatment Approaches and Management of Nightmares:
– Therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes are treatment options.
– Cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces nightmare frequency.
– Medications like Prazosin are used for PTSD-associated nightmares.
– Relaxation techniques and improved sleep hygiene help manage nightmares.
– Addressing underlying mental health issues is crucial for long-term management.

Cultural, Historical, and Research Significance of Nightmares:
– Depicted in art, literature, and folklore historically.
– Varying cultural interpretations exist.
– Some societies view nightmares as messages from the spirit world.
– Historical beliefs in supernatural entities causing nightmares.
– Research explores prevalence, impact, and treatment for better health outcomes.

Nightmare (Wikipedia)

A nightmare, also known as a bad dream, is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear but also despair, anxiety, disgust or sadness. The dream may contain situations of discomfort, psychological or physical terror, or panic. After a nightmare, a person will often awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a short period of time. Recurrent nightmares may require medical help, as they can interfere with sleeping patterns and cause insomnia.

SpecialtyPsychology, psychiatry
CausesStress, anxiety, fever

Nightmares can have physical causes such as sleeping in an uncomfortable position or having a fever, or psychological causes such as stress or anxiety. Eating before going to sleep, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, can be a potential stimulus for nightmares.

The prevalence of nightmares in children (5–12 years old) is between 20 and 30%, and for adults between 8 and 30%. In common language, the meaning of nightmare has extended as a metaphor to many bad things, such as a bad situation or a scary monster or person.

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