What Are Nightmares And Their Reasoning?
Individuals normally spend more than two hours each night dreaming. Scientists and psychologists don’t quite understand much about how or why we dream. Sigmund Freud, believed that dreaming was a “safety valve” for unconscious desires. A nightmare is a disturbing dream that results in feeling frightened, distressed, fearful, and full of anxiety. A reasonable guess is that nightmares are a normal reaction to psychological triggers like stress, trauma, anxiety, or the brain helping people work through some life event. Medications and drugs can also create nightmare occurrences due to their impact of increased metabolism and the signals they send the brain to become more active. The frequent occurrence of nightmares that disrupts individual lives, are called a “sleep disorder.” Scientists refers to its ongoing occurrence, as a “nightmare disorder,” or “repeated nightmares.” Even though nightmares are considered more common in children, one out of every two adults has occasional nightmares and between 2% and 8% of the adult population is plagued by nightmares.
Connection Between Menopause And Nightmares
Sleep disorders or sleep apnea increases in menopausal women aged 50 and older. Insomnia is a common side effect of menopause, where women can not enter into a deep REM phase of sleep. With continued disruption of sleep patterns, normal dreaming ceases and troubled dream patterns emerge. As women go through menopause, physical and hormonal changes makes sleep less sound and lighter. Women wake up more often during the night due to the physical changes taking place within their menopausal bodies, such as night sweats, anxiety heart racing, and hot flashes. The common connection between menopause and nightmares, are a result of restless sleep disorders, that affect proper breathing, restless leg syndrome, involuntary limb movement, and narcolepsy.
Causes Of Nightmare During Menopause
The causes for nightmares during menopause are considered to be both psychological and physical. The psychological changes that menopausal women go through attribute greatly to sleep problems, thus causing stress related nightmares. The changing hormone levels experienced by women aged 50+, are linked with sleep disordered breathing and snoring. Sleep-disordered breathing is a common symptom in menopausal women. Multiple breathing cessations during sleep apnea events results in disturbed sleep causing nightmares and fatigue during the day. Daily work, family and lifestyle events contribute to women going through menopause, who already are not resting fully. Depression and anxiety are more prevalent in menopausal women and also contributes to sleep disorders and fretful nightmare dreams.
Side Effects Of Nightmares On Health
When menopausal women have night terrors or nightmares, their menopause interrupted sleep symptom, is further interrupted when they awake in a fearful state. This type of restless sleep is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems. Sleep in all individuals is a priority, rather than a luxury because the right amount of sleep keeps chronic medical conditions at bay. Nearly half of all American women develop sleeping disorders when they enter perimenopause and menopause stages, due to fluctuating hormones.
Solution For Nightmares During Menopause
Insomnia during menopause should be discussed with a primary care physician. Sleep disorders can be treated effectively without stress on the body. There are some simple tips that should be able to help, which should help to suppress or reduce REM sleep in order to prevent chronic nightmares:
• Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol
Avoid anything that contain stimulants like alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, before going to bed, such as coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, and non-herbal teas.
Incorporate light exercise in your daily lifestyle by exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day in the beginning. Daytime, daily exercise helps menopausal women to fall asleep easier.
Wear lightweight nighttime ware, as well as light bedding sheets that will keep moisture away from the skin.
• Melatonin Supplement
Take a .5 milligram of a melatonin supplement about 2 hours before going to bed. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is located just above the middle of the brain. The pineal gland is naturally inactive during the day, but when it is time to go to bed, it turns on, releasing melatonin into the blood system. Women going through menopause have a disruptive melatonin flow and thus sleeplessness occurs. Taking a light dose of a melatonin supplement helps to make up for its loss during menopause, allowing women to have a more restful, “nightmareless” night.
Everyone experiences nightmares for a variety of reasons. However, menopausal women experiences them due to hormone and body changes. Menopausal nightmares can be alleviated with some lifestyle changes and help from your physician. There are many natural and organic herbs that can help with menopause insomnia and dietary changes that include eating more plant-based, high-fiber, low fat foods into your daily regiment. Menopausal women do not need to suffer with nightmares, there is help.