Why exactly is it that we suffer from nightmares? Is it anxiety, an overactive imagination or something more? Scientists who have studied nightmares have discovered that over 85 percent of adults occasionally have nightmares. Eight to 29 percent of adults experience nightmares one to two times a month and two to six percent experience nightmares once a week. It is rare that you would need treatment to sort out your nightmare problem, but there are different triggers that causes them to persist.
For starters, there are two different types of night phenomena that could be keeping you awake. Night terrors happen in the early stage of sleep before you enter the REM stage of sleep. Your heart rate increases significantly, you may feel panicked or even be yelling. Only four to five percent of adults suffer from night terrors.
We are much more likely to remember the plot of a nightmare than we are to remember that of a night terror. There are many different types of dreams that you can experience ranging from post-traumatic dreams to dreams that just seem random. Stress, anxiety and medication could all be factors in creating nightmares. Barbiturates, narcotics and anti-depressants all have the effect of neurotransmitter levels, linking them to nightmares.
It can be difficult to fall asleep after a nightmare because you may be a bit afraid or emotionally revved after a bad dream. Try to relax yourself by taking deep and slow breaths. If you cannot fall asleep then get up and walk around a bit. If you’re not going to relax then it’s better not to force it.