What are Nightmares?

Mostly this is a very common condition for children up to age 12 but it can also be found in adults. The major causes of this condition are fears, anxieties, worries and some other psychological pressures and tensions. Nightmares can also be caused by eating too much food late at night. There are some other physical conditions that may cause you nightmares such as, Sleep apnea, nasal crusts that don’t allow sufficient inhalation of the oxygen during sleep. Insufficient oxygen to the brain during sleep can cause nightmares.

What are the Symptoms of Nightmares?

  • There are various symptoms of nightmares. When you are experiencing dreams that seem vibrant and true and are very disconcerting, it is a nightmare. The dreams get more disturbing as it progresses.
  • In most cases, the dreams are related to some sort of threat to safety or survival. However, it can also relate to other disturbing themes.
  • Sometimes it may be so threatening that it makes you sweat or you may have a thumping heartbeat while in bed which will wake you up.
  • It can be so devastating that you may not want to sleep immediately unless the mental trauma from that dream subsides. As a result, you may become angry, disgusted, or disturbed.

What are the Causes of Nightmares?

  • Some of the major causes of nightmares can be stress and anxiety or Trauma. It is seen that people with some sort of history of anxiety attacks are more prone to get nightmares. Sleep deficiency is also one of the common causes of nightmares.
  • This can also be caused by a few medications. Especially when you are being treated for depression and taking antidepressants and blood pressure medications. Some drugs which are used to treat Parkinson’s can also cause nightmares.
  • Sometimes consuming alcohol or recreational drugs may give you nightmares.
  • Mental health plays an important role in this condition. So, any sort of mental health disorder can trigger nightmares. Also, cancer patients tend to get more nightmares because of their mental condition and other medications.

When to see a Doctor?

  • This condition is not considered to be a disorder until you experience it more frequently than normal and it is a persistent scenario for you.
  • In case it is disturbing you to take your routine sleep and causing you the fear of sleeping. Lack of sleep may cause various daytime behavioral issues and difficulty in functioning.
  • So, in case you are experiencing any of these or all of these, please consult your doctor.

Lifestyle Prevention of Nightmares

  • Preventing nightmares is easy. If you are practicing some healthy preventive measures, you may avoid nightmares.
  • Eating early and less in quantity is important before going to bed. So be very particular about this practice. Mental health is crucial and being positive mentally is really helpful in preventing nightmares. The nightmares are mostly caused by negative imaginations, feeling lonely, disturbed relationships, etc. So being positive all the time may be challenging. Trying to read books that talk about positive thinking or prayer is a great way to cultivate a positive mindset.
  • Stress management is again a very crucial practice in order to stop nightmares. So please do pranayama, or meditation to get rid of the nightmares.
  • For the child, some oil massages before bed help to prevent nightmares. Use Brahmi or Bhingraj oil on the soles of the feet and on the scalp.

Common Ayurvedic Remedies for Nightmares

Some of the Ayurvedic remedies are very effective in treating nightmares by dealing with sleep disorders and anxiety. Herbs like Jatamnsi, Brahmi, Licorice root, Ashwagandha are great resources.
  • Jatamansi: It is known to be a natural sedative and hence helps you to fall asleep quickly. Eating it in powder form or soaking it in hot water for about 5 hours, then drinking it at bedtime will help you to get a night of better sleep at night.
  • Ashwagandha: This herb is one of the best herbs for relieving stress and anxiety and also helps in boosting energy. Take ½ tsp of powdered ashwagandha and mix it with milk at night.
  • Brahmi: This is again a very famous herb to treat anxiety, depression and hence called as “Brain tonic”. It is also a natural sedative and can help you sleep as well. 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered brahmi with honey before or after lunch or dinner.
Curative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Preventative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Avi Kumar

Avi is an irreverent hard-core Engineer turned Marketer, who is focused on unveiling the secrets of Ayurveda, scientifically. His aim is to research Ayurveda, take what works, discard what's superseded by new discoveries, and in all increase in human knowledge.

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