Waking up in the middle of the night from nightmare episodes, the plot of which would be envied by the best screenwriters and writers in the style of horror, we are relieved to realize that what was seen was just a dream.
Nevertheless, the body needs time in order for the heart rate to normalize, and the whole body to release a trembling numbness, sometimes reaching sleep paralysis. Considering how frightening and unpleasant nightmares can be, experts are interested in the possibility of preventing them, including a complete “shutdown”. Despite the fact that not much research has been carried out in this area, scientists suggest that people who know the techniques of lucid dreams can answer this question.
Why do we see nightmares?
Experts are convinced that nightmares are part of human experience and represent some kind of interpretation of experienced stress and psychological stress, even though in most cases children from 7 to 10 years are exposed to it. Doctors do not consider rare nightmares a pathology, but if disturbing dreams happen too often, they can significantly affect the upcoming day and the life of a person as a whole. Frequent nightmares can be a symptom of a psychological disorder that could be caused by extreme stress, trauma or certain types of drugs.
Despite previous sleep studies, nightmares still remain only partially understood. At the moment, it is known that often nightmares are dreams of REM sleep phase or in the so-called REM phase, which is characterized by rapid eye movement and increased brain activity. It was found that at the time when a person is in the phase of REM sleep, his brain is almost as active as in the wakeful phase.
Can nightmares be prevented?
According to an article published on the portal livescience.com, Japanese scientists have confirmed the existence of conscious dreaming and continue to conduct research on their study. For a lucid dream, it is customary to consider those dreams in which a person is fully aware of his condition and can even, to some extent, control the content of night vision, as well as leave it. Experts attribute “lucid dreaming” to a borderline state that lies between the REM and Wake phase.
Despite the fact that medical practice for the development of conscious consciousness is not yet used by doctors, some experts have already developed several methods for their development. For example, research results published in 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology confirm the positive consequences for people suffering from constant nightmares after applying such an unusual therapy in a dream.
According to one of the methods, a person suffering from nightmares needs to set an alarm 30 minutes earlier than he usually wakes up, conduct his daily morning routines, and then go to bed again. According to experts, an awakening and a break between sleep, can help the human brain go to the intermediate stage between the phase of REM sleep and wakefulness.
According to experts, it is the intermediate phase that makes it possible to control a dream, and subsequently prevent nightmares, since brain activity in this phase of sleep allows a person to distinguish reality from dreams. Experts also note that lucid dreaming is only one of the methods to prevent nightmares, although they do not give guarantees of their complete deliverance.