Awakened by nightmares, then crying, may be synonymous with children. However, nightmares are also often experienced by adults, no matter what their age. In adults, it is often a bad dream can also be triggered by various types of health problems or diseases.
Normally, nightmares don’t happen too often. So, if you include people who often have nightmares, it can be a sign that there are some medical conditions experienced, such as narcolepsy, mental disorders, sleep apnea, the influence of drugs, and nightmare syndrome.
Each detail of the health disorder will be explained below:
According to Dr. Astrid Wulan Kusumoastuti, narcolepsy is a form of neurological disorder that can affect the brain’s ability to regulate one’s sleep-wake cycle.
The extent of narcolepsy misconception as a mild disorder of lazy people, often understate the meaning of this disorder. In fact, people with narcolepsy can be isolated and feel frustrated.
Ideally, a person will experience four stages of sleep, before entering into the stage of deep sleep or REM (Rapid Eye Movement). In narcolepsy sufferers, the first four stages will pass and immediately enter the deep sleep stage.
As a result, narcolepsy sufferers will more often have nightmares and experience sleepiness (sleep paralysis). The sleepiness can be experienced for several minutes, so that the person will sleep peacefully.
Mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders, can make a person experience nightmares. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the causes.
According to Dr. Nadia Octavia, PTSD is a mental disorder due to trauma after experiencing certain life-threatening events. This is often experienced by victims of rape, war, fatal accident, or natural disaster.
Nightmares are usually depicted in the form of shadows of trauma-re-recording of events. Unresolved problems or conflicts can also trigger nightmares.
In addition, a person’s personality is also related to dreams. People who are sensitive, often avoid conflicts, harbor problems, and are easily disappointed are more vulnerable to having nightmares.
According to Dr. Alvin Nursalim, SpPD, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by respiratory distress, so that air flow is obstructed into the lungs. This incident can cause breathing stops for a few moments, before finally breathing again.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common cause of sleep apnea. OSA itself is a condition of lack of air entering the respiratory tract due to airway obstruction.
Due to airway obstruction, oxygen supply automatically decreases. Then, the brain will interpret the lack of oxygen as a real threat. For example, you can choke, suffocate, air palpitations, and unconsciously create feelings of fear that make you have nightmares.
Effects of drugs
A number of drugs that affect chemicals in the brain can increase the risk of nightmares. The drugs in question include antidepressants and narcotics. Some blood pressure-lowering drugs actually also have the risk of triggering nightmares. So, stop from drug dependence if you want to prevent unpleasant dreams.
Nightmare syndrome or often referred to as dream anxiety disorder is a sleep disorder (parasomnia) in adults which is characterized by frequent nightmares for no reason and is very clear. Neither treatment, physical disorders, or mental disorders cannot adequately explain why you can have nightmares.
Those are some health problems that can be a frequent cause of nightmares. If in this month, almost every day you experience these unpleasant conditions to shorten sleep and reduce its quality, it is better to consult a doctor directly. Because, the less time you sleep, the more your immune system will decrease.