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Published On: Mon, Jun 25th, 2018

Parasomnias: the truth unraveled

While many of us battle with insomnia which is characterized by lack of sleep, there are others which undergo parasomnias. Parasomnias are usually night terrors that are occur due to partial arousals. These are further classified as nightmares, night terrors leading to frightened awakening, sleep walking and confusing arousals that usually occur in children and sometimes with adolescent.

The children or adolescent undergoing such sleeping disorders is unaware of the condition but the person handling these issues might be dealing with difficulty. Nevertheless! these disorders are not serious conditions and can be treated if adequate medication and proper sleeping patterns are followed. But before that, we need to understand, what different types of sleeping disorders means and how they differ.

Conquering Nightmares

After spending the entire day juggling between work, we lie on our bed to sleep. Though the body and the mind are at rest but our subconscious mind never sleeps.This is time when the reel starts to play the midnight movie and it never ceases to amaze us. But sometimes, these dreams can be very disturbing and wake us from sleep.  Though a lot of studies have been conducted to study and see what causes dreams and hallucinations, but nothing concrete has come forth. Except that only a fewhypotheses exist nothing has been confirmed about its underlying cause.

Nightmares are characterized by vivid scenes that we see while sleeping and they tend to generate the feeling of terror, fear, anxiety and anger within. This is a kind of parasomnia that usually occur during the rapid eye movement phase of sleeping. To further explain about the phase, we bifurcate the stage of sleep. For every person, there are four stages of sleeping and it is the stage 4 that is the rapid eye movement stage occurs where we see dreams and sometimes nightmares. All other stages are non-rapid eye movement phase and have different sleeping cycle.

How To Ward Off Nightmares

Though controlling nightmares largely remains an unchartered territory. Still, byworking on its underlying causes it can be curbed to some extent. For instance, if you are constantly watching media and movies that involve scary creatures, thrill and suspense then this should be immediately stopped. This is mainly because, we all recall the visualimagery and it remains etched on our minds. Therefore, they might regenerate while sleeping and this can trigger nightmares. After having a nightmare, it usually becomes difficult to get back to sleep. However, if you continue to see nightmares for more than a week, it is advisable to visit a doctor.

Environment is another factor causing nightmares, as temperature whether too hot or too cold affects our sleeping pattern. Besides, traumatic experiences, or the loss of anyone dear is another reason for getting frightened during the night.

Sleep Walking

Sleep walking is another sleeping disorder which is characterized by complex behavior while sleeping. It involves occasional blabbering and walking while sleeping and during this time the eyes wide open. This gives an impression that the person is awake but on the contrary such person in the state of a trance and are seeing through others. This disorder is a typical behavior among children and can be due to several reasons.

What Causes Sleep Walking

There are many triggers that can cause sleep walking. It usually occurs when a person is fatigued, stressed and get anxiety attacks. As mentioned previously, there are four stages of sleep and sleep walking happens during the stage 3. It usually does not occur during naps and happens when you are in your second or third cycle of the stage 3 sleeping. This is when non-rapid eye movement (REM) happens. While sleep walking the person is unware about his behavior. Doctor usually link this disorder to genetic conditions as well as environmental factors like disturbed sleeping schedule, stress, alcohol intoxication or drugs.

Treating Sleep Walking

Though sleep walking is not a serious condition and can be treated without any medication. If a person gets adequate sleep and lives a healthy lifestyle, sleep walking will be significantly reduced. But, in case the person gets violent and walking persists, then a physician can be consulted.

Other Disorders

Besides, sleep walking and nightmares, people are undergoing night convulsions and confusion arousals which are mostly attributed to genetic disorders. Night convulsion are a little scary since the person get seizures and this also happens during non-REM, while confusion arousals happens when the person loses memoryand is in a state of sleep inertia. Moreover, occasionally there are cases of nocturnal leg cramps, sleep talking which are commonly seen with older or middle-aged people. These are not serious disorders and can be treated by following moderate exercise.

Nevertheless, these disorders can be treated with proper medication and meditation. There treatment is essential to get a good night’s sleep.

Author: Alfaiz Ahmed

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