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If asked to describe the most frightening nightmare ever experienced, most people would be able to recall it, in detail, and might even get goose bumps. Nightmares are those dreams that bring up our worst fears, most pressing anxieties, and nerve pinching insecurities.
Although we are most likely to be plagued by these bad dreams as children, fifty percent of adults continue to be shaken by an occasional nightmare. Given that the textbook didn't talk much about nightmares I did some research online for some better insight. Nightmares occur most commonly during REM sleep, particularly in the later cycles towards the morning. This explains why it's so easy for people to remember the shaking nightmare that woke them up in the morning, but completely forget about that pleasant dream we had when we first fell asleep.
Although nightmares are often caused by nothing more than our busy minds, I did find some interesting things that trigger bad dreams. These include having a late night snack, certain medications, alcohol withdrawal, sleep deprivation, and certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
If you find yourself having more frequent nightmares than normal, have no fear; in my research I found several easy fixes to promote a safe and sound sleep. The website suggests keeping a consistent sleep schedule, exercising regularly, and making your bedroom a tranquil, relaxing place.
This last suggestion made me wonder a little bit about the kind of sleep that college students living in dorms (such as me) are getting. Does sleeping in the room associated with cramming for a stressful exam cause less restful sleep? Does the new environment and drastic change that comes along with starting college cause more nightmares? I've never had serious issues with nightmares, but I hope that the stresses of college do not make me prone to these terrors.

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This page contains a single entry by wagne856 published on October 9, 2011 11:08 PM.

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