The Nightmare


     About nightmares, Wikipedia says, "A nightmare is a very unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers often awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to go back to sleep for a prolonged period.

     "Nightmares can have physical causes such as sleeping in an uncomfortable or awkward position, having a fever, or psychological causes such as stress, anxiety, and as a side effect of various drugs. Eating before going to sleep, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, is a potential stimulus for nightmares. Recurrent nightmares may require medical help, as they can interfere with sleeping patterns and cause insomnia."

     Especially valuable in the Wikipeidia article is its description of imagery rehearsal as the best treatment modality for those afflicted with recurrent nightmares. This was introduced in Deirdre Barrett's 2001 book "Trauma and Dreams". Two other books that may be valuable are "Nightmare Help" by Anne Sayre Wiseman and "Dreams and Nightmares" by the late Ernst Hartmann.

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