Chronic nightmares can be unsettling and frightening, while also interfering with your ability to achieve a restful night’s sleep. Patients struggling with chronic nightmares can suffer from a lack of sleep, fatigue, anxiety, persistent fear, and problems concentrating, among other things. If you suffer from chronic nightmares, help is available. At Bogan Sleep Consultants, Dr. Richard Bogan is your sleep doctor in Columbia, SC, for the treatment of chronic nightmares and other sleep disorders.
Many people experience a bad dream on occasion. However, some individuals suffer from frequent nightmares. In addition to occurring on a regular basis, chronic nightmares can also occur multiple times in a single night, making it difficult to achieve restful sleep. Some of the characteristics of chronic nightmares include:
- Occurring frequently, even multiple times a night
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Diminished energy, sleepiness, and fatigue during the day
- Experiencing anxiety or fear throughout the day or before bed
- Difficulty functioning properly at school or work
It is not always possible to determine the exact cause of an individual’s chronic nightmares, but there are certain factors that can trigger nightmares in general. Some of those triggers include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Stress and anxiety
- Substance abuse
- Certain medications
- Certain medical conditions and mental health disorders
- Experiencing a traumatic accident or event
Treatment for chronic nightmares begins with an overnight sleep test, such as a polysomnogram. Sleep tests are conducted in comfortable and relaxing sleep centers utilizing technologically advanced equipment to monitor and measure sleep patterns, brain waves, heart function, and other functions while you are sleeping. Following the results of your sleep study, your Columbia sleep doctor will have a better understanding of your sleep patterns and can develop a plan for treating your chronic nightmares.
In some cases, chronic nightmares can overlap with a specific sleep disorder, such as sleepwalking or sleep apnea. Treating the specific sleep disorder can possibly reduce the occurrence of the nightmares. Addressing specific triggers contributing to the nightmares, such as stress or a medical condition, can also reduce the occurrence of chronic nightmares. Other possible treatment methods include imagery rehearsal therapy and medication.
Chronic nightmares can result in a variety of subsequent problems, including diminished energy, feelings of anxiety, or fear, and difficulty functioning during the day. A Columbia, SC, sleep doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment approach to help you achieve a more restful night’s sleep. To discuss your chronic nightmares with a sleep specialist, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bogan by calling Bogan Sleep Consultants at (803) 251-3093.