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This is what happens to your body when you have a nightmare

If you have more than one nightmare a week, it becomes harmful and may create a fear of sleep.Because of their emotionally charged content, nightmares force us to wake up and get out of that imaginary world.


In her article published by the French newspaper Le Figaro, writer Clemons Dobrana said that dreams echo the problems we experience on a daily basis in general.

The nightmares we see often revolve around stressful, annoying, and even frightening situations.

That’s according to Perrine Roby, a researcher at Insrem at the Neurosciences Research Center in Lyon.



The researcher stressed that this activity is still very mysterious to science, adding: “We do not know exactly what happens in the brain during a nightmare.” However, some psychological and physical manifestations can be the best evidence of those “bad dreams.”



Fail to regulate emotions


The author continues with Ruby, who explains that the brain, and the orbitofrontal cortex in particular, is the center of emotions whose activity increases at night to regulate the emotional intensity of dreams. According to a theory developed by Canadian neuroscientists Ross Levin and Torre Nielsen in 2007, a nightmare represents a “failure” in this part of the brain to regulate emotions, according to the author.


The author adds that to clarify this mechanism, Ruby paid attention to dream activity during the period of the spread of the Corona pandemic. After investigating the impact of the health crisis on dreams in 2020, I noticed an increase in the number of nightmares since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase that is considered a result of the human emotional system, which had suffered from fatigue, stress, and anxiety as a result of the first lockdown period.


The author states that if the content of these nightmares is sometimes very frightening, the psychiatrist who specializes in sleep, Patrick Lemoine, says that this is due to “a positive phenomenon that naturally exists to process information that causes suffering,” adding that “this The phenomenon has been observed, especially in the period of childhood. When we were in school, we always suffered from minor grievances, and that is why, thanks to nightmares, children have the keys to understanding these incidents.”




Feeling anxious


The author points out that at night, during sleep, the body is generally active and free from any muscle tension, and that is why when we see a nightmare, the body is disturbed, which leads to waking up from sleep, which is what Lemoine says about: “The negative feelings that this dream generates will systematically cause us to wake up, sometimes through a full-body jerking,” he said.


vicious circle


The author explains that if the nightmare is repeated more than once, it can have a fairly clear effect on sleep, as researcher Ruby says: “If you experience more than one nightmare a week, it becomes harmful and you end up entering a vicious circle . It is expected that this will generate a fear of sleeping in you.



According to the author, the psychiatrist Lemoine stresses the need not to ignore the consequences resulting from these dreams, recommending consulting a psychiatrist or psychologist to understand their roots and reduce the tension resulting from them.

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