Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares are challenging for you and your loved one.
Not only do Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares interrupt one’s sleep, they can also cause severe issues when it comes to falling asleep. As a result, your partner may have developed problems, like insomnia. Sometimes they fear falling asleep. Especially, because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares are so invasive and extreme. Generally speaking, these horrific dreams are unavoidable. On the other hand, valuable help is available. Help for reducing occurrences and severity of this neurological gateway to hell.
First and foremost, your significant other should be under the care of a psychiatric medical provider and a therapist. Success begins here. However, make sure they specialize in PTSD and its symptoms/trauma. Psychiatric medical providers and therapists are specialists that can provide relief. Specifically, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares.
According to PTSD Wifey’s Facebook community, nightmares are the number one most difficult challenge that someone with PTSD faces. These nighttime monsters create lack of adequate rest for your partner, and for you. sleep as well as theirs.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares
So, what causes PTSD nightmares anyway? Unfortunately, the cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares is unclear. Mainly, because so many origins can be present. The point is though, that Nightmares are a huge disturbance to anyone’s sleep/wake cycle. As mentioned above, they could be the primary root of insomnia.
Other grounds contributing to the intrusive dreams include hyperarousal symptoms/activity, alcohol abuse, and anxiety. As well as negative thoughts, and other potential medical conditions.
On the other hand, the U.S. department of Veteran affairs shares inspiring news. The VA shared that issues pertain to sleep, due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares, can be reduced. And quickly, by creating a bed time routine. Building a sleep or night-time routine will make a positive difference in your loved one’s ability to rest.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares & Symptoms
Over all, sleep problems have an impact on PTSD symptoms. Without good rest, hydration, and eating regularly, symptoms are far more severe. In turn, it affects the over-all quality of life and day-to-day activity. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares bring on cold sweats and thrashing around in bed. Then, waking up in a severe panic attack and completely terrified.
I can count numerous times where I wake up during my spouse’s nightmares finding him yelling or jolting around in our bed. In most cases crying, and very disoriented. Because I usually wake up first, I am able to comfort him.
For example, I’ll run my fingers through his hair, snuggle up close, and whisper, “I’m right here baby, its okay”. 75% of the time, he doesn’t even wake up. Instead, my spouse will show signs he’s calming down. Like breathing slower, laying still, and just my luck – snoring, loudly 🙃. Ask your significant other what would comfort them the most when they experience these.
Although nightmares related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are deemed unavoidable (by the behavioral health industry), there are additional ways to reduce their frequency.
Medical Intervention for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares
Due to the extensive studies on both nightmares and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares, there is medicinal relief available. Because I am not a licensed medical provider, I cannot make “medical claims”. What you are learning, is what proved to be successful in my home.
Over all, medical providers often times prescribe sleep aids that are designed for PTSD. Such as, Trazedone. This is an “anti-depressant” that helps you fall asleep. Due to its sedative side affects. Then, another medication would be minipress (prazosin), a medication intended to lower blood presser. These little pills pack a huge punch and decrease Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares. However, they didn’t aide in drifting off to slumber land.
If these do not help, your spouse’s Doctor might prescribe a stronger medication. After an evaluation, they will have a better idea of what would be most effective. Stronger interventions include, Temazepam, Kolonopin, and lorazepam. Generally, these are prescribed to treat general anxiety disorders. As helpful as they are, it’s definitely worth having your partner discuss options with their Physician.
Therapy For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares
Aside from medication, there are therapeutic approaches to help with PTSD sleep disturbances. One type of therapy (CBT) approach that was successful for my husband was “Rewind Therapy”. Essentially, rewind is a modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). First of all, this series of therapy is very challenging, and can cause episodes. On the positive side, it really works!
To sum it up, rewind requires a client to recall a nightmare, write it down, then change the ending. The client rewrites the end as an enjoyable experience. This can be completed through meditation guided by a trained therapist. Or, on the client’s own time, with a pen and paper. Consequently a therapist that specializes in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares may schedule several sessions for this. That way, they can start slow, and build from there.
Rewind therapy has made a huge difference in my husband’s sleep. Hey, who wouldn’t do anything to get better rest tonight? After all, adequate sleep is the number one thing a person needs for optimal health.
before you head out, learn more in-depth details about real things we did to gain control of PTSD by reading these next:
- 9 Tips to get the sleep you need when PTSD keeps you up
- Therapies that really work to defeat PTSD
- Self guided or guided grounding exercises for PTSD
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