November 12, 2019

Nightmares plaguing college students could be a sign of too many all-nighters

Nightmare fuel

By Maggie Vancampen — 

Some of the scariest movies make appearances in our dreams and we call them nightmares. At least, if Pennywise started chasing people in their dreams it should be considered a nightmare. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are five main reasons people have nightmares: eating before bed, stress, medication, lack of sleep and sleeping disorders.

Eating before bed increases metabolism, which in turn makes the brain more active.

Some lifestyle changes, psychological counseling or medications may help with stress levels. This can decrease the frequency of nightmares.

However, medications like antidepressants have been known to cause nightmares, so weighing the pros and cons is advisable according to the National Sleep Foundation.

“It’s a vicious cycle: Not enough shut-eye may lead to nightmares, and having nightmares can cause a lack of sleep,” said the National Sleep Foundation on their website.

Senior computer information systems major Ankita Singh didn’t even know that lack of sleep caused nightmares.

A couple of sleep disorders the foundation mentioned were sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Sleep apnea is when breathing stops and starts frequently while unconscious. According to the MayoClinic, restless leg syndrome occurs when legs move uncontrollably after laying in bed for a period of time.

Dr. Mohammad Saad from the University of Louisville’s Physicians Sleep Center said the most common sleep issues he sees in college students are sleep deprivation and delayed sleep phase syndrome. Saad said delayed sleep phase syndrome is when people sleep late and get up early without getting enough sleep.

So get some sleep if you don’t want to be tormented by any nightmares this semester.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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