One of the telltale signs of post-traumatic stress disorder is that nightmares commonly affect you. You may experience nightmares every night, or they may come just once in a while but be highly upsetting. When you've been through a traumatic event that is enough to leave you with PTSD, the nightmares that you experience suggest that your mind is processing the event even when you're not awake and aware of doing so. This is a concern for numerous reasons, including the fact that a prolonged lack of sleep can lead to other health issues. If you're having nightmares, you may wish to consider these potential causes before you decide that you may have PTSD and seek care.
Upsetting Conversations Before Bed
It's possible that your nightmares have a direct link with the conversations that you have with your significant other before bed. For many busy couples, it can be difficult to find a lot of time to talk until you're getting into bed. This can mean that you end up going over several stressful topics right before you fall asleep. For example, you might discuss your financial struggles or the difficulties that you're having with your teenagers. These topics will be on your mind as you drift off, and you may frequently experience nightmares as a result.
Eating Too Late
Some people are able to eat right before going to bed and find that sleeping through the night is easy, while others experience nightmares from this behavior. Assess your dietary habits to see if your nightmares might be a result of eating before bed. What you eat plays a role, too. A couple slices of an apple soon before bed aren't apt to cause trouble, but a heavy meal, such as a large pot of macaroni and cheese with a couple pieces of garlic bread and a bowl of ice cream for dessert, could be problematic.
Use Of Medication
Some types of medication and even some dietary supplements may increase your risk of nightmares. If you've recently started having consistent nightmares but aren't sure why, consider whether you've also started to take a new type of medication. Or perhaps you've stopped taking a powerful medication and are experiencing some nightmares as a withdrawal symptom. If you can consider these nightmare causes and know that they're not a factor for you, and you can also identify a major trauma in your life, it's possible that you could have PTSD and should seek PTSD treatment.Share