Dream Disorders

Dream Disorders and Nightmares

Welcome to our page on dream disorders.

In times of old, a great many disorders associated with dreaming were thought to be of demonic forces. All cultures and time periods report nightmares. The word “nightmare” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word mare, meaning demon—which is related to the Sanskrit mara, meaning destroyer, and mar, meaning to crush. So the word “nightmare” carries with it connotations of being crushed by demonic forces.

Today, what once were defined under the singular banner of “nightmare”, are now recognised as separate sleep disorders. There are many different sleep disorders; however, we have chosen to focus on the ones that are pertinent to dreaming: Night Terrors, Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder (RBD), Sleep Paralysis, and Sleepwalking.

Kinds of Sleep Disorders

Night Terrors

Night Terrors (Pavor nocturnes, sleep terror disorder)is abrupt awakening from sleep with behaviour consistent with terror. You can read more about night terrors here.

Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder (RBD)

Rapid eye movement behaviour disorder (RBD): Is when the sleeper acts out their dreams in a violent or dramatic manner whilst engaged in REM sleep. Read more about RBD here.

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep onset or upon awakening. In other words, if the sleeping person comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, the individual will not be able to move their body, thus, they become "paralysed". You can read more about this interesting condition here.

Sleep Walking

Sleepwalking (somnambulism) refers to engaging in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness (such as eating or dressing), which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the doing, or having done so. Get more information about sleepwalking disorder here.

Related Pages

* What are Night Terrors?

* Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder

* What is Sleep Paralysis?

* Sleepwalking Disorder

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