GENEVA: Scientists have discovered a technique to control nightmares, while people’s memories of their nightmares lead to miseries.
Scientists said that some adults have nightmares several times a week and sometimes even daily, and through therapy, such dreamers can be trained to rehearse positive versions of nightmares.
Swiss scientists conducted formal research for nightmares, the results of which were published in the international journal Current Biology on October 27 last month. A single sound associated with a positive experience of the day can reduce such dreams, the researchers said.
Psychologist and senior author of research on nightmares, Lampros Pirro Gamros, said that the types of emotions experienced in dreams are related to our emotional development. Research has shown that the number of nightmares can be reduced.
According to research studies, up to 4 percent of adults may experience nightmares at any given time, while chronic nightmares are usually associated with nighttime awakenings and rough sleep. Patients are recommended imagery rehearsal therapy.
Imagery rehearsal therapy takes the negative story that causes nightmares into a positive ending and involves rehearsing rewritten dream scenarios during the day, which has been found to be helpful for many individuals.
The researchers observed 36 patients. Around 50 percent of the subjects received no additional treatment while the remaining 18 were asked to make associations between positive versions of nightmares and voices during an imagination exercise.
All 50 percent of the subjects wore a headband called a sleep headband, which dramatically reduced nightmares. Researchers say the new technique’s reduction in nightmares is encouraging. After 3 months, nightmare sufferers had significantly fewer dreams.