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Is There A Correlation Between The Occurrence Of Nightmares And Work-Related Stress?

I have observed the sleeping patterns of my bed partner over the past year or thereabouts. I have noticed the following behaviours:

1. During periods of high work related stress the frequency in which nightmares occur increase.

2. Nightmares usually occur during the early hours of the morning.

3. Nightmares are usually associated with some sense of danger and the inability to flee.

4. Prior to the onset of nightmare, the person appears to experience rapid involuntary muscle spasms both along the arms, fingers and legs.

5. Leading up immediately to the event (nightmare) the person often thrashes around.

6. Person wakes up suddenly in fright and has a vague memory as to what the nightmare was about.

My first question is whether the person in question is experiencing a typical nightmare or are the above symptoms of another disorder? Is
involuntary spasms typically experienced prior to the onset of a nightmare?

The second question is if there is a direct correlation between nightmares and work related stress?

Thirdly are there any long term physiological effects of recurring nightmares?

Comments for Is There A Correlation Between The Occurrence Of Nightmares And Work-Related Stress?

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Aug 22, 2011
Stress related nightmares
by: Hawkmoon

First let me comment that you made some excellent observations regarding your bed partner. But does that mean you're often awake while (s)he's sleeping?

Let me get to questions:
1. This is typical nightmare behaviour, and shouldn't be related to some mental disorder. If such behaviour is observed during awake time, then i would consult doctor.
2.I would say stress and nightmares are collerated. It's logical conclusion, because primary function of dreaming is allowing our brain a testing ground to deal with issues that arise during awake time. So more stress you experience during awake time, more issues your brain will have to deal with during dreams.
3. Well, you should consider nightmares as just a consequence, not a source of health problems. Main source of physiological effects in your case should be stress that does damage health in long term. Nightmares are just a way brain deals with stress. But if your partner suffers from stress related health problems, they should be much more visible during awake time.

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