Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Analysis of Dreams Suggests Help for Persons with PTSD

An intriguing new study conducted by researchers at the University Of California Berkeley indicates to California veterans benefits lawyers that people who spend more time in dream sleep, may be getting more than just a good night’s rest. These people could actually be triggering the process of healing of bad memories. The researchers are connecting this finding with nightmares in veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may suffer vivid nightmares that are also recurrent. According to the researchers, the dream stage of sleep allows a form of overnight therapy, helping heal some of the not-so-pleasant experiences that the person had the previous day. These are bound to be controversial studies because there isn't enough consensus on the link between sleep and mental well-being.

However, researchers are linking this dream analysis with the fact that people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffer from frequent nightmares. In these people, this form of dream therapy may not be working as well. Therefore, when these people suffer flashbacks in the daytime, they suffer from nightmares at night, because the experiences in the daytime have not been properly purged from memory during sleep. Other studies in the past have indicated that people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression also suffer from disrupted sleep patterns.

The researchers were alerted to the possibility of more dream-stage sleep helping veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, through a study on PTSD conducted in Seattle. The study was conducted at a US Department of Veterans Affairs facility. Researchers in that study used blood pressure drugs in order to prevent recurrent nightmares in patients with PTSD. What they ultimately found was that the blood pressure drug suppressed the norepinephrine in the brain, promoting better quality of sleep and dreams, thus reducing the possibility of nightmares.

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