I know that you are wondering. What does it mean to wake up screaming and why does it happen?
It could be happening to you, or perhaps to your child. Whatever your specific situation, I have some great insights to offer. The thing is that I have experienced this myself, but also have friends with kids suffering from this.
So I took these symptoms and went to do some research - with doctors, in books and online.
These are my results.
Basically, there are two potential reasons for waking up screaming. Let's me get into the first one right away.
It could simply be re-occurring nightmares that causes someone to wake up like this. We have all experienced nightmares at some point, but the thing here is that a specific dream can turn into a repeating pattern.
This usually roots into stress, worry and anxiety in everyday life. It could e.g. be that you feel that you have unfinished business of some sort.
The thing is that nightmares, compared to night terrors, usually occur a bit later during the night and doesn't involve moving around.
One of the best things to overcome nightmares is to start a so called dream catcher. In essence, you start by writing down each dream you have. Then you can use this information to talk to others about it or even change the ending in your mind.
By writing it down you bring these "unfinished business" into your conscious awareness where your mind is able to deal with it.
The second suggestion I have received is to do a little exercise before you go to bed. Just take a pen, a piece of paper and sit down in a relaxed area. Then write down your 5 most important tasks for tomorrow. Make sure you are specific and don't leave out any of the tasks that you feel are troubling you. This way you get it all out and your mind can start to relax since you won't forget about anything you "have to" do.
This is actually the starting point I used to do reflection for myself every night. In essence, I just write freely how the day went, what I learned, what I will improve and finally - what I will do tomorrow.
Seriously, try it, it helps.
If your child is having bad dreams, I was recommended to look into this book right here about nightmares and how to overcome them. It's extremely pedagogical and will make you handle your kid's problem incredibly well.
The more advanced and serious reason for why you wake up screaming could be so called night terrors. Don’t' worry, I had never heard the term before either :-) but's let me explain what it's all about and how to deal with it.
This condition is very common for small kids and toddlers and you don't have to worry that much in this case. It most often disappears naturally at the age of around 12.
For adults it is more serious and should be treated accordingly. I have listed 4 night terror treatment tips in a separate article so you can find out everything there.
In essence, if you cannot remove it yourself and have a hard time seeing a doctor about it, the absolute best way is to try a complete program related to panic attacks. You can check out the video yourself to see what it's all about.
I only recommend programs of very very high quality and I'm not saying that you should just click the link, watch the video and sign up immediately. Not at all. But just be open to it and see what you can find. You might just find something invaluable.
So remember to try the exercises I mentioned above - start a dream catcher journal and write down your tasks for tomorrow. These two exercises might be all that you need. And if it doesn't help, then there are always more advanced ways for you to stop to wake up screaming.
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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