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What will help to curb excessive dreaming?

Q - Is there a known cause for excessive sleep dreaming?

A - Increase in dream sleep with reports of intense vivid dreams occur in sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, can be drug-induced and also experienced during periods of stress, depression, and acute alcohol or sedative drug withdrawal.

In the absence of these factors, adults reporting excessive dreaming are often highly imaginative and/or have high level of mental activity at bedtime, carried into sleep. Some enjoy their dreams, describing epic dreams, and the ability to direct the dream content.

But if excess of dream rapid eye movement sleep occurs at the expense of restorative deep sleep, it can be exhausting and affect daytime functioning.

To reduce dreaming, creating closure to the day before bedtime is vital. This can be done by resolving issues, learning to let go and/or jotting unresolved issues and plans for the next day.

Stimulating activity including working on computers is best avoided before bedtime.

Lights off should be preceded by a winding down routine and monotonous unstimulating activity; light reading can help and even watching television soaps can provide wonderful

non-stimulating entertainment!

Zenobia Zaiwalla, consultant neurophysiologist, sleep disorder clinic, Park Hospital for Children and Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford

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