Is melatonin causing nightmares?
If you’re fond of visiting online public forums, chances are that at one time or another, you already have come across discussions about melatonin nightmares or melatonin dreams. Actually, in some forums, the debates can get so heated, with one side saying that there is no difference between the melatonin nightmares reported by some people and the melatonin dreams reported by others.
Another side would then say that the two are vastly different, while a third side would have no fixed opinion, either because they haven’t experienced any of this due to melatonin use, or because they can’t make up their minds whether there is a difference or not, based on what they experienced.
The Dream State
The confusion may arise from the fact that in many people, the use of the hormone melatonin as a sleep aid has resulted in their experiencing lucid dreams. Dreaming is, in itself, a controversial topic to begin with. Scientists have not yet come to a firm conclusion on what causes dreaming, and what its purposes are. In other words, nearly everything about it is still theoretical.
Lucid dreams are said to be special kinds of dreams because the one having the lucid dream actually knows that s/he is dreaming. In other words, there is a strong sense of control involved in the “dream reality,” thereby giving the dreamer the opportunity to direct or manipulate the dream to the desired outcome. However, it is also said that only those who are already adept at experiencing and handling dreams can control the outcome. Those who are not suitably prepared to handle a lucid dream are said to eventually experience turn into a nightmare.
What is a Nightmare?
Under clinical conditions, nightmares have been observed to occur during REM sleep, or that period of sleep when Rapid Eye Movements happen. Anyone who has ever had a nightmare knows how realistic it can get, and how terrifying. In some parts of the world, sudden death has been attributed to having extreme nightmares.
What makes dreams (whether they are plain vanilla types, lucid, or nightmares) not that easy to understand is the fact that even the most intelligent scientists in the world have still not come up with a definite stand regarding a total understanding of how the brain works. In fact, consciousness, that part of our being which is highly involved, (along with our unconscious and subconscious states), is also not yet completely understood, as far as its nature and functions are concerned.
Overdosing on Melatonin
With the prevalent use of melatonin as a sleep aid, there have been questions swirling in cyberspace regarding whether or not lucid dreaming can be induced by overdosing on melatonin. Again, the answers to such a question are highly subjective, and as such, non-conclusive.
So, as to the matter of whether melatonin nightmares and melatonin dreams can be attributed to melatonin use, the answer also remains undetermined, for now.