WTF Fun Fact 13121 – Nightmare Disorder

Chances are you’ve had at least one nightmare before – and perhaps even one bad enough to wake you up from your slumber. While nightmares are common, nightmare disorder is (luckily) not.

What is nightmare disorder?

According to the Mayo Clinic (cited below), “Nightmare disorder is when nightmares happen often, cause distress, disrupt sleep, cause problems with daytime functioning or create fear of going to sleep.”

Sounds stressful!

For those with the disorder, the bad dreams ten to occur in the second half of the sleep cycle. And while they’re brief, they’re bad enough to wake you up and cause enough anxiety to prevent you from getting back to sleep. You may even experience a slowly unfolding nightmare that gets worse as it continues or one that causes you to suffer from palpitations.

This disorder is only diagnosed in people who have frequent enough nightmares that it interferes with their normal days due to distress or lack of sleep. In children, it can lead to a fear of the dark or behavioral problems.

Music for nightmares

According to Smithsonian Magazine, there is new hope for sufferers of nightmare disorder, who may number somewhere between 10 million in the U.S. alone.

A study showed those people might be able to take charge of their dreams and change their tone using music.

“Sounds played during sleep may reduce the frequency of nightmares and promote positive emotions that can help lead to a better slumber. Existing therapies coach sleepers to imagine and rehearse alternate happy endings to their nightmares before bed, a practice known to significantly reduce bad dreams. Now, Swiss scientists aim to supercharge this idea by associating those happy endings with an audio cue that will trigger them during sleep. When nightmare disorder sufferers listened to a piano chord while they practiced imagining a good dream, then heard that same chord while they were in REM sleep, bad dreams were frequently kept at bay.”

This is called imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), and it’s a cognitive-behavioral technique that only takes about 5 or 10 minutes a day.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Nightmare Disorder” — Mayo Clinic

WTF Fun Fact 12670 – Thieves Return Plundered Temple Artifacts

In May 2022, thieves unwisely stole 16 statues of Lord Balaji (an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu). And if you know anything about Vishnu, you’d know that was a particularly bad idea. Vishnu is known as the preserver and protector of the universe, and it is said that he will return to earth in troubled times to restore the balance of good and evil.

However, the belief is that Vishnu has been incarnated 9 times already and his 10th reincarnation will signal the end of the world. So, seriously, do not make him come down here!

Lucky for the rest of us, the thieves got some personal punishment rather than triggering the apocalypse.

Most of the statues were returned a week later to the temple in the Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh, India along with a confession, apology, and plea for forgiveness. It turns out the thieves had been plagued with such terrible nightmares and bad luck during the time they held the statues that they felt they had no choice but to return them and come clean.

“We have been suffering from nightmares since we committed the theft and have not been able to sleep, eat and live peacefully,” the thieves said in the accompanying letter, the Times of India reported (in translation). “We are fed up with the scary dreams and are returning your ‘amaanat’ (valuables).”

Returning stolen temple items is actually somewhat common because of feelings of guilt and misfortune – but, somehow, they still justified keeping two of the stolen items!

Sweet dreams! –  WTF fun fact

Source: “Thieves Return Stolen Treasure To Temple After Being Haunted By Nightmares” — IFL Science