Although for most of us, nightmares are an infrequent nuisance, for an estimated 2 to 8 percent of people, nightmares are a debilitating sleep disorder with dire daily consequences. Ann belonged to this group ever since she can remember. When she started using Nightly, she saw a gradual decrease in her nightmares resulting in 87.1% of nightmare-free nights. This is her story.
Ann is a friendly 30-year-old vet working in an animal care clinic. She has been plagued by nightmares her entire life. When she was a child, often she would wake up terrified crying and would then run screaming to her parents’ bedroom. Her parents sought help, but despite many doctor visits, Ann’s sleep problems didn’t go away. As a matter of fact, her nightmares got worse as Ann grew older and faced the many stressful challenges of adolescence and adulthood, to a point where her problem developed into a full-blown nightmare disorder.
Consequently, for the next ten years, Ann’s nightmare disorder had a crippling effect on nearly every aspect of her life. Almost every night, she would wake up drenched in sweat, terrified from one of many horrific scenarios so vivid that she would often relive them the following day. That led to a serious fear of going to sleep, which left Ann severely sleep deprived. Ann was getting virtually no quality sleep, only bits and pieces when exhaustion took over and before nightmares began. Sleep deprivation, in turn, strongly affected her daily performance and mood. The constant exhaustion, lack of focus and the feeling of hopelessness accompanied her every task and thought. She felt like she was no longer really living – she was just struggling to go through the motions. Of course, Ann never gave up on finding help. She meditated, ate right, learned relaxing and anti-stress techniques, did various breathing exercises before bedtime, and tried different meds. Nothing worked. Some things brought temporary relief, but shortly thereafter Ann’s nightmares always returned.
Ann stumbled upon Nightly in June of 2016 when she saw a newspaper article about the app and the closed-trial it was conducting. Obviously interested, especially that she had never come across such an approach to fighting nightmares, Ann contacted us and asked to be included in the trial. “This application was something new. Something different,” she said during my first meeting with her. On July 2nd, she started using Nightly as part of the two-week test. The results were astonishing. After the fifth night of using Nightly, she already noticed a significant improvement.
„It was amazing! Not only did I not have nightmares, but also I was able to fall asleep more easily. I forgot how it is to feel rested and great in the morning. And with Nightly I started feeling it again. I woke up with energy to work and to meet people – to simply live like a normal person.”
Ann’s experience with Nightly was so positive that after the tests were concluded, she asked us to let her continue using Nightly even though the app wasn’t released yet. Obviously, this was a no-brainer. It is the number one reason why we made the app – to help people like Ann get their lives back.
Ann has been sleeping with Nightly for a couple of months now, having used the app during 70 nights, out of which 61 nights were calm, nightmare-free nights. Whenever nightmares occurred, they were the result of some stressful event, as Ann has explained to us. When the anxiety associated with the stressful event passed, nightmares occurred very rarely without a cause. Before using Nightly, Ann suffered from nightmares almost every day (approximately 90% of nights). Since she started using Nightly, she experienced 87.1% of calm nights, which represents an approximate 77% reduction in the frequency of Ann’s nightmares.