Everyone knows why do we sleep? Obviously, to give some rest to the body and let the body recovers and repairs whatever harm within the body during the day. However, sometimes, your precious sleep gets disturbed by two things: dreams and nightmares, right? And everyone wants to know what causes dreams and nightmares. Everyone experiences these two things, but many people fail to understand the difference between these two terms.
In today’s blog, we’ll discuss what causes nightmares, what causes dreams, and why do people get nightmares, and the difference between dreams and nightmares.
What are Nightmares and What Causes Nightmares?
Nightmares might look realistic that disturb your dreams and make you awake from a deep sleep. When a nightmare occurs, it often leads to an irregular heartbeat. Mostly, nightmares occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when you are in dreams. During REM sleep period gets longer as the night passes, and you might experience nightmares in the early morning hours.
The nightmares may vary from person to person. Some common nightmares in adults are: falling from a great height or trying to run fast but not able to run fast to escape danger. If you have experienced a traumatic event, like an accident or attack, then you might experience recurrent nightmares.
Now, the question arises, what causes nightmares?
Many times, adults ask why do I get nightmares. Nightmares in adults are natural. However, the reason for nightmares can vary, and it can depend on various factors. Some people undergo nightmares when having late-night snacks that can maximize the metabolism and send a signal to the brain to be more active. Several medications are also responsible for nightmares. Antidepressants and narcotics often contribute to nightmares. Non-psychological medications, such as blood pressure medications, can also cause nightmares. And, even stress and anxiety can trigger nightmares.
Health Effects of Nightmares in Adults
When nightmares have an effect on your health, they become worse than bad dreams. Among people who undergo nightmares, those who are stressed are more likely to have psychological ill effects. Even though the relation is not understood, nightmares have been related to suicide because they can impact your quality of life. Hence, it is important to seek help from a doctor if you experience nightmares daily.
What are Dreams and What Causes Dreams?
When we sleep, our mind creates images and stories that are known as dreams. Dreams can be vivid and make you happy, scared, or sad. You’ll experience vivid dreams during the period called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep when your brain is in an active stage. According to some experts, during the night, we dream four to six times.
Now, you may want to know what causes dreams.
Various theories are there about why do we dream, but no one is sure about those theories. According to some researchers, dreams have no meaning and purpose. Others say dreams play an important role in boosting mental, physical, and emotional health. Some possible explanations of what causes dreams are written below:
- Dreams are associated with strengthening memory that suggests dreaming can provide the cognitive function of strengthening memory
- Illustrating unconscious wishes and desires
- During sleep, understanding random signals from the body and brain
- Processing information that you gathered during the day
- Working as a type of psychotherapy
Side Effects of Vivid Dreams
Generally, vivid dreams are common, and you don’t need to worry about them. Mostly, they won’t affect your life, but when you have negative vivid dreams, and they last for a long time, then they can affect you emotionally.
Vivid dreams can affect your productivity as they can cause sleepiness and concentration problems. They can cause depression or anxiety symptoms. You may find that you avoid falling asleep because you afraid of getting another bad dream.
Now, from the above information, we hope you get an answer to what causes dreams and nightmares along with their effects on health.
Difference between Dreams and Nightmares
Basically, nightmares and dreams are related to the state of being asleep, and both occur within the person’s mind. But, now a question arises, how to distinguish between dreams and nightmares? Sometimes, it is quite difficult to do so.
- A dream can be ordinary, weird, or surreal. On the other hand, a nightmare comes with a negative experience.
- When you are in a dream, and later you wake up, then mostly you don’t get scared. However, in the case of nightmares, a person can wake up in the middle of a nightmare, which is common.
- Nightmares can fall into the category of dreams. The dream is a wide term that comprises both good as well as bad dreams.
- When you are stressed out, mostly then you get nightmares. However, there is no identified source for dreams.
From this blog, we’ve answered all questions starting from what are dreams and what causes dreams, followed by what are nightmares and what causes nightmares. And, some people ask, ‘why do I get nightmares,’ we hope all of you get the answer to your questions. Some dreams are good, and some are bad, but make sure to make yourself stress-free, so you don’t get bad dreams. If nightmares often occur, then get a consultation from a doctor.