What it Means when You have a Nightmare

Nightmares are something that most of us have dealt with since we were young. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ever grow used to them. They’re certainly uncomfortable, but does that indicate they’re indicative of a problem? Certainly not.

If a person has frequent, intense dreams that interfere with daily living, he or she may have a nightmare condition. Talk to your doctor if your nightmares are bothersome and last for a long time. Or if they cause you to have mood swings during the day, or make you afraid of falling asleep

It is, nonetheless, typical for a person to have nightmares from time to time. While just 5% of persons suffer from nightmare disorder, over half of adults say they have nightmares at least once a week (via Everyday Health). That may seem comforting, but it raises another question: why do so many people have nightmares?

The causes of nightmares are a subject of discussion

Nightmares are enigmatic, causing even experts to disagree. Some scientists feel that dreams are your brain’s way of dealing with emotional conflict or preparing you for prospective threats, according to Healthline.

Nightmares are frequently the result of anxiety, stress, or insufficient sleep. If a person has recently suffered a traumatic event or suffers from a mental health condition such as depression, he or she is more prone to have nightmares. Drugs for physical and mental illnesses can also cause nightmares (per Mayo Clinic).

According to Psychology Today, minimizing alcohol use and having a regular sleep pattern are two ways to avoid nightmares. Alternatively, your dreams could just be the product of the terrifying movies you enjoy watching, in which case the cure is to avoid disturbing stuff, particularly before bed. Nightmares are usually harmless and not cause for alarm, but if they become very bothersome, it’s time to consult your doctor.