Do you constantly have bad dreams and nightmares, and you wonder whether it’s your village people that are after you? Or you have dreams that you can barely remember that you know are stranger than fiction and you’re left wondering if bad things are on the way?
Think not of the supernatural as there are some scientific explanations as to why you have some bad dreams and why some of your dreams are weirder than others.
Check out 7 reasons why you may be prone to having nightmares.
A number of medications that help people fall asleep contain melatonin supplements which help you to fall and stay asleep. This however creates a problem for your body as it tries to adjust with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This causes an increase in the intensity of your dreams because your body is doing all it can to adjust and makeup for the time you couldn’t sleep. If you’re on sleep medications and you’re experiencing anxiety, irritability and nightmares, it’s best to speak to a doctor who may adjust the dose of your medications.
You Watched TV Right Before Sleeping
Watching your favourite television shows before hitting the sack can cause you to have strange nightmares. This is because dreams occur from our subconscious mind and when you watch a TV programme that you’re emotionally attached to, chances are your subconscious will give the show more significance than it normally should which may cause you to dream.
You Ate Pepperish And Spicy Food Just Before Sleep
According to Dr Robert S. Rosenberg, a certified sleep medicine specialist, consuming spicy foods just before bed can trigger bad dreams. Pepperish food tends to increase body temperature and metabolism which in turn increases brain activity especially during rapid eye movement or REM sleep. The REM sleep stage is when dreams occur and an alteration in metabolism and temperature can trigger nightmares.
You Didn’t Sleep Well The Previous Night
If you’ve not been sleeping well or failed to sleep for at least 6 hours the night before, there’s a high chance that you’d experience a more intense sleep at the REM level the following night. This condition is known as REM rebound and it will cause you to experience more intense dreams and/or nightmares.
If you’re constantly experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of work or your daily life, this can affect your dreams. This is the brain’s way of processing negative emotions and REM sleep helps to emotionally modify the negativity we feel through dreams.
You Stopped Taking A Particular Drug
Some types of medications may cause you to have nightmares while stopping others may actually cause bad dreams. Some types of antidepressants such as Paxil and psychostimulants when used tend to suppress dream sleep. Abruptly stopping these medications can result in your dreams coming back with full force causing you to experience more REM sleep for a couple of days. This will most likely bring a flood of vivid dreams and nightmares during the days following your withdrawal from the medications.
More so, there’s also a likely chance that you’d have funny dreams if you suddenly put a stop to the consumption of marijuana or heavy alcohol intake.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterised by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea tends to affect your breathing while you sleep which results in a reduction in the oxygen available for your body while you sleep. This can cause you to have vivid and disturbing dreams.
If you find yourself feeling weak even after sleeping for 7 to 8 hours or you snore a lot, you may want to consider getting a snore ring or seeing a doctor.