What causes nightmares

You come home from work, you do housework. By the end of the day, the forces are running out, and I just want to sleep and relax. You fall asleep. But, after some time, you realize that there is no good rest because of the terrible sleep that causes tension and anxiety.

Each of us once or repeatedly faced with this phenomenon. So why nightmares?

Nightmares: good or bad?

Nightmares consider frightening, frightening human dreams. According to scientists, this is a product of our brain activity, which is vigorously fighting negative emotions, stresses or conflicts.

In their opinion, occasionally seeing nightmares can even be useful, since they neutralize the unpleasant feelings that have accumulated in real life.

It is difficult for us to believe, but the “viewing” of a terrible dream should lead to a psychological “reset”, defuse consciousness, distract from the experiences we face during the day.

What could be their benefit for a person?

  1. Accompanying a turning point in life (sleep associated with overcoming obstacles, obstacles; winning in a dream; solving an intractable / unrealistic task — indicate your inner strength and convince yourself of the ability to solve a problem). Such dreams symbolically represent your transition to another stage in development, confirm personal growth.
  2. Unloading the nervous system, a surge of negative emotions (resentment, anger, irritation, dissatisfaction) after parting, the loss of a loved one, changes in working conditions. “Viewing” nightmares (according to experts) in this case helps to achieve emotional balance, to come to a balance of positive and negative emotions.
  3. An indication of a real problem that we for some reason do not notice or do not attach importance to. Nightmares become a kind of “warning”, a motive for focusing attention on one or another side of your life.

Negatives of “nightmarish” dreams

At the same time, it’s hard for an ordinary person to accept the nightmare’s benefits. Bad dreams can provoke a premature awakening, and then cause insomnia.

They are remembered for a long time and bring anxiety in our life before the unknown and inexplicable. If the nightmares are repeated regularly, they become a source of sleep deprivation, bad mood and well-being, manifested in the daytime.

What causes nightmares?

Terrible dreams are faced by people of different ages, nationalities and religions, from various social strata, regardless of their status and material condition. All of them periodically (and often to someone) have nightmares.

And, it would seem, what could be common between them? Modern specialists have identified a number of generalized causes of “frightening” dreams:


Very often, the horrors of children dream of, who have a high threshold of emotional sensitivity.

The reasons for the appearance of frightening dreams in childhood can be frequent quarrels of parents (including at night), the absence of friends or even the negative attitude of peers to the child, physical punishment, deception. All this leads to the formation of emotional trauma.

Overwork (physical fatigue / severe psychological stress)

A person is constantly mentally “returning” to one or another unresolved situation, including during sleep. Or when forced during the day to experience many stressful situations.

At risk in this area include people in such occupations as doctors, employees of various rescue services, law enforcement.

Stress / Depression

Stressful states also often cause recurring nightmares. Psychologists define this as a direct correlation between such psychological states and frightening dreams.

The brain of a person who is under stress or depression does not rest even in a dream – the subconscious mind continues the search for an “exit” from the vicious circle of the circumstances.

A strong emotional shock can turn into nightmares: if you become a party to an accident, an accident, witness violence or bullying, then most likely you will encounter the “continuation of these horrors” during a night rest.

There is also a stable concept of “post-traumatic stress disorder,” which experts most often observe in people who have returned from combat zones.

For particularly impressionable personalities, nightmares can even appear from watching thrillers, action films or horror films before bedtime.

Also, unpleasant repetitive actions (unloved work, regular communication with unpleasant people) can also cause stress or depression, and, consequently, terrible dreams.

Health problems

The causes of nightmares can be not only the psychological state of a person, but also poor health, detected or not yet manifested diseases of the internal organs.

What causes nightmares

The likelihood of nightmares in such cases is high if a person suffers from headaches, body temperature rises, over-stimulation, neurosis, or oxygen starvation occurs. Respiratory failure during snoring can also lead to the appearance of “scary pictures”.

Binge eating

One of the most commonplace causes of nightmares, and perhaps one of the most easily eliminated, is overeating. If you overeat before bedtime, you will most likely get – a breakdown in the work of the organs, overexcitement – and, as a result, terrible dreams.

So, you are more likely to “ask for” bad dreams if you eat fatty or spicy food before bedtime – such food contributes to an increase in body temperature, speeds up metabolism and 100% prevents you from fully relaxing.

Poor sleep conditions

External stimuli: bright light, shimmer, loud sounds, music, lack of air – turn into dreams in an exaggerated form, including with “nightmarish” content.

One of the options for the causes of negative plots in dreams can even be the wrong placement / location of the bed! It is necessary to rearrange the bed, or simply move to another bed, nightmares can recede.

Creative person

It is believed that nightmares are dreams of creative individuals more often than others, since they are more sensitive to the outside world and deeply experience what is happening.

Sometimes people of “creativity” are able to predict in a dream the onset of the negative consequences of any actions in reality. Dreadful dreams in such cases act as a kind of warning.

Bad habits and medication

People who have abused alcohol (with a hangover or after a binge), drugs (God forbid!) Or products containing an increased share of caffeine, “attract” negative dreams to themselves, because they are extremely excited, the body does not rest and not relax, “leading out “These substances.

Starting medication (or, on the contrary, termination) can cause nightmarish visions in a dream (especially if these drugs have a sedative effect, are sedatives or are antidepressants).

“Secret” side of personality

And at the end of the list, I would like to say that nightmares — sometimes become a “shadow” of a person — that he cannot accept in himself, and in life he hides behind restraint, education (for example, aggressive feelings, or insecurity).

What if nightmares come regularly?

Warn bad dreams, as well as reduce their impact on the physical and emotional state will help compliance with the following recommendations:

Sleep and nutrition

  1. Every night try to sleep until 22:00.
  2. To eat for 3-4 hours before bedtime. Refuse the evening use of nuts, legumes, meat.

Healthy lifestyle and relaxation

  1. Before going to bed do something for yourself: take a bath, drink a warm chamomile tea or milk with honey.
  2. To get rid of unpleasant dreams, walks in the fresh air, airing the room or sleeping with an open window leaf, help perfectly.
  3. Moderate athletic and physical activity will help relieve tension, discharge, reduce anxiety levels.
  1. The use of painting therapy – with drawing of separate parts of a nightmare and adding bright colors to the “picture”, adding positive elements (sun, smiles and

    Find and solve problems while awake

  1. Finding a way out of difficult situations, finding internal or external resources to get out of stress.
  2. Discussion of nightmares with relatives and relatives – a side view can help in identifying / solving a problem.
  3. Strengthen self-esteem.
  4. If you are in the middle of a nightmare, “reprogram” yourself for a positive sleep outcome.

If the terrible dreams recur even after taking the measures listed above, the best solution would be to seek help from a doctor.

Whatever the reasons that you have nightmares, we wish you a speedy elimination of them, sweet dreams and good rest at night and daytime!

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