Do dreams affect your sleep?

Do dreams affect your sleep?

Dreaming is a natural part of sleep that happens during the deepest stage of sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

Nearly half of Brits admit they are influenced by their dreams. Research by Silentnight shows that 47% let their dreams affect how they feel.

Dreams, good or bad, can affect us in different ways – nightmares and even night terrors, although more common in children, can still affect adults.

Nightmares

Nightmares in adults are often caused by stress, trauma or an existing mental health condition.

Nightmares don’t cause any physical harm but can be upsetting and disturbing. They can also prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Dr Nerina says “Noisy, dream-laden sleep can arise from poor lifestyle habits such as too many stimulants, alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars, or looking at screens too close to bedtime. All of these can over-stimulate the nervous system causing increased REM (dreaming) sleep. Clean up your lifestyle and your sleep will be purer and more restorative.”

If you are suffering from nightmares or waking up feeling jaded, Dr Nerina advises addressing bad habits that could be impacting your sleep.

Night Terrors

Night terrors are different to nightmares. During a night terror, you will scream, kick and even jump out of bed, but not remember doing it.

Night terrors can be triggered by anything that:

  • Increases how much deep sleep you have – tiredness
  • Makes you more likely to wake from deep sleep – anxiety

Lucid dreaming

Another problem that can arise in adults is Lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when a person is aware they are dreaming and results in them being able to “control” their dreams.

Lucid dreaming is not dangerous and happens very rarely. If you do find yourself Lucid dreaming try to remember you have more control over the outcome of the dream.

If you would like to learn more about sleep check out our blog on ‘You are how you sleep’.

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