Every once in a while everyone has a nightmare. Nightmares, or bad dreams, can be quite annoying, mostly when they reoccur at certain periods of time. A bad dream can disrupt your good night sleep, in some cases preventing you from resting. Why do we have bad dreams, is something that has preoccupied researchers for many years. It seems that there are some factors which contribute to an increased tendency of having your night sleep disturbed by a bad dream.
Anxiety and stress
Actually stress, as well as anxiety, are believed to be among the most common reasons why bad dreams occur. Suffering from the loss of someone dear, being in an accident or simply suffering from a traumatic event, regardless of its type, may cause nightmares. A stressful job, financial problems and important life events, such as moving to a new place or separating from someone, can also cause nightmares.
Spicy and fatty foods
What we eat influences what we dream. It seems that our diet may also affect our ability to rest at night. Spicy foods have been associated to a higher risk of bad dreams. At least this is what a study performed by the International Journal of Psychophysiology found. Eating spicy foods may lead to poorer quality sleep, as it elevates body temperatures. Eating close to the moment when you go to sleep may also be a factor leading to a higher risk of nightmares development. The same remains valid when referring to foods with a high content of fat.
There are also many diseases that may cause nightmares. Sleeping disorders such as apnea and narcolepsy are well known to be a factor in determining bad dreams and poor quality sleep. Certain powerful medications, may also have such a consequence, due to their side effects.
It also is a well known fact that alcohol helps everyone fall asleep more easily. Larger amounts of alcohol may cause bad dreams and poor quality sleep. Still, bad dreams are considered to be normal, being a reaction to everyday experiences. If their intensity and severity increases abnormally, maybe it is time to see a specialist. How often do you have nightmares?
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