Imagine yourself curled up in a warm and inviting bed, covered with your favorite comfortable blanket.
As you lie peacefully, blissfully unaware of the faint sounds of birds chirping in the background, you are suddenly and rudely awakened by a realistic nightmare.
In fact, it's so realistic that it leaves you in a state of confusion as you begin to wrap your head around what just happened.
"Why do I keep having nightmares?" If you've ever asked yourself this question, you are not alone. Although many of us may tend to think of nightmares as a problem relating to childhood, statistics cited by the Mayo Clinic show that as much as 8% of the adult population may also be affected by persistent bad dreams .
Many different things can cause nightmares in adults. As a result, the solution to adults having nightmares every night will vary considerably. The following list includes ten common reasons that dreams and nightmares may be affecting you and the important steps you can take to control the matter.
Ten Reasons You're Having Nightmares & How to Prevent Them
There are countless reasons that nightmares in adults occur on an ongoing basis. For some people, temporary stress may create a short-lived problem with bad dreams. What causes nightmares can be as individual and complex as any other health-related issue.
However, the following ten causes of dreams and nightmares are the most common among adults experiencing this problem. Consider the following insight into the top ten causes of constant nightmares and the practical steps you can take to eliminate them.
1- Serious Problems with Interpersonal Relationships
When a close friendship or romantic relationship begins to fall apart, it can affect a person's peace of mind, confidence, self-esteem, and trust.
Divorce is a common problem affecting millions of adults each year. This results in a great deal of stress for many people going through the break-up of a relationship.
As human beings, we are driven by an innate need to be close to other people. When these important relationships disintegrate, it can leave us with negative feelings that result in nightmares.
How should you handle the breakdown of relationships? If this has happened to you, try to avoid isolating yourself and be sure to engage in relaxing activities you enjoy to reduce stress.
2- Extreme Financial Strain
When discussing what causes nightmares, we must recognize extreme financial strain as being high on the list of potential causes.
For many people, worrying about how they're going to put food on the table or pay essential bills is the order of the day. Experiencing nightmares every night can result from serious financial worries.
What should you do in this case?
Sleep analysts and professional counselors recognize financial strain as a difficult problem to address. After all, there may not be an immediate solution to a lack of adequate money flow.
However, if the affected individual begins taking active steps toward seeking financial remedies, he may be able to alleviate some of the burden that is resulting in continual nightmares.
3- Death of a Loved One
At some point, we all face the loss of a loved one in death. For some people, this process may be more difficult to bear than for others.
Depending on the age of the individual and other factors involved, the process of grieving a loss of this type can create deep feelings of panic, isolation, and abandonment.
How can you alleviate the stress of losing a loved one?
In order to get rid of nightmares resulting from the death of a loved one, especially if the death resulted from a traumatic event, the affected individual may need to seek bereavement counseling.
Additionally, self-taught techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can also be helpful for getting rid of constant nightmares.
4- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When discussing what causes bad dreams, it's also important to recognize post-traumatic stress disorder as a distinct entity.
PTSD is a form of a stress-related disorder that most often impacts those who have gone through an extreme trauma.
This trauma could be related to an abusive situation, a natural disaster, warfare, or anything that specific individual deems to be a traumatic event.
PTSD affects millions of people on an annual basis and can be a common cause of continual nightmares that disrupt a person's life and peace of mind.
What practical solution exists for PTSD? Seeking treatment from a mental health professional well-trained in PTSD support is often essential in helping those dealing with this problem to find relief.
In order to get rid of nightmares resulting from PTSD, seek professional help right away.
5- Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medication Use
Many types of medications can affect the likelihood of experiencing chronic nightmares. Of course, psychiatric medications used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions can create chemical changes in the brain that can lead to nightmares.
Aside from these types of medications, blood pressure drugs and other commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals can have similar effects.
What can be done about this problem?
If you are taking any of these types of medications, it is worthwhile to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if they may be the cause of your persistent nightmares.
6- Chronic Insomnia or Related Sleep Disorders
Millions of Americans are affected by insomnia, sleep apnea, and other conditions that can prevent them from getting a restful night of sleep.
In addition to causing poor sleep quality, however, these sleep disorders can also trigger the formation of continual nightmares for some individuals.
It's important to get to the root of the problem!
Since the individual causes of these sleep disorders can vary so drastically, part of the solution lies in getting to the root cause of these issues.
Once a medical professional determines the cause of the specific sleep disorder, appropriate treatment can be given to remedy the condition and provide relief from common effects including nightmares.
7- Eating Too Much Close to Bedtime
Experiencing a sudden increase in metabolism can trigger signals to specific areas of the brain that can result in unpleasant dreams.
There is a simple solution! As a result of such evidence, many medical professionals and researchers agree that it is best to stop eating several hours before heading to bed.
Doing so can improve the depth and quality of your sleep and help prevent those annoying nightmares from occurring.
8- Poor Sleeping Habits and Environment
From smartphones to home computers, there is never a shortage of devices to come between you and a good night of sleep.
Research has demonstrated that using these types of devices close to bedtime interferes with the normal process of sleep. Additionally, an unhealthy sleeping environment can also lead to disturbing nightmares.
A quick fix to this issue is to have a "no electronics before bed" rule. Aside from experiencing the type of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and energized, the elimination of disturbing nightmares is just one more reason to improve your sleeping habits and keep your bedroom free of electronic devices and televisions.
9- Overly Busy Lifestyle
It's certainly true that most of us have extremely busy lives . While living an active life of this type can certainly be fulfilling, it can also create additional worry regarding the possibility of forgetting important tasks.
As a result of this subconscious worry, we may begin to manifest the stress in the form of disturbing dreams or nightmares.
Here are some tricks that can help. In some cases, simple remedies such as keeping a checklist of vital tasks to be performed the next day can relieve enough of the stress to prevent bad dreams from happening.
In other more severe cases, the individual may need to re-evaluate their life and cut down on some of the extra activities that invite undue stress into their day.
Learning to delegate some of your daily activities may also help you reduce your overall stress load and experience improved sleep.
10- Sleep Problems Caused by Using the Wrong Mattress
When determining what causes bad dreams, we can't afford to overlook the surface that the person is sleeping on.
Although many people may not think so, sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can lead to persistent nightmares and many other health problems.
Whether we realize it or not, we all spend about a third of our lives sleeping. This means that the surface on which we choose to sleep plays a vital role in determining our sleep quality and our overall health.
Poor sleep on a continual basis can negatively impact our immune system and countless other aspects of our long-term health. Additionally, the creation of strain on the spine can cause serious nerve imbalances throughout the body. These nerve imbalances can result in pain and can even lead to the development of chronic nightmares.
Choosing the right mattress for your specific sleep needs should not be taken lightly . A proper mattress will allow you to drift off to sleep much faster. It will also allow you to experience a deeper, more relaxed state of sleep that lasts the entire night.
Finally, the proper mattress will allow for a comfortable spinal alignment to be maintained, resulting in less muscle and joint pain and an elimination of bothersome nightmares resulting from an improper sleep position.
Your mattress is your partner for one-third of your life. This partner has the ability to determine how the other two-thirds of your life plays out to a large extent.
These are the very reasons why we, as the sleep experts, have created detailed informational posts to allow you to select the right mattress depending on your sleep position and related sleep needs, whether you’re a side sleeper or a back sleeper.
"Why do I keep having nightmares?" If you are one of the many adults affected by frequent bad dreams, take heart that real-life solutions do exist.
Additionally, realize that you don't have to deal with repetitive and bothersome nightmares any longer.
Addressing any underlying causes, tackling existing health issues, and sleeping on the ideal mattress for your specific needs is your best defense against poor quality sleep and persistent bad dreams.
We are here to help you choose the mattress that is best suited for you and your partner's unique needs.