Having nightmares as adults can seem a bit ridiculous – aren’t we too old for nightmares? Don’t we know the bogeyman doesn’t actually exist? Unfortunately, with 1 in every 2 adults suffering from occasional nightmares and 2-8% of the population having nightmares regularly, these night-time terrors do not appear to have an age limit.
Why Do Adults Have Nightmares?
A common thought is that cheese can cause nightmares or lucid dreams, this may be true however it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet, but there seems to be a whole host of other reasons to why we may suffer from the occasional nightmare or two:
Eating late at night can be a number one cause as food turns into energy which stimulate the brain and causes your brain to be more active
Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are other stimulants which can cause sleep disturbances, sleep deprivation and nightmares. Remember that these can remain in your system for up to 12 hours, so think before you drink as it could be a quick fix solution
Other, more serious causes for nightmares include anxiety, depression and PTSD. These psychological conditions can cause your brain to over-think and experience recurrent nightmares. It may be in some relation to the medication which you are taking as treatment. If you notice that you are experiencing more nightmares than usual or are having other sleeping issues then contact your GP as they may be able to find you an alternative
Nightmares may also be caused in relation to other sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea or restless leg syndrome. Sleep disorders can be extremely frustrating and somewhat impossible to cure but simple solutions such as reducing your electronic usage before bed or exercising will significantly help your condition
Top 5 Nightmares and What They Mean
1. Missing Events
Do you often have a nightmare that you’ve missed an important event such as a wedding or even just a big meeting at work? It seems that these nightmares are caused by anxiety and negativity. Top tip to beating these nightmares is to try yoga before bed to relax your mind or even keep a notebook and pen, write down your worry and you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll sleep.
Oops! We have all experienced this and it has to be one of the worst nightmares of them all. Walking into work or through town naked and everybody is pointing and laughing. These nightmares are more apparent with those who have self-image issues or low self-esteem. If this is a common dream, talk to somebody and just talking about it will make you feel much better in the long run, self-love is something which cannot be fixed overtime but many people feel exactly the same so talk it out.
Nightmares where you feel trapped in an enclosed space is a common dream for those who are feeling anxious whether it is about your current work situation, financial worries or a negative relationship. If this is a common one for you, consider changing things up a little, if you are not happy in your job then have a think at some other choices, maybe it’s time for a new chapter to start in your life.
Falling represents that you don’t feel secure in our current situation and that you need to tackle a problem. If you have just been promoted, you may be feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities or maybe it is a relationship which is becoming out of control. Dreams like this can often be persistent so it’s important to the face the problem head on.
Probably one of the scariest of them all however dreaming about dying can be perceived as a good thing. Dying in a dream represents new beginnings or a positive change in your life. One of the scariest nightmares represents one of the best results, strange how things work out!
If you are experiencing regular nightmares, hopefully the small lifestyle tweaks mentioned above can help you get out of the cycle.
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