What Causes Nightmares and Other Details

Do you also wonder what causes nightmares? Here are some things to know.

WHAT CAUSES NIGHTMARE come in variety of reasons and situation and almost everyone has this from time to time and here are some more details.

A dream is a series of events that happen during sleep but it’s called a nightmare if it becomes scary or disturbing. A nightmare is a bad dream that can wake you up and happens frequently during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

If you get this more frequently, this will affect your daily function, mood, or sleep which may lead to parasomnia sleep disorder called nightmare disorder.

What Causes Nightmares
Photo from Verywell Health

Just like dreams, the causes of nightmares are unknown but experts believe that it has something to do with emotional processing and memory consolidating. But nightmares and bad dreams are two different things. Nightmares are vivid upsetting, bizarre, or bothersome. Both have disturbing content in them but what sets them apart is that only nightmares can wake you up.

They are more common among children but adults also experience them and these are often spontaneous.


Some possible causes are:

  • watching or reading something scary
  • sleep deprivation
  • eating right before bed
  • medication side effects
  • having a fever or being ill
  • sleep disorders

Death, dying, physical violence, and being chased are among the common themes of a nightmare.

There are also some medicines that contribute to the frequency like antidepressants and narcotics and non-psychological meds like the ones for blood pressure as they tend to react on the chemicals in the brain. Withdrawal from medications and substances may also be a trigger, sleep deprivation, and psychological triggers like anxiety and depression.

When should you see a doctor?

  • when it happens more than once a week
  • when it is affecting your life in general
  • when it began when you started with a new medication

What can you say about this? Let us know in the comments!

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