There are many reasons why you may be dreaming so much, some of which are tied to physiological aspects, but others are psychological causes. It is easy to treat and self-diagnose most physiological aspects on your own.
Nevertheless, there are a couple of cases, like sleep disorders and hormonal fluctuations, where it is imperative to consult a specialist.
Learn what it means to dream a lot and read about the remedies and causes of such a condition, so you can go back to getting beauty sleep in no time. It informs you about your mental and physical health.
During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, the eyelids beneath your closed eyes move rapidly. This is the period where most of our dreams occur.
In this stage, your muscles in the legs and arms are temporarily immobilized, inhibiting you from enacting your dreams, while your brain remains highly inactive.
It is a common myth that dreams only happen in REM sleep, however, dreams can also occur in the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage of sleep, which is less memorable and vivid compared to REM sleep.
Disrupting any of these stages can lead to irregular sleep patterns, which can cause anything that has the meaning of decreasing or increasing your dreams and causing you to drift out and contribute to sleep.
During the night, you experience more frequent dreams. Let’s explore in detail the various reasons behind these dreams, which can range from physiological disturbances such as medication, sleep disorders, and drug usage to psychological disturbances like stress, anxiety, and deteriorating mental well-being.
1. Sleep Disorders such as Sleep Apnea and Insomnia
Restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy, as well as parasomnia, hypersomnia, sleep apnea, and insomnia, are among the most common sleeping disorders that affect approximately 70 million people in the United States. There are more than 80 different types of sleeping disorders, which can disrupt your normal sleep patterns.
While sleeping, it is possible to experience brief moments where breathing ceases; this condition is known as sleep apnea. Individuals suffering from this disorder often complain of a chronic inability to fall asleep or maintain sleep, with insomnia being the prevailing issue. Throughout the day, patients commonly experience drowsiness and fatigue, which is the primary symptom shared by all affected individuals.
Narcolepsy, a particularly serious sleeping disorder, involves the occurrence of frequent vivid dreams during daytime sleep attacks.
Sleep disturbances impact the way your brain handles dreams and the quality of your sleep. It is typical to encounter regular dreams as your brain attempts to compensate for the time it lost once it finally enters REM sleep.
2. Impact of Using Certain Medications
Some patients with interconnected sleep disorders and medication may be affected by certain medications, either over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor. These medications can easily impact the length and quality of your sleep. They can dysregulate the chemicals in your brain that cause you to have less or more REM sleep, disrupting your sleeping patterns and dreams.
It is important to check with your doctor to see whether your sleep can be affected by the medication you are taking. Some examples of heart medication include alpha-blockers for high blood pressure and beta-blockers for chest pains. Anti-depressants have also been known to cause insomnia.
In order to receive a less anxiety-inducing medication, you must consult with your doctor to see if they can provide it. These emotional fluctuations can often translate into more dreams and tap into your dreams. Additionally, some medications can have emotional side effects, resulting in irritability and agitation stemming from anxiety.
3. Impact of Melatonin Supplements
Many young adults are utilizing melatonin supplements as sleep aids for individuals who struggle to fall asleep, often without a prescription or exceeding the recommended dosage. This practice of taking melatonin before bedtime is becoming increasingly widespread.
The effects of melatonin supplements range from dizziness to daytime sleepiness but can include recurrent vivid dreams and nightmares in higher doses.
4. Discontinuing Medication
The effects of using medication that affects sleep can also be noticed when you stop using medication that induces insomnia, as you may notice that you are dreaming too much when your brain and sleep patterns readjust.
5. Utilizing Substances such as Cannabis and Cocaine
Recent research suggests that drugs such as marijuana have been linked to improved sleep quality. However, the use of THC products (which contain the medicinal compound found in weed and do not induce a high) along with CBD (the chemical in marijuana that induces a high) often causes confusion among many individuals.
Disrupting REM sleep can contain significant quantities of THC, while most marijuana products offer numerous advantages such as reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep quality, similar to CBD.
Dr. Hans Hamburger, an expert sleep neurologist, explains that when smokers stop smoking, their dreams come back with a vengeance, but smoking weed suppresses REM sleep and causes smokers to experience sudden surges of vivid dreams.
It is the identical tale with cocaine, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages.
People who regularly drink alcohol, especially before bedtime, tend to have inconsistent Rapid Eye Movement (REM) patterns, which can disturb the occurrence of dreams.
Vivid nightmares are a common occurrence in alcohol abusers, as these dreams may become more intense when the drinker quits, causing the brain to struggle to readjust to normal sleeping patterns.
6. Low Emotional Well-being
Poor mental health includes a variety of mental disorders and illnesses ranging from schizophrenia to depression, all of which contribute to overall emotional instability and turmoil. Dealing with REM sleep is responsible for dealing with these illnesses.
Throughout the day, as you encounter momentary responsive occurrences, these dreams become more frequent. Your brain’s attempt to interpret emotional stimuli during REM sleep can lead to recurring dreams that are activated.
7. High Levels of Stress and Anxiety
In that period, with nightmares being the most prevalent peculiar dreams, a 2020 survey conducted amidst the COVID Pandemic indicated that individuals were experiencing an increased frequency of dreaming. This phenomenon was attributed to extended periods of sleep resulting from quarantine measures, as well as heightened anxiety and stress induced by the distressing circumstances.
When the brain attempts to regulate its emotional state, there is an increase in dream activity or a higher frequency of waking up at night, which can make falling asleep difficult. Our emotions are influenced to a greater extent by cortisol levels during REM sleep, especially when we experience higher levels of stress. Generally, cortisol levels decrease when we obtain sufficient REM sleep.
While in REM sleep, the mind is exerting more effort to resolve the emotional turmoil, resulting in heightened and more frequent dreams during stressful and anxiety-inducing circumstances.
8. Hormonal Changes Such as Pregnancy
It is very common for pregnant women to experience more vivid dreams, including more dreams, during this period of hormonal changes, leading to anxiety and various emotions.
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9. Consuming Foods with a High Metabolism Boost Before Bedtime, such as Spicy Cuisine
Before consuming spicy foods, it is a widely considered fact by many people that they can cause strange dreams and an increase in metabolic rate and body temperature.
It is always important to remember that different foods process our bodies in various ways. This can cause strange recurrent dreams and negatively affect your body’s reaction to it, hence these conditions are not optimal for REM sleep.
10. Inadequate sleep over the past few days – Sleep Deficiency
The lack of sleep is linked to many side effects, such as dizziness, daytime sleepiness, depression, high blood pressure, and serious health problems like stroke. It works harder to make up for the increasing strain on your organs, causing your body to be deprived of sleep.
Yes, having intense and vivid dreams indicates that your brain is more active during the REM stage of sleep, which in turn increases your craving to find yourself more sleep. Additionally, the more sleep deprived your body is, the more intense your sleep becomes. So, it is true that having more dreams correlates with having less sleep.
11. Marathon Viewing and Social Networking
Your mother was correct; you should not watch television until late at night.
Disturbances in sleep can also add to the racket caused by the gadgets and illumination present in the room. Whether it’s a television, laptop, or smartphone, if you view anything on a device that emits blue light within 90 minutes before bedtime, disruptions in sleep occur more often. Watching television for more than 2 hours daily has been associated with sleep disturbances.
Anything that causes sleep disturbances can lead to a phenomenon called Rebound REM, where your brain tries to recover sleep after a disturbance, causing a bigger space in your sleep cycle for vivid and memorable dreams to occupy.
What to Do When You Have Frequent Dreams
Obtaining at least 90 minutes of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, during which you have the opportunity to sleep for approximately seven to nine hours, constitutes a typical sleep cycle that can effectively address a majority of underlying factors. Occasionally, experiencing excessive dreaming may warrant attention, as one can discern.
Given sufficient personal time, even the most unfavorable factors contributing to vivid dreams will eventually diminish. To expedite this progress, you can adopt a healthy sleep routine. It is important to remain patient.