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Why do we have Bad Dreams

Have you ever thought why do we have bad dreams? What are the reasons behind there occurrence and why they come haunting us every now and then? Find out the answer to these question in the following article. Just have a look.
When I was a kid we used to go to our grandmothers house every year. But I always try to avoid a long stay at her place. The reason behind it was a nightmare. I used to get the same nightmare every night and it used to come only when I was there at her place. It was so scary that I used to wake up at midnight and hold my mother tight so that I won't see that dream again. This carried on for a long time and after some years I stopped getting that dream. This always made me wonder why do we have bad breams. But today after searching on this topic I have come up with lots of possibility on the causes of bad dreams and their relation with our daily life. So, let's have a peep into our dreams to find out the reasons and facts about their occurrence.

What Causes Bad Dreams

Bad dreams are very common in children than in adults. This is because children are exposed to new things everyday and they look at them according to their perception. But this doesn't mean that the adults do not have bad dreams. Approximately 70% of the adults have bad dreams at least once in a month. We have different stages of sleep and we get nightmare in the REM sleep or rapid eye movement sleep. At this stage most of the muscles of our body get paralyzed and only few muscles are active. This takes place at the later part of the night and usually becomes a nightmare as we woke up from the dream scared, restless and worried. Though there have been many researches to find out the exact reason behind bad dreams, it is still a mystery. However there have been many assumption and possible cause for there occurrence which we will discuss in the following given points.
  • Anxiety and stress play a very major role in waking you up with a bad dream. Your daily work pressure and your hectic schedule make you so tensed and stressed that you get scary dreams at night about death of your dear ones, accidents, etc. These may occur as your mind and body is not getting enough rest. One of the best example of bad dreams due to stress is the time when you have your examinations. At this moment you may get a dream that you reached late for the exam or you don't known the answers to any question or you are caught cheating. But once you get up you will find it's a dream.
  • Trauma can be a very significant cause for a bad dream. Death of your near ones or shock or any tragic incident which has a deep impact in your mind may be related to your dream. You may see the person alive in your dream or may even see the entire incident again about their death. Many times the end of a serious and strong relationship may also end up with an emotional but very bad dream.
  • Watching horror movies or war movies may cause bad dreams in children. Even adults may also get bad dreams after watching such movies.
  • Apart from the psychological factors, physical condition of the person may also be a contributing factor for bad dreams. Fever, illness, sleep apnea, breathing disorders, etc. are some of the physical conditions which may result in bad dreams. Intake of some medications and drugs may affect your mind and result in bad dreams. Usually there is no bad dreams meaning in such cases as they are the result of ill health.
  • Pregnant women usually have the problem of bad dreams. They usually dream that they have lost their baby or the baby is not well. These all thoughts come in their mind as they are usually worried about their unborn baby. It is a common problem and get solved once they give birth to the baby.
How to Stop Bad Dreams

Many people wonder how to stop bad dreams, well it may be difficult but not impossible. You can get control over your dreams. Following are some of the tips which may help you to get rid of bad dreams.
  • If your kid is afraid of darkness and usually complain about bad dreams then get a night lamp in his/her room. It will help your child for sure. Try to make them feel secure and safe before going to bed. If they woke up with a bad dream then listen to their dream and try to make them understand the reality. Help them to get over their fear of monster, ghosts and devils.
  • Try to avoid watching television or scary movies at least 1 hour before going to bed. Apply the same thing with your children too.
  • Incomplete sleep may result in bad dreams. Hence make it a point to get complete and proper sleep.
  • Keep you mind relaxed and stress free. Meditation can be a very good option to keep yourself calm and out of the bad thoughts.
  • If you get nightmares every night, then try to remember the dreams and jot them down in a notebook. You may find the problem as well as solution to your dreams just by doing this.
So, this was the possible story behind your bad dreams. Human brain works amazingly and hence it is not possible to find out the exact cause of nightmares. But yes, you can overcome the fear of these nightmares by using the above given tips. Sweet Dreams!
By Niharika Arya
Published: 3/14/2011
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