Nightmares are caused due to various reasons. Explore the article to know what causes nightmares and how to cure them.

What Causes Nightmares

Etymologically, nightmares means unpleasant dreams, formed from night, and mare, which is an old English term for a demon that supposedly used to sit on sleeper’s chest causing them to have bad dreams. Nightmares are often scary and the dreamer may feel disturbing emotions such as fear and anxiety, and sometimes it can even wake a person. The whole mystery of nightmare is yet to unravel, however many studies done over the time has found many causes which may have caused nightmare in a person. In the following lines, we have listed many possible reasons, which are believed to cause nightmare and the ideas to combat it. Read on to know what cause nightmares and how to stop getting nightmares.
Cause Of Nightmares
  • Causes of nightmares are as varied as the nightmares itself. There is no fixed reason for a nightmare. However, studies have found some common reasons, which cause nightmares. One of the causes of nightmare may be the physical condition.
  • Stress is another factor, which triggers nightmares. When a person is in extreme stress, he/she may get nightmares. In scientific terms, it is a way to release all the stress.
  • Sometimes nightmares can be caused after a trauma. If a person has suffered from a mental or physical trauma, the memories of the event can cause bad dreams or nightmares.
  • Worries are also a main reason in causing nightmares. If a person is constantly worried about something, he/she is more likely to have nightmares.
  • Some studies have shown nightmares to be genetic also. If you have a family history of nightmares or sleeping disorders, you may inherit the trait.
  • It is wrongly said that only children suffer from nightmares. The main reasons why children have more nightmares is that they are still to come in terms with their emotions and the frequent nightmares are the outcome of the imbalance of their emotions. A person who may be handling an emotional turbulence may get nightmares.  
  • Some people can suffer from nightmare because of certain drugs or medication or sometimes because of a sudden withdrawal from those drugs. Fever and other types of illnesses can also cause nightmares. Sometimes nightmares can be a side effect of certain drugs and medicines.
  • A sudden withdrawal from alcohol mainly from a raging alcoholic can also cause nightmares.
  • Sometimes we tend to bottle up our emotions and that causes nightmare. A person with a high emotional quotient is supposed to get more nightmares.
  • Sometimes a lack or an irregular pattern of sleep can also cause nightmare.
  • People suffering from depression may also suffer from nightmare.
  • Dream can often be related to day-to-day life and a sudden and too much change in one’s life like death of a dear one, financial problems etc can trigger nightmares.
  • Some studies also show that eating food just before retiring to bed can give a lot of energy to the brain, making it more active even during sleep thus sometimes causing nightmare.
Cure Of Nightmares
  • If you are getting nightmares frequently, try to recollect the details in the morning and write down the details of it.
  • If you dream that you are running from something, try to recollect it and face it head on. When you face your fear, it doesn’t remain fear.
  • You can also try to give a happy ending to your nightmare. For instance, if you dream of falling from a big building, then intentionally add the ending to it by thinking that you are not falling but gliding with wings and the prospect is not scary but happy.
  • If you are worried about a constant nightmare, don’t hesitate to take the help of a psychiatrist.
  • Yoga and meditation will also help you keep your emotions in check. Incorporating them in your lifestyle will also keep you away from stress. Breathing exercises also help in combating nightmares.
  • Don’t bottle up your emotions inside you. Talk to a trusted person about your feelings or write it up. It may help you combat nightmares.

How to Cite

More from