Why Are You Dreaming So Much?

Everyone dreams, and there are many types of dreams, some of which are not remembered after awakening. Dreams represent images and stories we create in our mind during sleep, and can be very vivid and make you feel afraid, sad, or happy. They may seem rational or be extremely confusing. You may ask: why do I dream so much? It may be that you have lots of REM sleep, which is the time when dreaming is most prevalent.

Dreaming and Sleep

Most people dream at least two hours every night, although the exact reason we dream is not completely understood. Sigmund Freud had a lot to say about dreaming. He believed that dreams represented our unconscious needs and desires. It was only in the early 1950s that scientists identified REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep state in babies. After that, there was more research on sleep and the phenomenon of dreaming. They discovered that most of the dreams we have happen during the REM stage of sleep.

Some scientists came to the belief that we dream because the brain is trying to find meanings in signals received when we are in REM sleep. The cortex of the brain is the part that organizes environmental information while we are awake. It could be that the isolated nerve impulses from the pons in REM sleep are being interpreted by the cortex while we sleep so that a story is created out of this random brain activity.

Why Do I Dream So Much?

Scientists do not know why some people dream a lot and others do not. However, it is true that there are those who have dreams that last for a longer time during the night and are more vivid than others’. It could mean that there is a great emotional burden some people are experiencing so that they actually have nightmares. It is not considered dangerous to dream excessively or to have really vivid dreams.

You may be dreaming a lot because you have a lot to think about. According to Freud, dreams happen because we have inner conflicts that need working out in our subconscious. Other scientists believe that dreams are a way to organize or categorize our thoughts and memories. It is suspected that we have about four or more dreams per night but many people don’t remember them.

However, some factors may be associated with excessive dreaming:

Worrying and Depression

There are several reasons why you might ask yourself “why do I dream so much”. It’s possible that you are depressed. People who suffer from depression tend to dream more often because they experience more emotional arousal. Depression is associated with strong emotions and heavy rumination. It causes excessive worry about things that aren’t easily solved. These unresolved issues need to go somewhere and they sometimes are acted out in our brains. If we can’t solve the problems during the day, our brain attempts to solve them in our sleep through dreaming.

Pregnancy

Women tend to dream more often during pregnancy. The number of dreams goes up, especially those that are vivid or unusual. While this isn’t a pleasant experience, having these types of dreams may be lucky. A study out of Israel revealed that women who had scarier dreams also had a decreased risk of postpartum depression. Another study in Italy showed that women who had upsetting dreams often had shorter labors.

Sleep Disorders Related to Dreams

There is a condition known as REM behavior disorder or RBD. People who have this disorder don’t just left wondering “why do I dream so much?” Instead they tend to physically act out their dreams. They will move their legs around or get out of bed to act out whatever they are dreaming of. They can engage in unusual behaviors such as screaming, shouting, talking, punching, or hitting people in their sleep. People with RBD also have dreams during the REM sleep, but lack the muscles paralysis experienced by normal people during this phase.

People who have excessive dreaming can suffer from nightmare disorder as well. This involves having a dream that is negative in nature so that the person experiences fear or anxiety when dreaming. Nightmares are extremely common and they are not dangerous. They only become problematic if they interrupt your sleep or make it difficult for you to go to sleep. You can be diagnosed with nightmare disorder if you have recurrent nightmares that interfere with your daily functioning. Nightmare disorder usually starts in teens and can last throughout a person’s life.

How Can I Improve My Sleeping?

If you ask yourself “why do I dream so much?” there are ways you can learn to sleep better. Some of these include:

  1. Maintain a regular schedule. Try to get to sleep at the same time every night and awaken at the same time in the morning. This sets a specific sleeping and waking cycle so you sleep more easily at night.
  2. Eat and drink moderately before bedtime. You should never go to bed straightly after a big meal or when you are hungry. These can interfere with your sleep. Also, you shouldn’t drink too much before sleeping or you will have to get up during the night to urinate.
  3. Have a nighttime ritual. Wind down every night in the same way. It might mean that you take a nice bath before retiring or that you read books or listen to music before going to bed. This can make the shift from daytime to nighttime much easier for you. Try not to use television to fall asleep as this may interfere with your sleep quality.
  4. Keep the environment comfortable. Make sure the room is dark, cool and silent. Try using a fan, earplugs or a shade to keep the environment more suitable for you to sleep. You need to also have a comfortable pillow and mattress.
  5. Avoid taking naps. If you take a long nap during the day, you will be less likely to fall asleep at night. If you must nap, keep it short—less than thirty minutes. If you are a night shift worker, you need to sleep during the day. You should keep the shades drawn so that your sleep isn’t interrupted by sunlight.
  6. Exercise during the day. If you exercise during the day, you will have a better quality of sleep. You need to exercise at least five hours before go to sleep as exercising too close to bedtime will be too energizing.
  7. Lessen stress. If you live a stressful life, you are less likely to be able to sleep well. Try managing your stress during the day so that you can sleep better at night. Set aside any worries you might have for the next day.
 
 
Current time: 11/19/2017 03:47:18 am (America/New_York) Memory usage: 1578.4KB