When was the last time you had a weird dream? The meaning of dreams is often associated with our mental health and how we feel about events in our lives. However, recent research has linked dreaming to our physical and mental health as well.
You have a fever: In our fast paced society, it is common for us to ignore symptoms of being sick, but a nightmare may just catch our attention. Illness can trigger nightmares, especially if a fever is tagging along.
You are too stressed: Pay attention to any broad themes across many dreams. Themes such as being hit by a tidal wave or missing a plane are signs of stress. Bizarre dreams in general may be a sign that you need to slow down in life, and may hold clues as to what is bothering you.
Your blood sugar is low: For diabetics, a nightmare or bad dream can be a symptom of a dip in blood sugar. Too much insulin or certain medications can induce this reduction, called hypoglycemia.
You could be pregnant: Many mothers-to-be dream more during pregnancy. Dreams can increase in frequency and strangeness. Although bad dreams may also increase, one study did find that this increase is a sign that women are less likely to experience postpartum depression–another linked more dreams with shorter periods of labor.
You may need to speak with a mental specialist: Mental health conditions can cause sleep interruptions and vivid, bizarre dreams. People with bipolar disorder are known to have weird dreams, while those with PTSD have more nightmares more frequently.
By staying knowledgeable about sleep hygiene and health, we can use the information to improve our overall health. Consider keeping a dream journal, to interpret your dreams over time!