We all had nights full of dreams, whether good or bad. However, have you ever noticed that you wake up feeling tired after these nights? If yes, it is time to explore if it is true that dreams affect our sleep quality.

Even though there are some pleasant dreams that feel just like reality, most often, we dream of something bad. In fact, we usually have bad dreams somehow related to what we worry about and thoughts about during the day.

If you experience high stress about something, you are likely to dream about it during the night. Regardless of how sweets are dreams, they might have an impact on your sleep quality. Studies show that almost half of US residents are chronically sleep-deprived. That is why it is vital to learn how dreams can affect your sleep and how to achieve a higher quality of night rest.

How Dreams Work

Even though some people say they don’t have dreams, the truth is that we all dream, anywhere from 3 to 6 times, but we can not remember them. Experts say that dreaming is a healthy normal part of our sleep. Scientifically dreams are described as a series of images, stories, emotions and feelings that happen throughout the sleep stages.

Dreams that we remember occur during the REM cycle of sleep, which means rapid eye movement. The REM sleep stage starts about 90 minutes after you have fallen asleep and usually lasts only about 10-15 minutes. That is because our brain is in an active stage at this point, so we often remember dreams that we see during that time.

As we mentioned, dreams can work as a way for us to play out events that happened during the day. They can also feel like a response to a memorable situation. If you had something stressful, exciting or sad happen during the day, you are likely to dream about it during the night.

Bad Dreams

As you may have already guessed, when you have a scary dream or nightmare, it will likely negatively affect your sleep. And the worst thing here is that it will wake you up during the night and make you feel stressed, making it really hard to fall asleep again. Bad dreams don’t allow our brain to relax, making your sleep less and affecting the overall sleep quality. That is why you can feel exhausted in the morning.

Even though bad dreams are normal, when they appear every night, they can damage your health. Chronic lack of sleep is bad for health and may even lead to health diseases, like heart issues and obesity. That is why it is recommended to relax before going to sleep using the fall asleep app, which has been specially designed to soothe your brain and let it sleep all night long, reducing chances for bad dreams. Other apps, like the mesmerize app, offer a unique audio visual meditation experience that helps you clear your mind and fully unwind before bed.

Good Dreams

The good news is that good dreams usually don’t affect our sleep quality. When you have a deep night’s sleep, you will likely remember good dreams when waking up. However, scientists don’t know if pleasant dreams make you sleep better. But they agree that remembering good dreams usually means you’re getting a great night’s sleep. 

Good dreams can also help us to boost memory since they aren’t always peaceful. Confusing, strange, or bizarre dreams have been shown to help our brain process memories and emotions.

The Impact of Dreams

On Sleep

Even though dreaming is a normal process, there can be a few abnormal parts of dreaming that can influence sleep quality or overall mental health. For instance, if you have vivid dreams immediately after falling asleep, it could be a sign that you have a condition known as narcolepsy.

As we mentioned, good dreams do not typically have an impact on sleep, but nightmares can. Bad dreams may cause difficulty in moving between sleep cycles, making a person feel drowsy during the day. 

Overworked exhausted man sleeps on chair in empty office. Workaholic employee falling asleep because of while working late at night alone in the office for important company project.

On Daily Life

Both bad and good dreams have an impact on our daily life. If you constantly have bad dreams, you will likely struggle with falling asleep, making you feel angry and tense, ruining your mood, increasing your appetite and so on. In addition, the chronic lack of sleep is also harmful to overall health and wellness. Dreaming can also work as a great way for a person to process the day, emotions and stressful situations, which might have a positive effect on mental health.

But some people do not have dreams, which usually means they are not reaching REM sleep. As a result, they are more prone to sleepiness, depression and health issues. Studies also show that those having bad dreams and nightmares tend to have higher rates of stress during the day and are more likely to develop sleep disorders in the long term. Likewise, those with positive dreams usually don’t have sleep disorders. 

Night Terrors and Nightmares

Night terrors and nightmares are two different dream types. Night terrors appear due to a negative dream and are usually associated with non-REM sleep stages. This type of dream is common for children. This type of dream doesn’t wake up people during the night though it may last for 10-30 minutes. Nightmares are dream types that cause people to wake abruptly. Nightmares can happen to anyone and at any age.

Bottom Line

We all have had dreams. Some dream every night, and others can’t remember anything but one thing is clear – sleep affects our sleep and our daily life as well. While good dreams are more pleasant and help us stay happier during the day, nightmares and bad dreams can cause a lack of sleep and lead to severe health issues. 

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