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There is a common misconception that adults are supposed to have outgrown nightmares, but that is not true at all.

Even though nightmares are more common in children, half of adults have nightmares on occasion. Also, as small percentage, in between two and eight percent of adults, claim that they are plagued by nightmares.

Nightmares can cause stress, interrupt needed sleep and make a person anxious and tired during the day.

It is very important to find out what is causing the nightmares and to then make chances that will help to reduce the occurrence of the nightmares.

Definition of Nightmares

Nightmares are vivid and realistic dreams that are very disturbing and cause a person to wake up from a deep sleep.

They often result in sweating and a very fast heart beat. They usually occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, which is when most people dream.

Since the periods of REM sleep become longer and longer as the night progresses, nightmares are usually experiences in the morning.

The subject of the nightmare will, of course, vary for each individual.

They usually involve a traumatic event, like running to escape danger, or falling from a great height, though every nightmare is different and horrifying to the person dreaming it in its own way.

Causes of Nightmares

Nightmares are usually spontaneous, but there also may be a variety of factors and disorders that cause them.

A late-night snack can cause a nightmare, because the metabolism will be increased, which signals the brain to increase activity.

Medications can also lead to nightmares, as well as drugs that act on chemicals in the brain, such as antidepressants and narcotics.

Blood pressure medication can also cause nightmares.

Sleep deprivation often lead to bad dreams, and in turn, the nightmares will cause a further loss of sleep.

There are also psychological triggers linked with everyday waking life that can cause nightmares, including anxiety, depress and stress.

People who have a post-traumatic stress disorder tend to have a chronic case of nightmares.

Health effects

Nightmares can lead to significant effects on the health and well-being of a person.

Many people who have regular nightmares are also either anxious or depressed.

Nightmares have also been associated with suicide, though the reasons behind this are not known.

If nightmares are being experiences regularly, it is a good idea to see a medical professional because they can have serious effects on the health.

Sleep deprivation, for example, which are caused by nightmares, can cause many medical conditions, including heat disease, depression, and obesity in some cases.

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