Are you wondering what your dramatic dream from last night meant?
When we have dreams that feel very real and life-like, it’s no sweat for us to not forget them. Such dreams are called ‘Vivid Dreams’. Let’s explore them more!
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Meaning of Vivid Dreams
Standing true to its name, vivid dreams are those dreams that create clear images and powerful feelings in our mind.
The duration of our sleep is divided into various stages of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM). During the REM cycle, speedy movement occurs in our eyes and the brain activity increases leading to the bulk of our dreams. It is quite likely that vivid dreams occur during this stage when we doze off.
When such dreams are pleasant, one might feel good when reminiscing over them and might even want to continue the dream ahead. However, when they are displeasing, it can be off-putting and become a nightmare.
What causes vivid dreams?
Psychologists, Sleep scientists and brain researchers have been trying to solve the mystery behind dreams for a long time. Even though they haven’t been able to pin-point the precise reason, research studies do indicate a few reasons that might lead up to the occurrence of vivid dreams.
- Disturbance in sleeping pattern or Sleep Disorders: A good night’s sleep is very important for our well-being. Disturbances in our sleep patterns, for example, waking up in short intervals, sleep deprivation, getting up in the middle of or right after the REM cycle etc. can lead to vivid dreams. Moreover, sleep disorders like insomnia, and narcolepsy along with others also become a reason behind vivid dreams.
- Anxiety, trauma and stress: Daily life hassles, major life changes, and perception of stressors in our environment are the major reasons that lead to stress and resultant anxiety or trauma. This can also become a driving force for vivid dreams, especially the bad ones.
- The Pandemic: Yes, you read it right! The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought about an unmatched uncertainty and stress into the lives of people around the world. This has impacted sleep and dreams negatively, particularly with a rise in vivid and disturbing nightmares.
- Pregnancy: Due to the huge physical, hormonal and mental changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy, reporting of vivid dreams might increase. Early pregnancy and the third trimester might make a woman more vulnerable in this regard.
- Others: Apart from the aforementioned reasons, substance abuse, suffering from certain ailments and disorders or being under some medications might increase the likelihood of vivid dreams. Since the precise causes of vivid dreams haven’t been identified, there can be many other possible reasons.
Why are my dreams so vivid and what do they indicate?
After a bustling day of studies or work, you return back home, sit on your couch relaxingly and switch on your favorite show broadcasting on the television. Your mind does the same when you sleep. Your brain keeps working and visualizes the show that it likes best thus giving rise to your dreams!
Therefore, when you have vivid dreams once or only for a few times, it might be safe to ignore them; but if you see such vivid dreams repeatedly, it can become disturbing for you. Recurrence of vivid dreams can lead to an array of other problems.
- You might feel that sleep eludes you because of the lack of adequate sleep, a fear of waking up or watching another bad dream.
- When you don’t get a relaxing sleep, you might feel drowsy during the day and be unproductive at work.
- If your problem goes untreated, you can be at high risk of developing mood problems which can rise up to the severity of suicidal ideation.
How to resolve vivid dreams?
It is not easy to live with incidents or fear of vivid dreams on a regular basis. So, if vivid dreams are creating troubles for you, you should consult a doctor or a psychologist without any hesitation. Provided that you are consulting a specialist or are not highly affected due to vivid dreams, you can also try strategies like these:
- Healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy diet, not eating 3-4 hours before going to bed, drinking sufficient water and exercising regularly can be very beneficial for you. Even when you cease to have vivid dreams, practicing such habits of a healthy lifestyle can have a positive influence on your quality of life.
- Sleep Hygiene: To practice sleep hygiene, you can follow a sleeping schedule and a fixed bed-time routine. Employing relaxation techniques like ‘yoga nidra’ before sleeping can also help you avoid sleep disturbances and vivid dreams.
- Building your immunity for stress: Another method to resolve vivid dreams is to increase your resistance towards anxiety and stress. Work-life balance, yoga, meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques, soothing forms of therapy etc. is the way that leads up to this.
Overcoming vivid dreams and nightmares might put forth a difficult journey in front of you but not an impossible one! Evolve brings for you a special section ‘Sleep’ on the app to help resolve such issues. Try expert recommended guidance on relaxation, lifestyle management and a lot more on the Evolve App now!
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Karishma Golchha is pursuing Bachelor’s in Psychology. She is very keen about the human mind and looks forward to connect with you at firstname.lastname@example.org and evolve together!