Have you ever woken up from a deep night’s sleep, feeling like you lived through a thousand lifetimes? It can be quite jarring to wake up from a vivid dream. Sometimes it might not even feel like a dream but rather a lifelike experience. Although as captivating as they may seem, vivid dreams tend to leave you feeling extremely confused and unsettled.
But that’s not something to worry about. Often people wonder what they mean or what vivid dreams are a sign of. In fact, due to their realistic nature, some people believe that vivid dreams are linked to mental illness. So, what exactly is the truth? — To find out, carry on reading.
What Are Vivid Dreams?
A vivid dream is like experiencing memories from an alternate version of yourself. Some people describe their vivid dreams as magical and enchanting. Rather than day-to-day dreams, where nothing makes sense, and everything is blurry, vivid dreams are crystal clear. It’s like watching a movie in 4K, or rather, transporting into an alternate universe and living through different scenarios.
What sets vivid dreams apart from other forms of dreams is how realistic they look and feel. From smells to taste and touch, all your senses are heightened and utilized. So much so that if you get shot in your dream, it might feel like you’re in physical pain after waking up!
Vivid dreams result from REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and typically occur towards the end of your sleep, right when you’re about to wake up. This is what makes them feel so real.
What Are Vivid Dreams A Sign of?
Because of how intense vivid dreams are, there is a lot of speculation on what they mean and what causes them. Sadly, there isn’t enough study to understand what makes them so incredibly lifelike and graphic. However, there are a few cases that these dreams can be linked to, such as the ones mentioned below.
Stress & Anxiety
Mental stress doesn’t just affect your health, but it can also negatively impact your sleep cycle. Whether you recently had your heart broken or are dealing with a lot of workplace stress, chances are it’s all altering your dreams, making them seem more realistic.
Side Effects of Certain Medicines
Drugs, whether prescriptive or recreational, can alter your perception of reality. Depending on the type of medications you have, they might be the reason behind the nightly vivid dreams.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is, by far, one of the biggest reasons behind hallucinations and vivid dreams. If you haven’t had a complete, restful sleep in a few days, you might experience a strong series of vivid dreams once you get the time to sleep it off.
Waking up in the middle of the night can lead to a restless sleep. It’s why people often wake up feeling groggy and tired in the morning. However, it can also be what triggers you to remember your dream with such clarity.
Underlying Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy can cause vivid dreams and increase the overall intensity. These dreams might slowly turn into a nightmare or give way to sleep paralysis if they become too frequent.
A change in your hormonal balance is bound to mess up your sleep. According to research, women in their third trimester of pregnancy often experience vivid dreams compared to non-pregnant women.
Whether it’s your physical health that’s suffering or your mental health, a disruption in the mind and body can influence your sleeping habits and lead to vivid dreams.
Here’s What To Do Next
To summarize, vivid dreams are a sign of various health-related issues, most of which deal with the imbalance in your body and mind. Plus, even if vivid dreams aren’t something to be worried about, it’s still better to visit a sleep therapist and get yourself examined.