Skip to content
    Select An Article

    Nightmares in Adults

    (continued)
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    What Causes Nightmares in Adults? continued...

    Withdrawal from medications and substances, including alcohol and tranquilizers, may trigger nightmares. If you notice a difference in your nightmare frequency after a change in medication, talk with your doctor.

    Sleep deprivation may contribute to adult nightmares, which themselves often cause people to lose additional sleep. Though it's possible, it has not been confirmed whether this cycle could lead to nightmare disorder.

    There can be a number of psychological triggers that cause nightmares in adults. For example, anxiety and depression can cause adult nightmares. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also commonly causes people to experience chronic, recurrent nightmares.

    Nightmares in adults can be caused by certain sleep disorders. These include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. If no other cause can be determined, chronic nightmares may be a distinct sleep disorder. People who have relatives with nightmare disorder may be more likely to have the condition themselves.

    What Are the Health Effects of Nightmares in Adults?

    Nightmares become much more than bad dreams when they have a significant effect on your health and well-being. Among people who experience nightmares, those who are anxious or depressed are more likely to be distressed about the experience and suffer even more psychological ill effects. Although the relationship is not understood, nightmares have been associated with suicide. Because nightmares may have a significant impact on your quality of life, it's important to consult a medical professional if you experience them regularly.

    Sleep deprivation, which can be caused by nightmares, can cause a host of medical conditions, including heart disease, depression, and obesity.

    If nightmares in adults are a symptom of untreated sleep apnea or post-traumatic stress disorder, the underlying disorders can also have significant negative effects on physical and mental health.

    Treatments for Nightmares in Adults

    Fortunately, there are steps you and your doctor can take to lessen the frequency of your nightmares and the effect they are having on your life. First, if your nightmares are the result of a particular medication, you may be able to change your dosage or prescription to eliminate this unwanted side effect.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    fatigued senior woman
    We’ve got 10 tips to show you how
    Man snoring in bed
    Know your myths from your facts.
     
    Young woman sleeping
    What do your dreams say about you?
    woman eith hangover
    It’s common, and really misunderstood.
     
    Young woman sleeping
    Quiz
    Cannot sleep
    Video
     
    child sitting in bed
    Article
    Woman with insomnia
    Quiz
     
    nurse sleeping
    ARTICLE
    Foods That Help Or Harm Your Sleep
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
    Slideshow
    Pain at Night
    ARTICLE