Why Am I Dreaming So Much All of a Sudden?

Vivid dreams can be a lot to handle. The intensity of the emotions you feel while dreaming can affect you so deeply that you wake up feeling drained and tired.

Can dreaming so much be a sign of some sort? Or is it just a symptom of insufficient sleep?

Well, excessive dreaming doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dreaming more than usual. You just remember more of your dreams. Since you only remember dreams when you wake up in the middle of one, you probably wake up multiple times each night.

That’s called fragmented sleep, which can happen because of physical or mental changes. So, knowing how to stop dreaming so much depends on what causes fragmented sleep in the first place.

Why Am I Having So Many Dreams Lately?

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Everyone dreams for about 2 hours every single night. And contrary to what your co-worker says about him never dreaming, he dreams too but never remembers what he dreams about.

That’s pretty normal since humans are designed to forget about 95% of dreams in a few minutes after waking up. It’s a mechanism to prevent the brain from going bonkers due to the fantastical details of a bizarre dream. Humans are lucky like that.

If you find yourself in the unlucky position of dreaming more than usual or remembering more of your dreams, it’s likely because of how frequently you wake up. Scientists call this “fragmented sleep.”

Many conditions can cause this problem. Some of them are transient and go away on their own, while others might require professional help from a physician or a psychiatrist. They may include the following:

Short-Term Stress

If you have a big deadline coming soon or a problem at work, you might find yourself dreaming more than usual. Waking up frequently due to stress and going back to sleep can make you feel like you’ve had a long night.

Sleep Disorders

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Disordered sleep could result from jet lag when you travel and your time zone changes or due to an underlying diagnosis of insomnia or narcolepsy.

When your body doesn’t get enough rest, you might find that you sleep at awkward times, waking up suddenly after having an odd dream. You might also experience this several times a day or a night.

Drugs (Prescription and Recreational)

Unfortunately, some prescription drugs can cause excessive dreaming. Some antidepressants (SSRIs), antihypertensives (beta blockers and alpha agonists), and Parkinson’s disease medications can cause this problem.

Recreational substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and ketamine can all result in vivid dreams. Alcohol withdrawal can also result in deeper sleep, making you dream much more.


Pregnancy changes your body’s hormonal balance, which affects both the physical and mental aspects of your health. This can cause occurrences of disturbed sleep and odd dreams.

Breathing Problems

Sleep apnea and snoring are both the result of airway obstruction during sleep. If you suffer from this issue, you might find you wake up frequently, remembering random details about your dreams.

This can be a transient issue due to a respiratory infection, like the flu, but some people have more pervasive issues that require medical help.

Mental Illness

People with uncontrolled depression and anxiety often face vivid dreaming as part of their symptoms. It can also happen as a sign of PTSD after losing a loved one, an accident, or other traumatic events.

Other mental health issues like schizophrenia and dissociative disorders can also cause vivid dreams.

Does Dreaming So Much Make You Tired?

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Dreams are thought to help your brain process the day’s events and information, keeping what’s important and discarding the rest. The act of dreaming shouldn’t have any negative effects on your physical well-being; however, that doesn’t seem to be the case for everyone.

When you suffer from one of the conditions that lead to fragmented sleep, you might feel like dreaming so much makes you wake up tired. That said, the lack of proper rest causes this feeling, and your recollection of the vivid dreams adds to the emotional toll of the lost sleep.

In rare cases, the frequency of bad dreams can be diagnosed as a nightmare disorder if it interferes with your waking hours and disrupts your daily routine. 

Will I Stop Dreaming So Much Every Night?

The answer to the question of whether you’ll stop having so many vivid dreams depends on the reason you’re experiencing them. In the case of short-term stress or pregnancy, the reason is transient and goes away on its own.

You can help your brain unwind for the night when you put yourself in the right mood for sleep. This can include:

  • Sleeping in a dark, quiet room.
  • Having the room temperature slightly cooler at night.
  • Avoiding screens about 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only getting into bed when you’re feeling sleepy.

When it comes to prescription drug-induced vivid dreaming, your best bet would be a new prescription that deals with this symptom, but not before consulting your doctor. For recreational drug and alcohol use, abstaining can help your nervous system recover.

As for the other physical and mental health issues, seeing a healthcare professional about your symptoms can help you uncover the reason behind them. Getting the proper treatment for schizophrenia is just as important as eliminating sleep apnea; both can save your life.

To Wrap Up

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If you find yourself dreaming so much more than usual, it’s probably because of fragmented sleep. You’re more likely to remember your dream if you wake up in the middle of it, and that’s what happens in this case.

The reasons behind it could either be physical or mental. The most common ones are stress, anxiety, depression, drug side effects, breathing problems, or being pregnant.

Stopping excessive vivid dreams could be as easy as putting yourself in a better mood for sleep. However, you might also need professional help to eliminate the cause.

Penny Albright
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