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. You might also find yourself wondering, why am I dreaming so much all of a sudden?

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 during lighter parts of the sleep cycle, or when you wake up in the middle of one, you may very well be waking up multiple times each night.

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

Why Am I Having So Many Dreams Lately?

Why Am I Dreaming So Much All of a Sudden?

Everyone dreams for about 2 hours or more almost every single night. And contrary to what your co-worker says about he or she never dreaming, they dream too but are likely just not remembering what their dreams were 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. We humans are lucky like that, this is actually a feature, not a bug.

If you find yourself in the 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 “broken 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:

Dreaming and Short-Term Stress

We all know this feeling, it can happen 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 or anxiety and going back to sleep can make you feel like you’ve had a long night.

Dreaming and Sleep Disorders

Why Am I Dreaming So Much All of a Sudden?

If you travel a lot, your broken sleep could be a result of jet lag. This is common when you travel and your time zone changes and if you’ve ever experienced this, it can be really frustrating.

There are more specific medical disorders which if you have been diagnosed with, your issues will be far more complex than this article can cover.

None the less, when your body doesn’t get enough rest, you will find yourself sleepy at awkward times. This could be a reason you find yourself waking up suddenly after having an odd dream. 

Dreaming and Drugs (Prescription and Recreational)

If you have the need to take a prescribed medication, 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 can initially result in having vivid dreams, but they eventually limit your ability to have quality sleep, so these won’t be causes of excessive dreaming. Alcohol is also something many people drink before they go to sleep, but it also won’t cause you to have more dreams than usual. Instead, you are more likely to get worse sleep after drinking.

Dreaming and Pregnancy

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.

If you are pregnant, you may find yourself wondering, why am I dreaming so much all of a sudden?  I certainly did while I was pregnant and it’s the hormonal changes in your body that can play a role.

Breathing Problems and Dreaming

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 and Dreams

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?

Why Am I Dreaming So Much All of a Sudden?

The short answer is sometimes, but not always. Dreams are thought to help your brain process the day’s events and information, keeping what’s important and discarding the rest. Think of it like a dishwasher for your brain. Your mind is literally being cleaned and cleared for the next day ahead.

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. Especially if you are dealing with consistent bouts of broken sleep each night.

When you suffer from one of the above mentioned conditions that can lead to broken or 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 can go away on its own. If you are dealing with medically diagnosed sleeping issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, or even mental illness, you will need to seek specific, professional help for each of these issues.

You can help your brain unwind for the night when you put yourself in the right mood for sleep. This process is called “sleep hygiene” and it can include any combination of the following:

  • Sleeping in a dark room with blackout curtains.
  • Listening to a white noise machine.
  • Having the room temperature slightly cooler at night and using a humidifier.
  • Avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime to avoid blue light.
  • Only getting into bed when you’re feeling sleepy.
  • Taking a hot bath before going to bed.
  • Drinking a glass of chamomile tea or tart cherry juice.
  • Journaling, meditation or stretching before bed to calm your mind.

When it comes to prescription drug-induced vivid dreaming, your best bet, if you are feeling like there is a negative effect to using them, would be to try a new prescription that deals with this symptom. This is not meant as medical advice in any way and you will want to be sure to consult your doctor.

For recreational drug and alcohol use, abstaining is the best option. If you can’t quit, your next best option is to refrain from taking anything as you get closer to your bedtime each night.

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.

Conclusion: Why Am I Dreaming So Much All of a Sudden? 

If you find yourself dreaming a lot more than usual, it’s probably because of broken or fragmented sleep patterns each night. You’re more likely to remember your dream if you wake up in the middle of it, and that’s what happens in these cases.

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

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Easy Sleep Guide

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