Nightmares are something that nobody can avoid during their lifetime. Despite how terrible it might be, nightmares are a crucial part of one’s psychological world. Nightmares are defined as dreams that bring out extreme feelings such as fear, terror, anxiety or anger. People who have nightmares often find them vivid or intense than bad dreams. Quite often nightmares are capable of causing the sleeper to actually wake up and experience intense feelings. This is the characteristic that makes nightmares different from normal dreams. People who are forced to be awake during a nightmare are likely to remember the details of it, while those having normal dreams can hardly remember all the exact details of what they have just seen in their dreams.
There is no limit to which age group that nightmares are prevalent. Both adults and children might encounter nightmares and bad dreams . It is estimated that while children and teens may have more frequent nightmares, which may justify by the fact that this is the age at which normal fears develop, and a child's imagination is very active. However, adults can and do still have them on a regular basis as well. A literature review found that 85% of adults admit they have at least one nightmare the previous year, 8-29% have monthly nightmares, and 2-6% report nightmares happen weekly. Older adults are 20-50% less likely to have nightmares in comparison to younger adults. Nightmares in adults are often spontaneous. But they can also be by a variety of factors and underlying disorders. In this article, we, have identified what causes nightmares or bad dreams at night in adults as well as its symptoms and remedies.
Finding What Causes Nightmare Or Bad Dreams At Night In Adults, Its Symptoms, And Remedies
II. Finding What Causes Nightmares
1. What Causes Nightmares – Stress And Anxiety
It is not much of an exaggeration that stress and anxiety are huge contributory factors that many people experience bad dreams and nightmares. Stress and anxiety can vary forms, ranging from temporary normal things you encounter daily like finishing tasks at school or work, moving to a brand new environment or failing a test, to more major occurrences like losing a family member, being made redundant, getting divorce, eating or anxiety disorders. Being stressed and feeling anxious are linked with a poor sleeping pattern in general, which might result in a nightmare. .
Specifically, about 15% of German athletes in one study admitted to having bad dreams before a big event, and most of them involve athletic failures. Many students also experience bad dreams prior to their tests or finals, sometimes even a long time after they have graduated from school.
Stress is definitely what causes nightmares at night in adults. In order to keep these bad dreams at bay, it is necessary to minimize the stress level by listening to music, hanging out with friends or doing meditation to help your body relax.
2. What Causes Nightmares – Excessive Alcohol Consumption
There is a grain of truth that consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can trigger nightmares in adults. When you are sleeping with alcohol in your system, it can allow vivid dreams and nightmares to occur. There’s also a possibility that you will sleepwalk or act something weird while you are still sleeping. Another reason why you should stay away from alcohol before bedtime is that it can cause breathing problems. In other words, drinking too much alcohol can change your breathing, thus interferes with your normal sleeping patterns and causes bad dreams.
In order not to have nightmares while you are sleeping, you should make an effort to stay away from wine, beer, and other alcohol beverages . By this way, you can not only keep bad dreams at bay, but you can also stand a good chance of improving the quality of your sleep.
3. What Causes Nightmares – Eating Before Bed
Eating before bed can increase your metabolism, which causes the brain to become more active and can possibly lead to nightmares. If you notice that you have more bad dreams after having a late night snack, it is exactly the reason why you experience bad dreams in your sleep. Therefore, you had better make a goal not to snack after dinner, or at least to avoid heavy meals right before
Whenever you consume something which has calories, whether in solid or liquid forms, you get the energy necessary for your body to function. A snack before bedtime is capable of giving your metabolism a boost, which puts your brain into an active mode, thus makes you not sleepy at all. In case you notice an increase in the number of nightmares you encounter each night after having a late night snack, it might be the reason why you experience bad dreams in your sleep. Therefore, you had attempt not to have some deserts or snacks after a full dinner, or ideally to stay away from foods before you go to bed to prevent feeling bloated. 
4. What Causes Nightmares – Lack Of Sleep
Weird as it seems, an insufficient amount of sleep is what causes nightmares or bad dreams in adults. It is a vicious cycle owing to the fact that not enough sleeping may result in nightmares, and having nightmares can cause a lack of sleep. If you notice that your nightmares increase in number when you have been skimping on sleep, it is advisory that you should practice proper sleep hygiene (for example, winding down before bed with a relaxing activity and keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature) to increase the time that you spend sleeping. You should also go to bed early if you often have troubles sleeping or insomnia.
Sleep insufficiency can result in various health-related problems and even nightmares. In order to keep yourself safe from bad dreams, make sure that you spend enough time on sleeping.
Check more: 30 Natural Home Remedies for Insomnia in Adults
5. What Causes Nightmares – Medications And Some Prescribed Pills
There is a belief that prescriptions, especially medications to treat depression might affect the quality of your sleep, consequently, they are suspected to have a direct link to nightmares. This is the reason why you should not gravitate towards medications if they are not too necessary. You had better consult your family or personal doctor to check whether a natural remedy or a recent change in lifestyle can be viewed as a substitution. On the occasion that you have no choice rather than using this type of drug, you will have to put it into consideration whether it does more harm than good then discuss the matter with your doctor. It might be worthy in some cases to handle the side effects of the medications – the nightmares if the pill is useful for you to cure a severe condition. However, if your health problem is not too bad, and it can be treated by using natural methods, it is totally fine that you go off the pills. 
6. What Causes Nightmares – Certain Foods
There are some types of foods which you might want to eliminate from your diet, especially before you go to bed so as to have sweet dreams rather than bad ones. They are ice cream, sugary treats and other carbohydrate-rich foods including bread and pasta. Cheese and caffeine-laced foods can be other culprits for bad dreams because your brain activity will increase, which is unnecessary for bedtime. In order to sleep faster and better, you will definitely want to relax your state of mind. Besides, foods with a lot of spices often have direct links to nightmares. This is easy to comprehend because these foods call for greater efforts from the body to digest them. Also, spicy foods increase the overall temperature of the body, and thus they could disrupt your brain functions and pave the way for nightmares.
7. What Causes Nightmares – Scary Movies, Books, Or Video Games
It is not wrong to assume that dreams, whether they are good or bad, are the reflections of what we experience throughout the day. Sometimes people want to recharge their batteries while satisfying their curiosity by opting for thrilling books, movies, and video games. However, they are often the reasons why some of them get nightmares at night. These scary scenes in a thriller or a game have the possibility to approach you at night, making your bad dreams vivid. If you belong to the group of people who have wild imaginations and good memories, do not watch thrilling movies, play a thrilling game read a scary book particularly before bedtime to avoid bad dreams at all costs.
Check more: 23 Natural Home Remedies for Anxiety Attacks
III. Nightmare Symptoms
There are some specific symptoms which all nightmares sufferers have in common. However, they do vary in forms and the level of seriousness. During sleep, a person who encounters nightmares experiences some of the symptoms, for example, irregular heartbeat and brain waves, breathing difficulties, or disrupted breathing patterns, abnormal blood oxygen levels, eye movements, leg movements, as well as muscle tensions. They are very disturbing to handle, so a number of treatments have been proposed by specialists to reduce the level of seriousness of the symptoms that nightmares often bring about to many people.
IV. Nightmare Treatments
Many scientific studies suggest that dreams can be the direct consequences of conscious thoughts before a person goes to bed. Reasonably, thinking about funny stories or great experiences can frequently help to eliminate a nightmare from occurring at night time before it even begins. By contrast, messing up your mind with bad experiences, unwanted events or constant anxiety and stress might worsen your dreams by making way for nightmares to occur. Ironically, no particular medical treatment available is prescribed for those suffering from constant nightmares. In case of a nightmare, reassurance, and calming methods prove to be the optimal solutions. If nightmares approach you on a much frequent basis, you had better take into consideration your daytime rituals. This might root from too much exposure to stress-causing factors, television, or video games, and unhealthy bedtime habits.
Luckily enough, you stand a good chance of eliminating the occurrences of nightmares from their roots by following some simple tips and tricks. First of all, hygiene is incredibly important to be practiced by anyone who has already experienced nightmares before. This comprises of developing a sleeping routine which begins at the same time on a daily basis, making your bedroom as comfortable and pleasant as possible, or even applying some essential oils like lavender oil or peppermint oil before you go to bed. Besides, using a candle or light at night can dwindle your fear or anxiety to a greater extent, which promotes better sleep in adults.
Furthermore, adults will notice a significant decrease in the number of nightmares by having an improvement in sleep and wake cycles. You should make an effort not to watch your favorite game show on television or computer at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour before bed; maintain times of waking up and sleeping consistently. Also, avoiding working in bed is essential as you send a signal to your mind that your bed is the place for relaxation and calmness rather than stress and anxiety caused by working. Last but not least, refraining from caffeinated drinks such as coffee or green tea in the afternoon can be beneficial for those who suffer from bad dreams.
If your nightmares approach you as frequently as more than two nights weekly in many repetitive months, then we suggest you consult a psychologist to have a better evaluation of your problems. Various types of psychological therapies are available now, ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy to healing body with music or meditation, can be of great use in reducing the occurrences and severity of your terrible nightmares.
Keep reading: 29 Benefits of Lavender Oil for Hair, Skin, and Health
In conclusion, what causes nightmares or bad dreams at night in adults does range from stress or anxiety, medications, diet, to lifestyles. Nightmares can be such a nuisance for those who encounter them, therefore, if you are a victim of bad dreams, you might want to implement some techniques we have listed above how to keep nightmares at bay. If you know any further thing that triggers a nightmare in the first place or some tips and tricks to get rid of nightmares, feel free to share with us.