Updated 04 April 2014

Nightmares can predict diseases

Recent studies have shown that what you dream about can give insights into health problems you could face in the future.


Research published in the journal Sleep indicated that children with frequent nightmares were at risk of developing psychotic disorders later in life. The study, which included 6 800 children, found that those having nightmares 2-3 times a week were 3.5 times more likely to experience psychotic episodes, such as hearing voices, in their teenage years according to the NHS.

Regular bad dreams have also been linked to heart problems. People who suffer from regular nightmares were three times more likely to suffer from an irregular heartbeat and seven times more likely to complain of chest pain, claims a 2003 study in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine.

Read: The sinister side of snoring

One possible cause is sleep apnoea, a medical condition which causes breathing problems when sleeping. This inhibited flow of oxygen can cause severely unpleasant dreams along with numerous other health complaints.

Parkinsons can also be indicated by frequent nightmares, especially if they are notably vivid. Incredibly, this can indicate Parkinsons up to 10 years before any physical signs manifest themselves. These dreams often include violence and dreamers may punch and kick themselves and their sleeping partners, reports the Daily Mail.

Read: Health risks of insufficient sleep

Dreams involving anger, aggression and misfortune could be a sign of migraines in your immediate future, research shows.

Finally, the big M is often foreshadowed by a wave of bizarre dreams. The reasoning  being that menopause is accompanied by a notable drop in oestrogen, which in turn affects levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a key chemical in sleep-regulation and imbalances can cause hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats. These sleep disruptions could be an indication that menopause is just around the corner.

Read more:
8% of dreams are about sex
Sleepsex is real
Dreams help with learning

Sources: NHS/Daily Mail


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