Dreaming may be caused by several factors but most importantly by hormone imbalance and sleep disorder.
Have you ever felt more tired after a vivid dream? If so, then we suggest reading this article and finding out more about the causes and how to control your body tiredness from the hormonal perspective.
What are vivid dreams?
This phenomenon may be positive or negative, occurring fantasy or realistic images during rapid eye movement (REM) of your sleep. This sleep appears every 90 minutes during the sleep cycle and is and lasts for 20-25 minutes, meaning that about 25% of sleep is spent in this cycle.
Common causes of vivid dreams
Stress or anxiety
peoples’ life situations may cause a lot of stress and anxiety, leading to a serious disturbance in their sleep associated with nightmares. Any type of traumatic event from the past or present is a representation of the human state of well-being and mental health which affects negative vivid dreams.
sleeping problems such as insomnia or narcolepsy may cause vivid dreams and restless nights. Having an active life by travelling or spending the nights out too often is another lousy impact on the sleep schedule and causes vivid dreams.
Some medications contribute to vivid dreams, such as antidepressants, drugs for quitting smoking or blood pressure medications.
Drinking alcohol may also negatively cause vivid dreams.
This stage impacts a lot on female hormone levels and triggers vivid dreams, often affecting sleep patterns.
Click To learn all about your menstrual cycle, its functions and other hormones associated with it
What are the side effects of vivid dreams?
People usually experience them after or during a certain period of their life which is temporary. However, some people deal with it for months and can be emotionally disturbing and cause serious problems.
- Daytime sleepiness
This condition causes memory problems and concentration during the day, which, therefore, impacts their day-to-day habits or tasks and the inability to work productivity. At times, this may be dangerous and very disturbing.
- Mood problems
Mood problems are associated with depression and anxiety, which leads to emotional draining.
- Sleep resisting
Some people consciously or subconsciously try to avoid going to sleep because of the fear they have inside their heads of the appearance of vivid dreams.
6 Signs of Mental Exhaustion - Click here to find out
Five hormones that affect your sleeping patterns and cause vivid dreams.
Melatonin - The sleep hormone
Melatonin is a hormone that synchronises our 24h sleep-wake cycle and improves our lifestyle overall. As our melatonin level increases in the evening, the blood pressure drops, and we feel more sleepy, preparing our bodies for sleep. In addition, this hormone decreases the dopamine level and calms down brain activity. Therefore, melatonin production is essential for regular body activity. In the case of low melatonin production, this may cause some side effects mentioned above. It is necessary to regulate the level of this hormone by eating foods high in melatonin.
Natural ways of increasing melatonin level
- Limit the screen time before sleep
- Taking your vitamin D daily from sun
- Avoid caffeine
- Turn your room into a sleep mode - cool, fresh air, quiet, dark.
Click here to read more about How do hormones affect our sleep patterns.
Foods with a high level of melatonin
Its level fluctuates during the female menstrual cycle and has a side effect on sleep quality, generating vivid dreams or nightmares. In addition, the symptoms such as hot flushes during the night disturbs your sleep and mood swings may cause difficulty unwinding before bed. This hormone is the most affected during menopause of early pregnancy, meaning it needs extra control during these particular phases by considering a healthy alimentation.
This hormone is essential for excellent brain function because it has a natural anti-anxiety element, producing a calming effect overnight. In addition, progesterone helps you fall asleep faster and protects you from vivid dreams or disturbance during sleep.
Same as Oestrogen, when the progesterone level falls due to menopause or menstruation, it causes a negative impact on your sleep schedule. Therefore, to prevent symptoms of a high level of oestrogen or progesterone is essential to take supplements like menopause support or pain killers for menstruation for a better balance.
Insulin plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. This hormone is produced in the pancreas and helps the body utilise glucose. However, blood sugar level raises because of sleep deprivation. This is why we recommend not consuming food high in sugar before bedtime to prevent the need of producing more insulin which may cause diabetes. In addition, a high level of blood sugar shifts your body during the night into a lighter sleep rather than a deep one and causes disturbances or vivid dreams.
Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, is the one that regulates your metabolism and when this hormone is released, the blood sugar level and blood pressure increase, preparing your body for the day. However, if you experience stress, your body responds to this emotion and lowers the level of melatonin during the night, causing disturbance or nightmares. Another factor that impacts the increase of this hormone is sweet snacks before bedtime, as mentioned before for insulin hormone.
To learn more about How Cortisol affects your health and menstrual cycle, Click here
Natural ways of coping with stress and anxiety caused by vivid dreams
- Deep breathing
- Breaks during the day for relaxation
- Eating healthy(excluding sugar)
- Drink green tea
A dreamy conclusion
Dreaming is a normal stage during sleep and helps store important information and events. However, it is essential to understand to make effective use of them to feel restful and ready for the day in the morning. At this stage, the reproductive, stress and sleep hormones control benefits your mental health and the function of your brain. Consider applying healthy habits in your daily routine to prevent vivid dreams or disturbances.
- Read more about the effect of our hormones on our mental well-being.
- Cirino, 2018. Vivid Dream Causes: Why They Happen and How to Stop Them. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/vivid-dreams-causes#treatment
- Recharge Energy. 2021. Melatonin for Sleep | Natural melatonin for improving sleep. [online] Available at: https://recharge.energy/en/melatonin-for-sleep/
- Joane, 2020. Improve Sleep Quality With These Melatonin-Rich Foods. [online] People Who Sleep UK. Available at: https://www.peoplewhosleep.com/en-uk/sleep-solutions/sleep-and-diet/sleep-quality-with-melatonin-rich-foods/
- Kilburn, M., 2018. Six hormones that can affect your sleep. [online] Avogel.co.uk. Available at: https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/sleep/6-hormones-that-can-affect-your-sleep/