Everyone might have seen nightmares in their life. Are they something unusual and can they be considered a cause for concern about your health? Researchers believe that frequent nightmares are a serious symptom.
Usually a person forgets a bad dream immediately after awakening. But if you are haunted by nightmares too often, this may be an early symptom of depression. This is what the researchers from the United States have found. 14,000 adults were questioned, and it was found that 45% of them from time to time had terrible dreams during the last 30 days.
However, this does not mean that they risked becoming victims of depression. Scientists believe the major risk factors of nightmares are insomnia, nervous exhaustion and depressive symptoms; mood disorders are considered the most significant predictors of nightmares. According to the researchers, 28% of the people with severe depressive symptoms regularly see nightmares, and there are more women than men among them.
It is easy to believe if you take into consideration that women are about twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. Although the study authors are not sure how to explain such a connection; one can recall the previous studies that have found similarities between sleep disorders and depression.
For example, British scientists have found that insomnia and hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness) are observed in almost 40% of young people suffering from depression, especially among girls. Last year, the scientists from the American Academy of somnology found that the people who slept less than or longer than the recommended 8 hours had an increased genetic risk for depression.
Though nightmares can be quite a harmless phenomenon, if you see them almost every night, it will be useful to see a doctor, especially a psychologist.