Dreams have long fascinated people for many millennia. Some simply see dreams as a natural process deplete of meaning, while others see dreams as portals into the subconscious. Whatever you believe, there is evidence to show that dreams can provide some clues to your mental and physical states. Here are five things your dreams may tell you about your health.
Frequent lucid dreamers may have lower levels of psychological distress
Lucid dreaming is the awareness that you are dreaming, and researchers at Ben-Gurion University decided to look into it. They conducted a study on 187 undergrad students and found that those that experienced intense lucid dreams had lower rates of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Be mindful, however, that this is the case for natural lucid dreamers. Those who attempt to induce lucid dreams will likely experience sleep problems.
You have a fever
They don’t call it a “fever dream” for nothing. If you’ve ever experienced extra strange or scary dreams when you’re sick, it’s because of how fragmented they are. To grossly oversimplify this–-because people have more interrupted sleep when they are ill, they are more likely to remember their dream states.
Your blood sugar may be low
Diabetics sometimes get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and it can follow them to bed too. One of the lesser-known symptoms of hypoglycemia is bad dreams or nightmares. “Sweet dreams” has a whole new meaning.
You may be pregnant
Many women dream more often while pregnant, but according to an Israeli study of 166 pregnant women, the more distressing dreams they experienced, the less likely they were to develop postpartum depression. In an Italian study of 290 pregnant women, the frequency of upsetting dreams was linked to shorter labor times.
You have PTSD
After trauma, it’s not uncommon to have nightmares of memories or flashbacks of the event. In a study conducted comparing Vietnam veterans to civilians, the results showed that 52 percent of the combat veterans with PTSD experienced nightmares often. And in other studies of PTSD sufferers, the nightmare percentages are closer to 80 percent.