Vivid Dreams

Last updated: December 2021
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Dreams are fascinating. You can have nice ones, realistic ones or those that are scary or fantastical. They occur in REM sleep and generally become more vivid as the sleep stage progresses.

Sometimes you can’t remember a dream, others may be fuzzy while there are some that can be closely recalled because they’re so intense. These are what we call Vivid Dreams.

Causes of vivid dreams

  • Sleep deprivation can lead to more intense dreaming.
  • Alcohol and other substances suppress REM sleep so when you stop using them, it can lead to unusually vivid, intense dreams. Certain drugs can cause vivid dreams too.
  • Fluctuations in hormones can affect how you dream, as can any fears you may have about the pregnancy or the birth
  • Stress can trigger intense dreams as can traumatic events.
  • Narcolepsy can cause excessive dreaming and waking in the night

Treatment of vivid dreams

With some cases, like pregnancy, vivid dreams will disappear. Try to eliminate sleep deprivation by practising good sleep hygiene. You could also try mindfulness or meditation to calm the body and mind before bedtime. If vivid dreams are occurring regularly and are causing distress, speak to your GP.