Frequent nightmares are common in people with early symptoms of depression, reports a new study in the journal Sleep.
We usually want to forget a bad dream as soon as we wake up, either by praying or simply rolling over.
We shouldn't be quick to brush it off as frequent nightmares are common in people with early symptoms of depression, reports a new study in the journal Sleep.
Of almost 14,000 adults, 45 percent reported occasional nightmares in the past 30 days. This doesn't mean they are all prone to depression though.
Finnish researchers found that the strongest independent risk factors for nightmares were insomnia, exhaustion, and the depressive symptom of “negative attitude toward self” but the mood disorder was the strongest of the three connections, the study authors admit.
Researchers found that 28 percent of people with severe depressive symptoms had frequent nightmares and women were slightly more likely to have nightmares than men, interesting considering the fairer sex is about twice as likely to suffer from depression.
While the study authors aren’t sure why this connection exists, previous research has found that abnormal sleeping patterns and depression are closely linked as well.
A British study found that insomnia and hypersomnia (excessive tiredness) are present in roughly 40 percent of young depressed adults, especially females.
A study last year from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that people who sleep shorter or longer than the recommended eight hours have an increased genetic risk for depression.
The British researchers speculate that the link stems from sleep’s regulation of certain mood-balancing neurotransmitters.
So while it could be perfectly innocent, if you wake up from scares often, especially if you also have trouble sleeping or waking up, consider talking to your doctor about a possible mood connection.