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is normal to have nightmares when you suffer from anxiety?

11 Answers
Last Updated: 08/07/2018 at 11:58am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
March 9th, 2015 11:08am
Everyone's reaction to stress is different. I know that I don't necessarily have nightmares, but my hubby says that I do talk in my sleep, often about ordinary mundane things, like catching the train, and telling him that i need to leave now, or I will miss it. Other times, I do awaken suddenly from sleep due to the sensation or visualisation of me falling down stairs (something i am all too familiar with when I am conscious and upright too). All of these things occur only when I am suffering mental tensions and anxiety. I imagine that the mind does not switch off just because the body is not aware of what is happening.
May 20th, 2015 1:17pm
Nightmares are caused by Anxiety, How to Stop Nightmares *Write Out Your Thoughts Before Bed - Sometimes a recurring negative thought can become a nightmare if it's left unchecked. Luckily, your mind has a tendency to forget things if you write them down, because it knows they're on paper somewhere permanently. So when you have nervous thoughts before bed, make sure that you write them out in some type of journal so they're gone from your head when you sleep. *Fill Time With Happy Things - What you do during the day can also have an effect on nightmares. When you have severe anxiety it can be hard to be happy. But do whatever you can to fill your day time with activities that are more likely to create happy memories. For example, stop watching dramas, reality shows, and horror movies, and try your best to watch comedies and cartoons instead. Switching activities in this way will ensure that your days are spent with more positive thoughts, which in turn should become more positive dreams. *Exercise - Exercise has a powerful effect on sleep. If you exercise enough during the day you'll sleep easier and your mind will release neurotransmitters that can have a very beneficial effect on your mood. Exercising can make a big difference in your ability to create memories as well, and possibly improve the way your mind translates those stories. *Have a Relaxation Strategy. Also try 7cups Self Help Anxiety Guide
April 4th, 2015 3:10am
Your fears and worries may very well come into your sleep. Combatting them in real life may help to relieve yourself from the anxiety!
May 18th, 2015 5:28pm
It probably depends on the person. Plenty of people (like myself), can have the most relaxing day of their lives, and have the most terrifying nightmare imaginable that night. If the nightmares are closely associated or go up in frequency with your anxiety, then they probably are related.
June 5th, 2015 5:39pm
Yes- This is normal. Anxiety is a very difficult thing- You get anxious very easily or about small things, I have quite a few friends with anxiety, I know exactly what it is like, as I have it myself. Anybody can have nightmares though, even if they don't have anxiety- You know, it is one of those things really- You are always welcome to connect to a listener any time and speak to us here at 7cupsoftea, in confidence about anything.
July 13th, 2015 5:08am
Absolutely! Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways from nightmares to body and headaches.
August 18th, 2015 10:07pm
Sure. When your anxious your mind unconsciously knows there is something wrong and it tries to understand what you are going through and those sometimes come out as nightmares.
September 1st, 2015 9:26pm
It is completly normal. If one suffers anxiety our entire daily schedule is affected. Our body produces more the hormo that creates the anxiety and all our body is stressed up.
February 15th, 2016 12:07pm
Sometimes. Nightmares are often our "Sub Consciousness" reflecting back to us a part of us that is trying to tell us something. I would say that it is best to listen to your nightmares but not get caught up in them. Alongside night terrors and sleep paralysis, nightmares can indicate something a bit more than just general anxiety but for the most part they are part and parcel of life.
November 20th, 2017 10:41pm
Yes, definitely. For me especially when I know I’m helpless in a situation or something important is approaching.
August 7th, 2018 11:58am
Certainly what we experience in "reality" affects us during sleep. Personally, I do not remember my sleep. I do not know if this means I am not getting enough REM sleep or if its just a particular anomaly that affects me. Either way, I need to place a higher priority on better sleep health.