MLILY: Can Dreams Affect Our Sleep?

Although at times they can be completely bizarre, dreams are a normal part of sleep and an everyday occurrence in our lives.

Despite the vast majority of people being unable to remember what they dreamt the night before, we actually dream for two hours each night, usually as we enter into the ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ form of sleep, usually referred to as (REM).

Essentially, dreams are unavoidable, but could they be affecting the quality of your sleep? Read below to find out more.


Having a bad dream can actually cause what is referred to as a ‘dream hangover’, with particularly horrible nightmares making it difficult for people to fall back to sleep, and when sleep is achieved, to actually get a good quality doze!

So, next time you’re dozing the day after a nightmare, you can probably put your poor sleep down to your frightening dream…


Although we are still working on the evidence behind this, in various studies, people who dreamt happy dreams woke feeling well rested and in a great mood, as opposed to people who suffered sleep loss or were plagued with nightmares.

We still don’t know for sure on the science behind this, but the mood in which we wake can impact the rest of our day, and if we wake in a happy mood, thanks to a joyful dream, it’s very likely that feelings of happiness and contentedness will follow.


Our dreams are heavily influenced by our reality.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from stress or are battling depression struggle with their sleeping pattern, and if our reality reflects our dreams, then nightmares can be a common occurrence, leading to poor sleep.

Tackle the problem at the root cause.

You might not be able to influence your dreams directly, but you can work to relieve stresses and pressures in the day, leading to happier dreams and a better sleep.


Although it can at times feel incredibly destructive to be waking or jolting awake at random moments throughout the night, dreams, at their core, do not actually affect the structure of your dreams.

You will still pass through the usual stages of sleep with ease.

Dreams do however affect valuable rest, although the structure remains the same, regular waking and moving in the night can lessen the quality of sleep.

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