Health - Wellness
Health Risks That Are Actually Caused By Nightmares
We're all susceptible to nightmares every once in a while, but reports that up to 10% of people experience nightmares on a weekly basis. With the potential to impact our mental health, nightmares have been linked with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some evidence, including a 2020 study, suggests that nightmares can also heighten cortisol release first thing in the morning — otherwise known as the stress hormone. Occurring within one hour of waking up, our body's cortisol awakening response (CAR) may help us meet the demands of the day.
However, too much of this stress hormone can impact mood, gut health, and more. Additionally, nightmares have been shown to negatively affect quality of sleep, which can lead to more health issues.