Why am I having weird dreams? The science behind your dreams and how to manage them

By Erin Heger, 4/16/2020

You’re working through your emotions. “There is evidence that dreams are the mind’s form of self-therapy,” says Alex Dimitriu, MD, psychiatrist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine. “We form memories, process experiences, as well as feelings when we sleep. REM or dream sleep is believed to be particularly important in the processing of emotions.” For example, higher levels of stress can cause an increase in REM sleep, which may lead to more vivid dreams. There is also a strong association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the prevalence of nightmares. 

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