Why Real-World Anxiety Keeps Following Me Into My Dreams

By Sydni Ellis, June 12, 2024

Can Anxiety Cause Bad Dreams? You’re not imagining it — the experts we spoke with overwhelmingly agreed that anxiety can contribute to bad dreams. “Anxious thoughts while someone is asleep can manifest themselves as bad dreams or stress dreams,” Alex Dimitriu, MD, a double board-certified physician in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, tells PS. “Stress dreams, such as missing an important event, a test, or a flight, are often quite common in people undergoing stress during their daily lives. In turn, this mental activity can also activate the body and result in a lighter, more fitful sleep.”

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