Perhaps each and every one of us has gone through at least a nightmare that made us wake up late at night frightened and sweating and with our hearts beating fast. Perhaps we’ve all gone through that situation when we feel in a dream as if someone’s choking us or doing other bad stuff to us. Then we woke up thinking, ‘thank goodness it was just a nightmare!’. But what if we’ve underestimated those dreams all along?
While having a nightmare once in a while isn’t something unusual at all, having too many might be a red flag. A new study published in the eClinicalMedicine journal of The Lancet and that ScienceAlert writes about tells us more.
Frequent nightmares and bad dreams may hint at an increased risk of dementia
The new study claims that there might be a connection between having nightmares and bad dreams during middle or older age and an increased risk of dealing with dementia.
Data from three large studies were analyzed, including over 3,200 people who were asked to reveal how often they experience nightmares and bad dreams. The majority of them (2,600) were aged at least 79 years old. A few hundred of the individuals were aged between 35 and 64 years old. All the participants were followed for a few years.
It was concluded that those participants who were middle-aged and dealing with nightmares every week had four times more chances to develop cognitive decline for the following 10 years. Also, the participants who were older had twice more chances to deal with dementia.
There are over 400 types of dementia that have been discovered so far. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia itself is not a disease; it’s just the outcome of some diseases.
What’s interesting is that science still cannot provide a clear explanation for why dreams occur at all while we sleep. If you’ve somehow unraveled the mystery, please feel free to tell us as well in the comment section!