Do you often have nightmares? The position you sleep in at night could play a role, a new study suggests.
If we now know that adopting a good position is essential to prevent back pain, we did not know that it influenced… the content of our dreams. Sleeping in the wrong position could indeedmake you more prone to nightmares“, indicates a new study published in the journal Sleep and Hypnosis.
Watch out for the left side!
According to this report conducted on 45 men and 18 women, people who sleep on their left side are most likely to have nightmares.
Sleepers on the left side have, in fact, a 41% chance of having bad dreams, compared to 15% for those who sleep on the right side.
“Sleeping on your left side may be associated with nightmares, because this position puts more pressure and “stress” on the heart. Whenever there is stress, sleep quality is poor and nightmares often follow.“, confides Theresa Cheung, dream expert, to the Tom’s Guide website.
However, the left side would not be the only position that could make your dreams nightmarish, specifies the expert. Sleeping on your back wouldn’t be very beneficial either.
Besides, “People who suffer from nighttime breathing problems are more likely to go from deep to light sleep and to have anxiety-themed dreams.
Besides posture, “sleep hygiene” would also be essential to influence “the contents of bad dreams”she says.
To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, the expert recommends: sleeping in an optimal position (especially on the right side) and prioritizing comfort.
Although these observations remain preliminary, the study nevertheless confirms that dreaming and sleep quality are associated with “underlying brain functions and can be affected by body posture“.
Nightmares: People with sleep apnea may be at greater risk
For Dr. Lisa Billars, head of the neurology and sleep medicine department (Kaiser Permanente, Atlanta), these initial observations also concern people with sleep apnea.
“For people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is common for the degree of apnea to be worse while sleeping on their backs, compared to side or stomach sleeping positions“, she reveals to Everyday Health.
During apnea, oxygen would indeed decrease and could trigger a physiological response.the stress” or a “feeling of suffocation“.
Fact, “Either of these scenarios could contribute to the development of disturbing dreams or nightmares.”assures the doctor.