ISLAMABAD: Showing a clear connection between overall wellbeing and nightmares, Finnish researchers have found that symptoms of depression and insomnia are the strongest predictors of having frequent nightmares.
“This is most evident in the connection between nightmares and depression, but also apparent in many other analyses involving nightmares and questions measuring life satisfaction and health,” said lead study author Nils Sandman, researcher in the centre for cognitive neuroscience at the University of Turku in Finland, IANS reported.
Results show that 3.9 per cent of participants reported having frequent nightmares during the previous 30 days, including 4.8 per cent of women and 2.9 per cent of men.
Frequent nightmares were reported by 28.4 percent of participants with severe depressive symptoms and 17.1 per cent of those with frequent insomnia.
Further analysis found that the strongest independent risk factors for nightmares were insomnia, exhaustion and the depressive symptom of “negative attitude towards self”.
A nightmare disorder may occur when repeated nightmares cause distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning.
It might be possible that nightmares could function as early indicators of onset of depression and therefore have previously untapped diagnostic value.