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What Are Vivid Dreams?

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: April 27, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
Vivid Dreams

Humans spend about 2 hours each night dreaming. However, many don’t remember their dreams, while others vaguely recollect what took place. And sometimes, sleepers wake up with clear memories of their dreams.

These intense dreams, also called vivid dreams, can cause feelings of joy or comfort, upsetting or disturbing; in some cases, they may interfere with experiencing quality sleep. Besides this, there are other interesting facts regarding vivid dreams.

Read down further to know more about vivid dreams, their causes, and how to stop them.

What Are Vivid Dreams

A dream with clear details and colours involving a storyline produces strong emotions and is remembered as if it were an actual, real-life experience, is known as vivid dreams. These dreams can be positive or negative, realistic or fantasy.

A research report states vivid dreams are a hybrid state of consciousness and dreaming. Scientists hypothesise that lucid dreaming arises when the wake-like frontal lobe activates, which means they are likely to appear at the end of the REM sleep cycle and the beginning of consciousness after sleep.

What Causes Vivid Dreams

Although there aren’t definite answers as to why humans dream, science thinks it has something to do with the dreamer’s memories. The following factors may play a part in contributing to what causes vivid dreaming.

Fragmented Sleep

Since vivid dreams appear at the end of the REM sleep cycle and the beginning of consciousness after sleep, this increases the chances that the fragmented sleep schedule of sleepers will cause them to remember dreams more vividly. 

Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep. Poor sleep can influence intense dreaming. In addition, sleep deprivation shows a higher frequency of both nightmares and lucid dreams.


Why do we have nightmares and vivid dreams? Negative emotions like stress and anxiety cause them. A study reports that anxiety in wakefulness is responsible for high negative affectivity in dreams.


Several drugs to cure various diseases can affect the sleep pattern and cause vivid dreams like nightmares. Antidepressants that alter serotonin levels may affect sleep and dream. 

Sedative, hypnotic, herbal, and miscellaneous drugs are associated with nightmares and intense dreaming.

Sleep Disorders

People with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, which is characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness– are often reported to have vivid dreams that are bizarre or disturbing.  

Other Health Conditions

Besides stress and anxiety, other mental health conditions, such as depression and schizophrenia, are associated with vivid dreams. In addition, the general well-being during wakefulness can also influence lucid and vivid dreams.


Dreams are considered responsive to new emotion-evoking situations requiring adaptation, and vivid dreams during pregnancy are one example of that. Furthermore, women reported experiencing intense dreams regarding feelings, cognitions, and relationships relating to the self and the unborn baby.

Vivid Dreams During Pregnancy

Fluctuating hormones during pregnancy that impact emotions, cognition, and vocabulary, including disruption in sleep patterns, can contribute to vivid dreaming. And though dreams during pregnancy are often rooted in pregnancy’s worries and joys, they can get quite disturbing. So, here’s how to stop vivid dreams during pregnancy.

Following are some tips to avoid vivid dreams during pregnancy:

  • Staying hydrated is good; however, try to avoid liquids right before bedtime.
  • Avoid spicy, acidic, or any food that can aggravate the stomach acids, even if the cravings are intense, as it can cause night-time heartburns.
  • Be active during the daytime to feel relaxed when you hit the hay.
  • Opt for a comfortable and healthy sleep position.

Are Vivid Dreams Good or Bad

Although there’s nothing to worry about, vivid dreams that aren’t disturbing the night’s sleep are essential for health. Moreover, negative vivid dreams that last for weeks or months can be emotionally draining and disrupt your sleep.

Following are some side effects of vivid dreams a sleeper may experience:

  • Daytime sleeping: sleeping too much during the day and constantly feeling tired can cause concentration and memory problems.
  • Sleeping troubles: sleepers consciously or subconsciously avoid going to bed or falling asleep because of the fear of experiencing negative vivid dreams such as nightmares.
  • Mood issues: mood-related problems can be emotionally draining, such as anxiety, low mood, and even suicidal ideation. Although people may brush it off as some dream, this is extremely serious and if you have attempted or are considering suicide, get help ASAP!

Why Do You Keep Lucid Dreaming

Dreaming is the absence of consciousness. And though scientists aren’t sure why we dream, there is evidence of when we dream. The Italian research team used electroencephalography (EEG) technology to measure the participant’s brain waves during various sleep stages. 

And later, the neuroscientific approach soon proposed that dreaming happens during rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep). Similarly, the neurobiological evidence also points to the involvement of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) and parietal cortex — regions usually deactivated during sleep, for frequent lucid dreaming. 

How To Stop Vivid Dreams

Rare occurrences of vivid dreams aren’t concerning; however, if they appear constantly, the following are some tips for how to stop vivid dreams.


Although exercises are good for physical health, they are also essential for mental well-being. They help boost mood, concentration, and alertness; it also helps the mind to unwind and relax.

Eat Healthy

There’s a belief that food influences the types of dreams. For example, according to research, different types of cheese can induce different dreams. Eating Stilton cheese often led to crazy or vivid dreams, while eating cheddar cheese often led to dreams of celebrities. 

And spicy and starchy foods and meat often lead to disturbing and bizarre dreams. Therefore, choose what you eat before going to bed. 


The latest issue of the dreaming journal explains that meditation and yoga can prevent negative, bizarre, lucid, and vivid dreams. And though more in-depth research is yet to be done, the result shows a form of meditation emphasising embodiment and compassion will lead to more dreams of friendliness with others.

Get in Touch With Your Doctor

Some dreams can be highly disturbing, so do not settle for online remedies on how to stop vivid dreams, and connect with a specialist as soon as possible.

Final Words

Dreams are the absence of awareness; however, specific dreams are intense and are said to be influenced by intense emotions during wakefulness. These intense dreams are called vivid dreams. 

Vivid dreams aren’t particularly good or bad; however, certain factors contribute to vivid dreaming. And if these intense dreams constantly appear, then consult the doctors regarding the concern. 


Is it normal to have vivid dreams every night?

Vivid dreams are more likely to occur if a person has sleep disorders like insomnia or narcolepsy, which prevent them from getting enough sleep. This risk can also be increased by alterations to your sleep schedule, such as travelling abroad (and sleeping at a different time) or sleeping less than usual.

What is an example of a vivid dream?

You are in your old bedroom at your parents’ house (the room you stayed in during college), and your tooth fell out. You were just standing in the room, not knowing what to do. 

Do vivid dreams mean good sleep?

You are likely getting at least some good quality REM sleep if you consistently wake up in the morning remembering your dreams from the previous night.


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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