By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Having better dreams. As 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl shows us, what you’re doing right now could determine what you dream about tonight.
Dreams can be crazy and scary, and recurrent. Being naked in front of people is a popular dream. Infidelity too. One study found the most common nightmare was a spouse cheating.
“There’s some themes and we’re not sure why, but they do recur. Mostly they’re fear based or an expectation you haven’t quite met,” said Dr. Daniel Shane, a sleep expert.
Doctors don’t have a lot of science on dreams, but there are some excepted theories on what can cause certain kinds of dreams.
What about nightmares? Sleep experts say any type of food kicks up your metabolism, which can make your brain more active.
“A jalepeno pizza, something spicy, that’s probably not good. It’s going to interrupt your sleep in general,” said Dr. Shane.
Alcohol can affect your dreams. After a few drinks, you’ll dream less when you first go to bed.
But then, “people will start to have vivid dreams later on that may disrupt sleep and may have even more nightmares,” said Dr. Shane.
Also, having a fever can affect dreaming. And some medicine, like blood pressure pills, can cause nightmares. Others think sleeping in a cold room cause bad dreams. There’s no evidence of that.
But, “A little bit cooler temperature tends to help a lot people sleep better,” said Dr. Shane.
Experts say dreams can be meaningless or reflective of what’s happening in your life.
The first step to understanding your dreams is remembering them. Keeping a pad next to the bed and writing them down right away can