8 Sep 2022


Dreams and Stress: How to Cope

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 600

Pages: 2

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Firstly, it would be prudent to understand that the term “stress” refers to the demand that is placed on one’s mind or the physical body (Tull & Ning, 2016). In this case, when people are stressed, it means that they have multiple and competing demands that have been placed on them. Notably, studies have shown that being stressed is heavily triggered by issues that make one anxious, nervous or frustrated ( Breger et al., 2015). Connectively, it must be noted that stress leads to anxiety which is closely related to dreams. Therefore, since anxiety influences one’s thought, it can as well affect the subconscious mind (Waldschmidt-Nelson, 2012). Based on this above reality, the basic aspect to note is that people’s dreams are affected by what they do as well as think when they are not asleep. At the same time, stress and anxiety can create vivid, intense as well as incredible dreams which may make one wonder if anxiety and dreams are related. 

As noted above, stress leads to anxiety which is closely related to dreams. Anxiety disorder can affect how individuals think, what they worry about and what they are experiencing in their daily lives (Tull & Ning, 2016). According to Breger et al. (2015), dreams may not necessarily have a meaning, and therefore the interpretation of dreams could be fake science which people use to convince others that the dreams that they experience have a given influence which is not necessarily correct. However, this does not mean that dreams have literally no meaning since some come for a given reason. However, these reasons do not imply that dreams are communicating an issue, but rather it means that the issues that individuals think about are most likely what they dream. 

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Notably, there are two beliefs on dreams which includes the fact that dreams take place because the individuals’ brain area is attempting to create connections between different thoughts which could be triggered by stress (Breger et al., 2015). In this case, sleep occurs when brain and memories connections have been made. Therefore, this means that dreams are themselves attempts by the brain in trying to turn these thoughts into stories that make sense to individuals which explain why in almost cases dreams are so unusual and random. At the same time, the dreams’ contents can occur at any time of one’s life, but the most recent experiences are likely to be included such as a stressful encounter with a family member. 

The second belief is that although dreams may not be telling people anything meaningful, individuals can gain valuable knowledge on how they perceive the dream (Tull & Ning, 2016). In this way, it is possible for one to know how his or her thoughts are influencing the stress experienced by understanding the thinking pattern or behavior (Breger et al., 2015). For example, if an individual feels that the dream mean something, he or she can verbalize or explain what it is which is still relevant and interesting in understanding the way the person is thinking. In this regard, if one thinks about what the dreams could be meaning, that could be the basis of revealing oneself. 

Experts observe that one of the issues with stress is that those experiencing it are more likely to have a lot of nervous, interspersed, and random thoughts (Waldschmidt-Nelson, 2012). Therefore, dreams by these individuals may cover more topics compared to the average person. Further, it is believed that stress also configures the storylines in one’s dreams depending on emotions and nervousness and the way they affect one’s mind (Breger et al., 2015). On the other hand, those with stress have the tendency of focusing on irrelevant things. Therefore, they may not be having necessarily unique dreams, but rather their brain is trying harder to remind them of their situation when they wake up. Finally, it is important to note that dreaming may be uncommon in stressed individuals since stress has been proven to interfere with the sleeping pattern. 


Breger, L., Hunter, I., & Lane, R. W. (2015). The effect of stress on dreams . New York: International Universities Press. 

Tull, M. H., & Ning, A. (2016). Dreams: Mind movies of the night . Brookfield, Conn: Millbrook Press. 

Waldschmidt-Nelson, B., & Waldschmidt-Nelson, B. (2012). Dreams and nightmares: Martin 

Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the struggle for Black equality in America . Gainesville: University Press of Florida. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Dreams and Stress: How to Cope.


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