×

What Causes Nightmares?

Getty Images

There's nothing worse than being startled awake after a bad dream to find yourself covered in sweat. And even after you've grabbed a glass of water to try and calm down, it's still hard to shake those terrible thoughts. So what's really happening in your brain? Watch the video below to learn what causes nightmares.

MUST-SEE: Too Much Sleep Could Be Causing Your Nightmares, Study Suggests

It should be comforting to know that nightmares are a common occurrence. About 80 to 90 percent of people will have experienced a nightmare at one point in their lives. And for most of us, nightmares don't happen often. That said, there is a small portion of the population — about five percent — for whom nightmares become a chronic condition. Now that's a truly terrifying thought.

But now that you know why nightmares happen, you can make small tweaks so they don't disrupt your sleep. Sweet dreams, guys and gals!

More from FIRST

How Well You Sleep Could Say a Lot About Your Relationship

A Bad Night's Sleep Could Lead to Weight Gain, Study Finds

Finally! An Expert Reveals What It Means If You Talk in Your Sleep