Some causes of bad dreams:
(1). Bad dreams can be linked with her emotional state. When an individual is enduring mental/physical stress, anxiety,upset and/or pressure, one way the body 'copes' is to have bad dreams. e.g., studying/worrying about exams. Give your daughter a journal to keep at her bedside so that she can write down her dreams.Sometimes, this activity can provide insight into the underlying problems causing the bad dreams;
(2). What is she eating prior to bedtime. Food intake just prior to sleep can be a contributing factor for bad dreams, e.g., consumption of spicy food, chocolates or fatty foods has been proven to engender bad dreams. Also intake of caffeine and other stimulants prior to sleeptime increases the chances of bad dreams;
(3). Certain medications such as beta-blockers, tranquillizers and anti-depressants can contribute to bad dreams. Other factors are recent cessation of drugs such as sleeping pills, side effects of certain drugs such as anitparkinson's drugs;
(4) Check her Vit B levels. Apparently bad dreams may be an indicator for low dopamine levels, offset by increasing intake of vitamin B;
(5) Illnesses accompanied by fever can cause bad dreams. Sleep apnea, a breathing disorder in sleep and other sleep disorders like Narcolepsy cause bad dreams. Nightmares occur during pregnancy.
It is important to remember that our mental and physical health determines our dreams. Thus it is important for her to understand her dreams, since the dreams may be suggesting something,
What to do:
(1). If she is under severe stress, give her the support she needs;
(2) Talking about what is on her mind can really help;
(3). She should follow a regular fitness routine, with aerobic exercise when possible. She will be able to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling refreshed;
(4) Learning techniques that will reduce muscle tension (relaxation therapy), that will also reduce anxiety can be helpful e.g., listening to quiet music before bedtime; not watching television prior to bedtime;
(5). She should practice good sleep habits. For example, going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning. If your daughter is an adult, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants will also help resolve the problem.