Are Your Nightmares a Warning Sign of THIS Disease?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

We all have bad dreams from time to time.

But you’ll want to start paying attention if those nightmares become far more common. Because, as bizarre as it sounds, scientists say they could be a red flag.

If you’re acting out those dreams, it’s time to make an appointment to see your doctor. You could be experiencing the earliest warning signs of a devastating disease.

And the sooner you spot it, the better off you’ll be.

Actor Alan Alda, known for his role in the TV show M*A*S*H, was plagued by nightmares. His bad dreams were becoming more frequent.

But Alda didn’t think too much about them at first. Not until he began acting out his dreams in his sleep.

When he threw a pillow at his wife, thinking he was defending himself in a nightmare, he knew something wasn’t right. He asked his doctor to test his brain and found out he had Parkinson’s disease.

We’ve known for some time now that people with Parkinson’s typically have more disturbing nightmares than the rest of us.

But now, doctors may be able to start using that increase in bad dreams as a sort of diagnostic tool.

A new study, published in the journal eClincal Medicine, followed 3,818 older men for 12 years. The researchers found that the guys who had at least one disturbing dream a week were the most likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

In fact, the participants who had frequent nightmares were two times more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease than those who didn’t.

In other words, tracking them could be one way to spot and diagnose Parkinson’s disease early.

To serve as an early warning signal, the dreams must…

  • occur at least once a week
  • represent a change (in other words, you didn’t have a lot of bad dreams before)

These dreams show up YEARS before any physical signs of the disease, such as tremors, slowness of movement, and stiffness, appear.

And having an early-warning system is great because an earlier diagnosis and intervention could help head off symptoms for longer and delay the need for meds.

Meanwhile, you can do many simple things to support your brain and help keep it healthy regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing nightmares.

Dr. Scott’s Keys to a Healthy Brain

  • Eat a diet high in vegetables and good proteins. Make sure you’re eating at least one vegetable at every meal and focus on wild or free-range meats (and avoid the processed stuff) whenever possible.
  • Avoid processed foods and those with too much sugar and vegetable oils. These foods increase inflammation which is harmful to your brain. I prefer olive and avocado oils, but you can also use butter.
  • Keep your blood sugar under control. Blood sugar and brain health are closely linked. If you need extra help reigning in your numbers, chromium and berberine could help.
  • Eat good fats. The very best fats you can put in your body are the omega-3 fatty acids like the ones you’ll find in fish oil. Your brain requires omega-3s to function, and they help tamp down runaway inflammation.
  • Try supplements. B vitamins are your brain’s best friends. Look for a B complex that contains all of them. Alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, curcumin, and astaxanthin are potent antioxidants and anti-aging nutrients that support better brain health too.
  • Exercise more. Your brain is addicted to exercise. And that’s a good thing because there isn’t a single thing better for your brain than exercise. Get out and move your body every day.

If you have a nightmare from time to time, don’t sweat it. Remember, we ALL do. But if you have bad dreams more frequently, make an appointment to see your doctor.

P.S. Protect your brain cells and increase your odds of surviving Parkinson’s disease by up to 70 percent. It all starts with this brain-protecting punch.


“Distressing dreams and risk of Parkinson’s disease: A population-based cohort study,” eClinical Medicine, VOLUME 48, 101474, JUNE 01, 2022, DOI:

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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