A nightmare It is a dream that occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that produces feelings of terror, fear, anguish, and extreme anxiety. Nightmares can happen to anyone at any time in their life. Usually your typical nightmare will evoke negative emotional responses from the mind, typically the feeling of anxiety, fear, or dread. Nightmares and the symbols in them… can be unconscious messages to the conscious that alert the dreamer to pay close attention to the meaning. Constant nightmares could be classified under one type of sleep disorder.
If the nightmares they persist on a regular basis and prevent you from sleeping in a healthy way, then it could be classified as a sleep disorder. Parasomnia falls under a nightmare or sleep disorder that involves a series of abnormal jerks, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors while sleeping, or during the stages of sleep. Most parasomnias are dissociated sleep states that are partial excitations during transitions between wakefulness and sleep without rapid eye movement NREM. It can occur during wakefulness and REM sleep as well.
Night Terror vs. Nightmare:
There is a common misconception that night terrors and nightmares are the same thing. They could mimic nightmares, but although they are completely different in nature. Sleep terrors can be classified under a parasomnia disorder where the individual may physically act out in their sleep by screaming, hitting, or even crying. Aggressive sleepwalking occurrences have occurred as the dreamer may attack a family member. The dreamer may experience difficulty trying to get out of the dream state.
Sleep terrors generally occur with children under the age of nine, however, they can be common in adults who are under extreme stress, depression, or even bipolar disorder. Generally, the movement can last between 10 and 20 minutes, whether or not the individual returns to REM without interrupting their sleep state. If they wake up from this state, they will often find confusion or anxiety. Most sleep disturbances occur in the stage prior to deep sleep that decreases.
Not all nightmares are bad. Nightmares have the ability to contain metaphorical messages to warn the dreamer of ignored internal idiocracies. Understanding the symbols in dreams can give the dreamer an idea of what they might be overlooking that could be causing distress. A nightmare could also arise when it comes to a current stressful event. If the nightmares continue on a nightly basis, then they will fall under a nightmare disorder. These disorders can be the cause of many different factors including PTSD, medications, illness, drugs, and alcohol. Nightmares are more vivid than night terrors, where the dreamer can come out of REM knowing the dream in detail. Nightmares can happen at least once a month. Scientists say that children who suffer from nightmares due to stressful events or deaths will be more prone.
Nightmare disorder or commonly known as "sleep anxiety disorder" is considered a series of nightmares classified under DSM-IV. These repeated awakenings during nightmares occur during REM sleep stages. During sleep the individual will experience intense fear as if he were fighting for his life. Most of the time they will wake up instantly due to the terror they are experiencing and therefore will have trouble getting back to sleep. During the episode the dreamer may experience talking, moaning, screaming or moving at random. Although these symptoms are not always present. When awakening from the dream state, the dreamer often experiences a feeling of anxiety, as adrenaline continues to pump thought out of his body. Nightmare disorders cause side effects, as the individual fears going back to bed to experience the same scenario. As a result, one is more likely to encounter mild sleep deprivation, decreased mental clarity, and depression. This can also cause insomnia. There has been no cure for nightmare disorders, but there are many techniques to minimize them. Frequent yoga and mediation are known to help reduce the cause as the body and mind are in a more relaxed state.
Causes of nightmares:
Nightmares in adults are often spontaneous, but there are many factors that can increase the likelihood of them occurring. Some people may be affected by eating food or snacks just before going to sleep. Eating food causes an increase in your metabolism that makes the brain more alert. Eating certain foods like cheese or caffeine before bed can increase the intensity of your dreams. Prescription medications are known to increase the intensity and nightmares of dreams. The use of illegal drugs or alcoholic substances is more likely to trigger nightmares. This can also happen if the person is stopping taking medicine or an addiction wears off. If you are experiencing nightmare fluctuation when taking a new medication, talk to your doctor. Sleep deprivation is one of the main causes of nightmares. Reasons for lack of sleep include work, stress, or depression. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome can also contribute to nightmares. If you suffer from lack of sleep, we recommend that you consult your doctor.
Other Possible Causes of Nightmares:
- You have experienced the death of a loved one or someone close to you
- Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, or using the patch
- Consuming large amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream
- Fight an illness or flu
- Having a bad reaction to drugs or withdrawal
- Not dealing with ongoing problems in your life
- High volumes of stress and anxiety
- Trauma from witnessing violence
Nightmares are quite common in both men and women, they can be frequent up to 2 times a month. Nightmares are perfectly normal from time to time, but once they get repetitive, you may want to do some more research. Recurring nightmares can be related to an unresolved unconscious problem. Nightmares act as red flags to draw our attention to an important overlooked issue in our lives. Understanding the symbolic meaning of nightmares can help you bring light to a dark place. Recurring nightmares should be noted in a dream journal to help better decipher the dream. Dreams and the symbols in them act like… a metaphorical language for you to decode. We are giving an opportunity through unconsciousness to show us where the current problem may be in our lives. Recurring nightmares never go away until you solve the problem you are facing and can help to better understand your dream in our forum.
Nightmares with children:
Believe it or not, nightmares are more common with children than with adults. About a quarter of children have at least one terrifying dream or nightmare a week. Scary dreams can start as early as 2-3 years of age for a child. At the age of 6 they may begin to experience nightmares. Around the age of 10 and over, nightmares tend to diminish and become less vivid. Children's nightmares typically involve frightening events or situations that make those close to them spin. Nightmare types contain strange images or events, the typical "monster or ghost" theme. Children are generally calm during their nightmare and barely move like most adults.
How to stop nightmares with children:
Unfortunately, there is no cure to prevent your child from having nightmares, although they can be prevented using the techniques we provide below. Studies have shown that nightmares with children are genetic and are passed down from one or another family member. Although there are ways that you can help take control to comfort your child from nightmares.
- Play relaxing music for your child at night
- Keep them away from junk food and high sugar drinks.
- Train them to control their dreams. Tell your child what to do to the monsters in the nightmare.
- Read them a good book and keep positive thoughts in your head before bed.
- Talk to your children and ask them what their biggest fears are and face them.
How to stop your nightmares:
Understand what factors may be causing your nightmares by examining your lifestyle. Has there been a buildup of stress lately? Have you been taking any drugs that may be affecting your sleep? Analyzing what your nightmare means helps to find out what problems in your life you need to face…. If you register in our dream dictionary forum, you can have your nightmare dream analyzed for free.
Tips on how to stop nightmares:
Taking time to relax before bed is a start. You can practice 10 minutes of Yoga and breathing exercises every night just before going to bed. Listening to soothing and relaxing music during sleep calms your entire mental being. Reports indicate that playing video games and viewing negative images before bed will cause an increase in nightmares. Practicing lucid dreaming has been very beneficial when it comes to manipulating your dream scenarios. You can make the bad guy go away in the blink of an eye.
There isn't much you can do when you've just had a nightmare, although paying attention to the symbols in them will give you a better understanding of what your unconscious is hinting at. Keeping a dream journal helps you remember the dream in more detail. Find out and post what your nightmare means in our Sleep Dictionary Nightmare Forum.
Taking good care of your body is very important. Eating healthy has more benefits than feeling good. You will experience calm dreams and less snoring. This in turn will help reduce your chances of having nightmares.
Opinions on nightmares:
«In my dream I woke up feeling that something terrible was about to happen - while I was lying in bed I got very cold and I knew that someone was going to enter my room. The door opened and I was terrified, my heart was beating fast and I couldn't move a muscle. The ghost of a girl approached my bed and knelt before me. She couldn't see her face, she had no distinctive features, and she was very distraught. I tried to talk to her asking what she wanted from me, but my voice didn't come out. Suddenly he got up and lay with me. She was crying and she told me that she had to be somewhere but she didn't know where and she was scared, she wanted company and for me to help her. She looked absolutely drenched and shaking. Despite being absolutely petrified and unable to speak, I felt compelled to hold her and began to cry as I leaned forward to take her in my arms. She really didn't want to touch her because she was terrified that she would do something horrible. It smelled strongly of stagnant pond water and disgusted me. I realized that I couldn't breathe. I got hysterical but nevertheless I put the duvet around her and hugged her sobbing as I did so. He put his arms around my neck and tucked his head under my chin and as he did so I felt the kind of burn that would be associated with frost and ice. It was so painful. Instantly we both jumped into the dark night sky. I held onto her tightly and we raced through space at breakneck speed. Then a screen - like that of a computer - appeared in front of me and on it were instructions ordering me to let go of myself, otherwise I would not be able to go home. I realized how clean the air was and began to appreciate the arms of the ghost girl around my neck, although I didn't want to, she was immediately gone and I was alone and for a second I felt at peace. At the time, I didn't really care if I lived or died - I expected to fall, but did not experience a feeling of falling. Then, I woke up, still cold, scared and felt that this had really happened. I couldn't convince myself that I had been dreaming.
I have never remembered a dream so clearly and certainly I have never been aware of the smells of dreams before. I am intrigued by this and wonder what this dream means. There was nothing remotely familiar about the ghost girl. I've been thinking of her all day like she's a real girl and I'm concerned for her well-being! How stupid is that? After all, it is nothing more than the creation of my hyperactive mind at rest ……
“When I was little, I used to have a recurring dream that I was chased by black hands like the wolf's mouth, and I had to have hands that stayed on my shoulder and helped me out. There was a rainbow hand that helped me fight the other hands and helped me escape and save myself; and then there was a shiny white hand that was my health. When I was being chased, I was always in a big city at night and there was no one around. I still don't understand the dream; The hands that chased me and tried to grab me were those of fearing that something would try to consume me and perhaps control me (which would have been my mother and my grandmother) and to this day I still think that the hand of the rainbow was the signal for my father; I may be thinking about it a lot, but…. When I was 12 I found out that my father was gay. My dad has always tried to help me and I moved with him out of my mom's house so I could get away from drugs and her mental illness and abuse, so somehow he saved me.
This past week I have had a similar nightmare. I can't say they are the same… ..
Every now and then I have a dream where there is some guy from Texas chainsaw massacre chasing ……
It has been puzzling me for a long time. Last night I had a dream that ...
So all I remember is my sister disappearing and I'm staying with Joe and Nana ……
So I've been having these dreams that take place in the same area and involve the same people (whom I've never seen in real life except one) ……
Last night I dreamed that someone I knew was killed outside my school and thrown in a lake. Do not know him
I have this dream almost every night and it is basically the same. I am trapped in this room, it is very dark, without windows or doors… ..
Last night I woke up at 3:20 am from this dream or nightmare. I'm still very confused about it ……
So I have been having this dream that takes place in my house and it is always at night and it was about a woman with dark skin.