So, I had a nightmare last night which woke me up at 2:11 A.M. It’s been a couple of years since I had one. I reviewed the tape in my head of yesterday’s activities and there were no red flags. I was not stressed out, did not eat anything weird, did not eat anything right before going to bed, no alcohol. Perhaps it was an overdose of caffeine?
Some doctors believe that nightmares are caused by people working through traumatic events, are associated with stress and can evolve into a disorder causing social and occupational impairment. A nightmare occurs during your REM sleep which is rapid eye movement. A nightmare causes the following:
- extreme anxiety
- awakens the sleeper
Nightmares are usually recalled by the dreamer and they are more common with girls than boys and the average age of onset is ten and can continue well into adulthood. Unless they really mess with your sleep patterns, nightmares are considered normal. The average person spends about two hours dreaming. My husband always tells me that he never remembers his dreams. Do you remember yours?
What Causes Nightmares?
Nightmares, while spontaneous, can also be caused by many factors:
- A distinct sleep disorder-repeated, extensive history of nightmares
- Food-increases metabolism and signal brain to be more active
- Medications-narcotics and antidepressants, blood pressure medications
- Withdrawal from alcohol and/or tranquilizers
- A change in medication
- Sleep deprivation
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome
What The Experts Have To Say
I reviewed several resources written by experts who have conclusions about dreams and nightmares. Here is what many have to say:
1.) We all dream at some point during our sleep. Not dreaming is a myth and it is more a matter of someone simply not remembering their dream. Experts feel that we must dream as a ways of dealing with the daily stress in our lives.
2.) Many people have recurring dreams to deal with life lessons which are sometimes lifelong. Such dreams build on a common theme. Such dreams are useful for personal growth.
3.) Nightmares are not signs that something sinister will happen and should be used to learn and grow from. Nightmare are a way for us to relieve pressure and release anxiety.
4.) Nightmares are a call to action. Ask yourself: “What am I afraid of?” “What does this dream suggest about me right now?” “What can I do to learn more about the root fear that this nightmare reveals?” We are told to ask ourselves “what am I afraid of” and what is the nightmare revealing about you?
5.) Dreams and nightmares can be illogical. Most people think in abstract ways and, as much as we like to think of ourselves as logical, we spend a great deal of waking hours moving in illogical patterns.
6.) Some people can actually influence their dreams by focusing on their thoughts and intentions and we often like to recall a favorite dream.
7.) Death dreams are about our confusion and anxiety surrounding the topic and is not about a premonition that you are going to die.
What To Pay Attention To
- Who are the main figures in the dream and what’s your relationship in and out of the dream with these people?
- Pay attention to your own personal association to life symbols and while there are universal symbols, they will not always connect to you.
- Take note that dream interpretations books carry misconceptions and analysis is not concrete.
Ten Common Nightmares
Tell me about a nightmare that you have had in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by,