What does it mean to have a bad dream: Decode Your Nightmares | Everyday Health
What Do Our Nightmares Mean?
Sleep is supposed to be restful; yet when we’re having a nightmare, it’s anything but. Whether we’re being terrorized by a fictional monster (that girl from The Ring, anyone?) or grieving a dreamed loss, nightmares steal our energy away rather than restoring it. So why do we have nightmares? And how can we reduce their severity or frequency?
What are nightmares?
Psychology Today defines nightmares as dreams that evoke “fear, anxiety, or sadness.” They occur during the “rapid eye movement” (REM) stage of sleep, often later in the night, and tend to awaken the sleeper; common themes include falling, losing one’s teeth, and being unprepared for an exam.
For 1 percent of the population, nightmares occur so frequently and are so debilitating that one may be diagnosed with nightmare disorder, the criteria for which includes:
- Repeatedly awakening with detailed recollection of frightening dreams about threats to survival, security, or physical integrity;
- Being oriented and alert upon awakening;
- Experiencing impairment of important areas of functioning;
- Having no general medical conditions, medications, or substance use patterns that would cause these symptoms.
While you may not be dealing with a full-fledged nightmare disorder, unpleasant dreams can still give you plenty of grief and leave you feeling exhausted. It’s understandable that you would want to figure out what might be causing your nightmares so that you can treat the issue.
What Do Our Nightmares Mean?
According to clinician Jacky Casumbal, “Dreams are our brain’s way of organizing events of the day, memories, and images into vivid, symbolic, and nonsensical storylines.” Nightmares in particular are “dreams that are often connected to unresolved anxiety and trauma that our brain has not fully worked through.”
Jacky Casumbal, LICSW
Indeed, studies suggest that nightmares are often linked to unmet psychological needs and/or frustration with life experiences. Yet those links aren’t always easy to make—except in cases of trauma (discussed below), our nightmares tend to reflect our troubles through metaphor rather than literal representation. For example, a person who is dealing with a stressful move might not dream of the move itself, but about falling off the edge of a cliff or running late to an important event. Likewise, two people may experience similar nightmares (about, say, finding themselves naked in a public space) but for wildly different reasons. These variations can make it difficult to find a single, clear “meaning” behind our dreams.
Yet that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Several sources have theorized about the meanings of certain, common nightmares, and some of their conclusions are easy to get on board with. We can all understand why many researchers believe that dreams about being chased are directly linked to experiences of anxiety, or that dreams about being in an out-of-control vehicle reflect a lack of control in one’s life. Yet no two people’s minds or experiences are the same, so the best way to figure out why you keep dreaming about, say, being attacked by birds or getting lost in a maze, is to think it through yourself.
Try asking yourself the following questions:
- What am I feeling in this dream, and have I ever felt that way before? Ex. Fear, shame, hopelessness, confusion…
- What are some recurring themes or images in this and my other dreams? Ex. Being betrayed, not being able to communicate, the presence of a specific person…
- Did anything out of the ordinary happen before I slept? What was I focused on during the day? Challenges at work, a fight with a friend, medical difficulties…
- Is there a certain day or time when I tend to have these dreams? Tuesdays after my weekly call home, at the beginning of my menstrual cycle, during the holidays, after therapy…
If you work with a therapist, they can help you parse through any details of your nightmares. Together, you may pick up on recurring patterns in the content or timing of your bad dreams. Outside of therapy, you can try to keep track of recurring themes in a dream journal. Either way, you’re certain to make some new and interesting observations about how your emotions influence your thoughts, and vice versa.
How can we reduce our nightmares?
There’s no cure-all solution for bad dreams, but clinicians have developed exercises to reduce their frequency and severity.
When it comes to getting relief from nightmares, Jacky recommends utilizing calming strategies like “deep, diaphragmatic breathing,” which stimulates the vagus nerve (which is associated with our parasympathetic nervous system, or our ‘calming’ system). “One helpful breathing technique that I use often with clients is inhaling for 4 counts, holding that breath for 7 counts, and then exhaling for 8 counts. You then repeat this activity two more times.” This technique can be particularly helpful with practiced immediately before going to bed.
Other clinicians recommend Image Rehearsal Therapy (IRT), a cognitive therapy that involves writing down the contents of one’s nightmare and then rewriting the ending in a positive light. For example, someone who dreams of being chased may write themselves finally reaching freedom, or discovering that the person “chasing” them was a friend who was actually trying to help them. The individual would then rehearse this narrative before bed with the aim of displacing the unwanted, negative ending. Studies suggest that this form of therapy can be effective in reducing both nightmare frequency and the degree of distress it causes.
Then there’s Progressive Deep Muscle Relaxation (PDMR), which you can practice immediately before going to bed. PDMR involves tensing and then relaxing one part of your body at a time, typically starting at the top (your scalp) and ending at the bottom (your toes). Studies indicate that as many as 80 percent of those who practice PMDR experience nightmare reduction within 25 weeks.
There are a variety of additional options, as diverse as the content of our nightmares themselves—you may find that you prefer meditation, keeping fresh lavender by your bed, or just generally practicing good sleep hygiene (not using caffeine or electronics before bed, keeping your bedtime consistent, etc). We encourage you to explore which method is best for you.
How Are Nightmares Connected to Trauma?
It’s worth noting, especially for those of us coping with trauma, that sometimes our nightmares are about more than just daily stressors. Those who’ve experienced trauma often deal with distressing and recurrent nightmares that interfere with their health and functioning.
A study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School found that up to 80 percent of people experiencing PTSD cope with “frequent nightmares,” as opposed to 5 percent of the general population. Unlike our more metaphorical, stress-related nightmares, traumatic nightmares often feature elements “similar” to those of the trauma itself. For example, someone who has experienced a natural disaster might dream of high winds, flames, or being trapped in a flooding space. At times, traumatic nightmares can even take the form of a “replay” of the traumatic event, making us feel as though we’re reliving the experience or watching it on television.
As one might expect, the most effective form of treatment for traumatic nightmares is one that targets trauma and/or PTSD directly. This typically involves working with a trauma-informed therapist who has extensive experience working with nightmares and other common post-traumatic responses such as trouble sleeping, flashbacks, and hyperawareness. Your therapist can also work with you around a concept called the “window of tolerance,” which Jacky describes as “the state you’re in when you’re cool, calm, and collected,” not in the midst of debilitating post-traumatic symptoms.
“When you are outside the window of tolerance,” as many people experiencing post-traumatic symptoms are, “you are either hyperaroused (anxious, restless, overwhelmed, etc.) or hypoaroused (depressed, numb, lacking energy, etc.). A trauma-informed therapist can gently work with you to help you recognize when you are outside your window of tolerance and implement calming strategies in order to get you back into it.” These calming strategies can soothe symptoms, leading to “more restful sleep.”
For any information about finding a trauma-informed therapist, what to expect in post-traumatic treatment, or the different treatment avenues you can take, feel free to contact us any time at [email protected] com.
What do you constantly find yourself dreaming about? Have you noticed any patterns? As always, we love to hear from you.
How to Avoid Nightmares and Get More Restful Sleep
Teeth falling out? Lost in the wilderness alone? Being chased but can’t scream? Most of us can remember at least one such dream for its vividness, resulting visceral fear and lingering discomfort.
The mind’s reel of horrors never ceases to amaze, and many of these dreams can be off-putting if not downright disturbing. From feeling all too real to playing on our deepest fears, bad dreams can also make it harder to get back to sleep and lead to bedtime anxiety for children as well as adults.
Shop Our Mattresses
In the realm of dreams and nightmares, there remains more mystery than fact. It’s an area of neuroscience and psychology that’s hard to study, since each of us experiences a unique dream world that’s inherently subjective and hard to document with reliability.
While a few hypotheses exist, little is confirmed about why we dream, what causes specific dreams, or how it all works. However, there are some interesting theories on nightmares and recent research that offers insight and potential ways to minimize their occurrence and impact. Read on to see what might influence dreams and current opinions on how to cope with the bad ones.
What Is a Nightmare?
Nightmares are defined as dreams that bring out strong feelings of fear, terror, distress or anxiety. They feel more vivid or intense than a bad dream, and nightmares are often differentiated from dreams when they cause the sleeper to actually wake up and experience intense feelings upon waking. People who awake during a nightmare are likely to remember the details of it.
While you are snoozing, your brain is pretty busy during certain times of the night. During
Rapid Eye Movement sleep,
brain waves exhibit activity fairly similar to waking, and your brain is consuming as much if not more energy than when you’re awake. Your eyes move rapidly (hence the name), but your muscles are in a state of paralysis. This temporary paralysis is a good thing, because during REM sleep your brain is still firing off commands in the motor cortex as you move around your dream world.
during the REM phases of rest, showing up in the later half of your sleep. Little is known about why we dream in general, but popular theories range from managing subconscious thoughts, to sorting out memories and learned information, to purely random chemical signals. There also isn’t much information on exactly why dreams sometimes turn out to be nightmares, but it’s believed that some daytime factors can play an influential role.
Both children and adults experience nightmares and bad dreams, even though they are primarily associated with childhood. It’s estimated that 10-50% of three to six year olds experience nightmares that affect their sleep, with over 80% of seven to nine year olds occasionally experiencing bad dreams.
While children and teens may have more frequent nightmares, adults can and do still have them as well. A
found that 85% of adults report at least one nightmare the previous year, 8-29% have monthly nightmares, and 2-6% report weekly nightmares. Older adults are 20-50% less likely to have nightmares compared to younger adults.
Behind the Scenes: The Factors That Influence Dream Content
What was your last bad dream about? Despite our unique lives and experiences, if you asked a group of people this question, you’d likely see a few common themes. In fact, research shows we tend to share quite a bit of subject matter in nightmares.
A 2014 University of Montreal study, analyzed 253 nightmares and 431 bad dreams. They found that physical aggression was the most prevalent theme in nightmares, along with death, health and threats. Men’s nightmares were more likely to involve themes of natural disasters and war, while women showed higher frequency of interpersonal conflicts. While fear was a common emotion evoked by nightmares, a significant portion caused sadness, confusion, fear or disgust as well.
Similar themes were found in a previous
which identified the five most common nightmare themes as falling, being chased, being paralyzed, being late and death of family or friends.
There’s no direct proof or consensus to exactly what causes nightmares or why we have them, but things like our relationships, daytime activities, certain medications and traumatic events all have important links.
For most people, dreams tend to incorporate
aspects of our waking lives
in both literal and abstract ways. For example, your dreams may include things like studying, test-taking, a problem you’re dealing with, working, family, or a repetitive action you do during the day. Negative things like stress, fear, worry, arguments, and other aspects of our days could also show up in nightmares.
The most common timeframes for dreams to incorporate episodic events and experiences is after
one to two days or five to seven days.
Dreams also commonly involve past
our personal experiences, and long-term memories of the self. Research shows these memories are typically experienced selectively and in a fragmented fashion
Anxiety and Stress
Stress and anxiety can come in many forms, from temporary everyday things like moving to a new place, changing roles at school or work, or failing at a task, to more major things like divorce, losing a family member, trauma, or anxiety disorders. Being stressed and feeling anxiety is associated with poor sleep in general, and both may also trigger a nightmare.
Anxiety regarding performance is one a common theme you may have recognized in your own dreams. For example, about 15% of German athletes in
reported distressing dreams before a big event, most often involving athletic failure. Many students also experience bad dreams related to impending tests or finals, sometimes even years after they’ve finished school.
The idea that scary, thrilling, or suspenseful shows or even fear-inducing news broadcasts cause bad dreams is often expressed anecdotally. While difficult to study, many of us can recall a time where visual imagery and situations from media popped up in dream content. Scary media can also cause stress and anxiety for some people (setting the stage for distressing dreams).
An older study of college students found that 90% could recall a frightening TV show or other media experience, and half said it had affected their sleep or eating habits in childhood or adolescence. More surprising is that about one-fourth of the students said they still experienced some residual anxiety. Blood, injury, disturbing sounds, and distorted images were the most prevalent types of phobia-inducing stimuli the researchers identified.
Severe depression and a negative self attitude were associated with a higher incidence of nightmares in a recent
Depression actually proved to be the strongest predictor in their research, with 28% of sufferers reporting frequent nightmares compared to the sample average of 4%.
One study found adults with personality traits like distrustfulness, alienation, and emotional estrangement were more likely to experience chronic nightmares. Long-time dream researcher Ernest Hartmann proposes that people who have thinner personality boundaries and higher creativity may be more susceptible to nightmares.
Another interesting association is a political ideology. A study of college students found that the conservative participants reported more nightmares and more fearful content than liberals, while the liberals recalled more dreams overall.
Sleep research has documented that temperature and comfort can affect sleep quality, and the environment may have some impact on dream content as well. Temperatures that are too cold or too hot can lead to less restful sleep and more awakenings (meaning more remembered dreams), as can pain.
Make sure your sleeping on a comfortable mattress, to reduce tossing and turning and interruptions to your nightly sleep cycle.
Scent may also play a role. A German study released the scent of rotten eggs or roses into the rooms of sleepers after they entered REM sleep. Upon being awakened, people smelling roses reported more positive dream content while those smelling rotten eggs reported more negative content.
Recurring or more frequent nightmares have been linked with traumatic experiences, including events like
and surviving natural disasters, and it’s a defining characteristic of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Those with PTSD experience nightmares much more frequently, with research estimating 52% to 96% experience them often, compared to around 3% of the general population. The National Center for PTSD says that nightmares following trauma tend to incorporate similar elements or themes as well as replays of the event.
Certain types of medications, particularly those that influence neurotransmitters may influence nightmare frequency. These include antidepressants and barbiturates that affect REM sleep. If nightmares start after medication changes, bring it up with your physician.
Eating Before Bed
Snacking too close to bed can cause indigestion, and it may also influence your metabolism and dreams. One study linked junk food with nightmares, while another found that a spicy meal close to bed disturbs sleep, as summarized in a Lifehacker article.
Other Influential Factors
- Sleep Deprivation: Experiencing insomnia and fatigue also increase the chances of frequent nightmares, according to the previously mentioned Finnish study.
- Sleep Disorders: People with sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and other sleep disorders are more likely to experience nightmares.
may be linked with more recurrent dreams and nightmares.
showed 39% of people suffering from burn pain experienced pain in their dreams, which was associated with more nightmares and more intense daytime pain.
Minimizing Nightmares and Brushing Off Bad Dreams
Controlling nightmares remains largely uncharted territory, though there are few different schools of thought when it comes to managing bad dreams. For many people nightmares aren’t really a major nuisance, but if they do wake you up more than you’d like or you have trouble settling down afterwards, here are couple of potential ways to go about preventing them or reducing their severity.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
It’s not always possible to completely prevent bad dreams, but setting the stage for good sleep can help ensure you snooze more soundly and feel better rested.
involves ensuring both your habits and sleep environment are ideal for quality rest.
Your sleep space can have some bearing on your resting state. Ideally, bedrooms should be cool, dark and quiet. Temperatures in the 60s to low 70s are considered best. Remove or turn off light sources like TVs, VCRs, and alarm clocks, and consider light blocking shades if you live in an urban area or sleep past sunrise. Earplugs can be helpful for drowning out bothersome noise.
In terms of habits, keeping a regular bedtime and waketime throughout the week is a key part of supporting your internal clock, as is daily moderate exercise, daily sunlight exposure and a regular evening relaxation routine.
Caffeine and other stimulants can all affect sleep in different ways, and are best avoided the hours before bedtime. Keeping bedtime snacks light and avoiding spicy foods or those that cause indigestion is also recommended.
Talk or Write It Out
Some psychologists believe talking about dreams and getting social support to put them in perspective is key to reducing anxiety following nightmares. This might take the form of talking out dreams with a therapist, discussing them with a partner or in a group setting, or via independent journaling.
If you wake up shaken from a nightmare and can’t get back to sleep right away, it could be helpful to get out of bed and write the dream down, and even change its course.
Image Rehearsal Therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that involves recalling the nightmare and then writing out a new, more positive version and rehearsing this new scenario daily to displace the original nightmare theme. IRT is a well-researched type of therapy, and is a treatment
recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
for chronic idiopathic nightmares and PTSD-related nightmares.
Deal with Daytime Stressors
Other approaches can focus on routines or working on areas of your life that could be contributing to stress or fear. The
American Psychological Association’s
2013 Stress in America poll found that stress was associated with poorer sleep, and that poorer sleep was also associated with higher stress
When you’ve had a tough day, take a few minutes to de-stress before bed. Try a warm bath or other techniques to see what helps you most.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is another method recommended by AASM for nightmares. It involves gradually tensing and relaxing different groups of muscles all over the body to reduce stress and tension. It can be done in a clinical setting, or at home via a guided audio track.
Avoid watching or reading things comprised of common nightmare fodder close to bed. That scary movie, suspenseful book or unsettling news broadcast could wind up in your midnight playlist.
Better choices for winding down if you are looking for more peaceful sleep are lighthearted shows, coloring/sketching, or neutral reading on subjects like self-improvement or hobbies. Remember, electronics like TVs and tablets steal sleep, so it’s best to turn them off at least 30 minutes before bed.
Get Help If Needed
Sometimes, nightmares can become more than just occasional disruptions, becoming a significant source of sleep anxiety.
is a clinically recognized sleep disorder, classified by frequent and persistent nightmares that regularly disrupt sleep, cause bedtime anxiety and affect daytime behavior. They can also be a symptom of PTSD, which can have a dramatic effect on quality of life.
If you feel like nightmares are making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep often or feel anxiety around falling asleep due to bad dreams, it is worthwhile to discuss it with your doctor and/or a psychologist. They can assess if there are underlying conditions to resolve and prescribe the right treatments and medications when applicable.
Most importantly, don’t feel embarrassed to bring the issue up — nightmares aren’t childish. They can have a significant impact on your waking life, and social support along with healthy lifestyle habits can play an important role in minimizing their impact.
How often do you experience bad dreams? What seems to help you calm down or what encourages more positive dreams for you?
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
About the author
Rosie Osmun regularly contributes to the Amerisleep blog writing about topics including, reducing back pain while sleeping, the best dinners for better sleep, and improving productivity to make the most of your mornings. She finds the science of sleep fascinating and loves researching and writing about beds. Rosie is also passionate about traveling, languages, and history.
View all posts
Nightmares: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment
Dreaming is one of the most complicated and mysterious aspects of sleep. While dreams can include visions of grandeur and bliss, they can also be scary, threatening, or stressful.
When a bad dream causes you to wake up, it’s known as a nightmare. It’s normal to occasionally have a nightmare or bad dream, but for some people, they recur frequently, disrupting sleep and negatively impacting their waking life as well.
Knowing the differences between bad dreams, nightmares, and nightmare disorder is a first step to addressing the causes of nightmares, starting appropriate treatment, and getting better sleep.
What Are Nightmares?
In sleep medicine, nightmares have a more strict definition than in everyday language. This definition helps distinguish nightmares from bad dreams: while both involve disturbing dream content, only a nightmare causes you to wake up from sleep.
Nightmares are vivid dreams that may be threatening, upsetting, bizarre, or otherwise bothersome. They occur more often during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage of sleep associated with intense dreaming. Nightmares arise more frequently in the second half of the night when more time is spent in REM sleep.
Upon waking up from a nightmare, it’s normal to be acutely aware of what happened in the dream, and many people find themselves feeling upset or anxious. Physical symptoms like heart rate changes or sweating may be detected after waking up as well.
What Is Nightmare Disorder?
While most people have nightmares from time to time, nightmare disorder occurs when a person has frequent nightmares that interfere with their sleep, mood, and/or daytime functioning. It is a sleep disorder known as a parasomnia. Parasomnias include numerous types of abnormal behaviors during sleep.
People who have occasional nightmares don’t have nightmare disorder. Instead, nightmare disorder involves recurring nightmares that bring about notable distress in their daily life.
Are Nightmares Normal?
It’s normal for both children and adults to have bad dreams and nightmares every now and again. For example, a study found that 47% of college students had at least one nightmare in the past two weeks.
Nightmare disorder, though, is far less common. Research studies estimate that about 2-8% of adults have problems with nightmares.
Frequent nightmares are more common in children than in adults. Nightmares in children are most prevalent between the ages of three and six and tend to occur less often as children get older. In some cases, though, nightmares persist into adolescence and adulthood.
Nightmares affect males and females, although women are generally more likely to report having nightmares, especially during adolescence through middle age.
Why Do We Have Nightmares?
There is no consensus explanation for why we have nightmares. In fact, there is an ongoing debate in sleep medicine and neuroscience about why we dream at all. Many experts believe that dreaming is part of the mind’s methods for processing emotion and consolidating memory. Bad dreams, then, may be a component of the emotional response to fear and trauma, but more research is needed to definitively explain why nightmares occur.
How Are Nightmares Different From Sleep Terrors?
Sleep terrors, sometimes called night terrors, are another type of parasomnia in which a sleeper appears agitated and frightened during sleep. Nightmares and sleep terrors have several distinguishing characteristics:
- Nightmares happen during REM sleep while sleep terrors happen during non-REM (NREM) sleep.
- Sleep terrors don’t involve a full awakening; instead, a person remains mostly asleep and difficult to awaken. If awakened, they likely will be disoriented. In contrast, when a person wakes up from a nightmare, they tend to be alert and aware of what was happening in their dream.
- The following day, a person with nightmares usually has a clear memory of the dream. People with sleep terrors very rarely have any awareness of the episode.
- Nightmares are more common in the second half of the night while sleep terrors happen more often in the first half.
What Causes Nightmares?
Many different factors can contribute to a higher risk of nightmares:
- Stress and anxiety: Sad, traumatic, or worrisome situations that induce stress and fear may provoke nightmares. People with chronic stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop nightmare disorder.
- Mental health conditions: Nightmares are often reported at much higher rates by people with mental health disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. People with PTSD often have frequent, intense nightmares in which they relive traumatic events, worsening symptoms of PTSD, and often contributing to insomnia.
- Certain drugs and medications: Using some types of illicit substances or prescription medications that affect the nervous system is associated with a higher risk of nightmares.
- Withdrawal from some medications: Some medications suppress REM sleep, so when a person stops taking those medications, there is a short-term rebound effect of more REM sleep accompanied by more nightmares.
- Sleep deprivation: After a period of insufficient sleep, a person often experiences a REM rebound, that can trigger vivid dreams and nightmares.
- Personal history of nightmares: In adults, a risk factor for nightmare disorder is a history of having had recurring nightmares during childhood and adolescence.
Though not fully understood, a genetic predisposition may exist that makes it more likely for frequent nightmares to run in a family. This association may be driven by genetic risk factors for mental health conditions that are tied to nightmares.
Some evidence indicates that people who have nightmares may have altered sleep architecture, meaning that they progress abnormally through sleep stages. Some studies have also found a correlation between nightmares and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder that causes fragmented sleep, although further research is needed to clarify this association.
Are Nightmares Connected To Waking Activity?
Nightmares can have a clear connection to things that happen while you’re awake. Nightmares tied to anxiety and stress, especially PTSD, may involve flashbacks or imagery that is directly linked to traumatic events.
However, not all nightmares have an easily identified relationship to waking activity. Nightmares can have bizarre or bewildering content that is difficult to trace to any specific circumstances in a person’s life.
Can Nightmares Affect Sleep?
Nightmares, especially recurrent nightmares, can have a significant impact on a person’s sleep. People with nightmare disorder are more likely to suffer from decreases in both sleep quantity and quality.
Sleep problems can be induced by nightmares in several ways. People who have nighttime disruptions from nightmares may wake up feeling anxious, making it hard to relax their mind and get back to sleep. Fear of nightmares may cause sleep avoidance and less time allocated to sleep.
Unfortunately, these steps can make nightmares worse. Sleep avoidance can cause sleep deprivation, which can provoke a REM sleep rebound with even more intense dreams and nightmares. This often leads to further sleep avoidance, giving rise to a pattern of disturbed sleep that culminates in insomnia.
Nightmares may exacerbate mental health conditions that can worsen sleep, and insufficient sleep can give rise to more pronounced symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety.
Insufficient sleep connected to nightmares and nightmare disorder can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, mood changes, and worsened cognitive function, all of which can have a substantial negative impact on a person’s daytime activities and quality of life.
When Should You See a Doctor About Nightmares?
Because it’s common to have an occasional nightmare, some people may find it hard to know when nightmares are a cause for concern. You should talk to your doctor about nightmares if:
- Nightmares happen more than once a week
- Nightmares affect your sleep, mood, and/or daily activity
- Nightmares begin at the same time that you start a new medication
To help your doctor understand how nightmares are affecting you, you can keep a sleep diary that tracks your total sleep and sleep disruptions, including nightmares.
How Is Nightmare Disorder Treated?
Infrequent nightmares don’t normally need any treatment, but both psychotherapy and medications can help people who have nightmare disorder. By reducing nightmares, treatments can promote better sleep and overall health.
Treatment for nightmares should always be overseen by a health professional who can identify the most appropriate therapy based on a patient’s overall health and the underlying cause of their nightmares.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a category of treatment that works to understand and reorient negative thinking. Talk therapy has broad applications in addressing mental health disorders and sleeping problems like insomnia.
Many types of psychotherapy fall under the umbrella of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including a specialized form of CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) that may be used to treat nightmares. A central component of CBT is reorienting negative thoughts and feelings and modifying detrimental patterns of behavior.
There are numerous types of talk therapy and CBT that may help reduce nightmares:
- Image Rehearsal Therapy: This approach involves rewriting a recurring nightmare into a script that is rewritten and then rehearsed when awake in order to change how it unfolds and impacts the sleeper.
- Lucid Dreaming Therapy: In a lucid dream, a person is actively aware that they are dreaming. Lucid dreaming therapy seizes on this idea to give a person the ability to positively modify the content of a nightmare through their awareness of it in the moment.
- Exposure and Desensitization Therapies: Because many nightmares are driven by fears, a number of approaches utilize controlled exposure to that fear to reduce the emotional reaction to it. Examples of these techniques to “face your fears” include self-exposure therapy and systematic desensitization.
- Hypnosis: This approach creates a relaxed, trance-like mental state in which a person can more easily take in positive thoughts to combat stress.
- Progressive deep muscle relaxation: While not a direct form of talk therapy, progressive deep muscle relaxation is a technique for calming the mind and body. It involves deep breathing and a sequence of tension and release in muscles throughout the body. Relaxation methods like this are a tool developed in talk therapy to counteract stress buildup.
Behavioral recommendations associated with talk therapy frequently involve changes to sleep hygiene. This includes making the bedroom more conducive to sleep as well as cultivating daily routines and habits that facilitate consistent sleep.
Many psychotherapies for nightmares involve a combination of methods. Examples include CBT-I, Sleep Dynamic Therapy and Exposure, Relaxation, and Rescripting Therapy (ERRT). Mental health professionals can tailor talk therapy for nightmares to fit a patient, including, when appropriate, account for a coexisting mental health disorder.
Several types of prescription medications may be used to treat nightmare disorder. Most often, these are medications that affect the nervous system such as anti-anxiety, antidepressant, or antipsychotic drugs. Different medications may be used for people who have nightmares associated with PTSD.
Medications benefit some patients, but they can also come with side effects. For that reason, it is important to talk with a doctor who can describe the potential benefits and downsides of prescription drugs for nightmare disorder.
How Can You Help Stop Nightmares and Get Better Sleep?
If you have nightmares that interfere with your sleep or daily life, the first step is to talk with your doctor. Identifying and addressing an underlying cause can help make nightmares less frequent and less bothersome.
Whether nightmares are common or occasional, you may get relief from improving sleep hygiene. Building better sleep habits is a component of many therapies for nightmare disorder and can pave the way for high-quality sleep on a regular basis.
There are many elements of sleep hygiene, but some of the most important ones, especially in the context of nightmares, include:
- Following a consistent sleep schedule: Having a set bedtime and sleep schedule helps keep your sleep stable, preventing sleep avoidance and nightmare-inducing REM rebound after sleep deprivation.
- Utilizing relaxation methods: Finding ways to wind down, even basic deep breathing, can help decrease the stress and worry that give rise to nightmares.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine can stimulate your mind, which makes it harder to relax and fall asleep. Drinking alcohol close to bedtime can induce a REM rebound in the second half of the night that may worsen nightmares. As much as possible, it’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening.
- Reducing screen time before bed: Using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop before bed can amp up your brain activity and make it difficult to fall asleep. If the screen time involves negative or worrying imagery, it may make nightmares more likely. To avoid this, create a bedtime routine with no screen time for an hour or more before going to sleep.
- Creating a comforting sleep environment: Your bedroom should promote a sense of calm with as few distractions or disruptions as possible. Set a comfortable temperature, block out excess light and sound, and set up your bed and bedding to be supportive and inviting.
- Was this article helpful?
Nightmare disorder – Symptoms and causes
A nightmare is a disturbing dream associated with negative feelings, such as anxiety or fear that awakens you. Nightmares are common in children, but can happen at any age, and occasional nightmares usually are nothing to worry about.
Nightmares may begin in children between 3 and 6 years old and tend to decrease after the age of 10. During the teen and young adult years, girls appear to have nightmares more often than boys do. Some people have them as adults or throughout their lives.
Although nightmares are common, nightmare disorder is relatively rare. Nightmare disorder is when nightmares happen often, cause distress, disrupt sleep, cause problems with daytime functioning or create fear of going to sleep.
You’re more likely to have a nightmare in the second half of your night. Nightmares may occur rarely or more frequently, even several times a night. Episodes are generally brief, but they cause you to awaken, and returning to sleep can be difficult.
A nightmare may involve these features:
- Your dream seems vivid and real and is very upsetting, often becoming more disturbing as the dream unfolds
- Your dream storyline is usually related to threats to safety or survival, but it can have other disturbing themes
- Your dream awakens you
- You feel scared, anxious, angry, sad or disgusted as a result of your dream
- You feel sweaty or have a pounding heartbeat while in bed
- You can think clearly upon awakening and can recall details of your dream
- Your dream causes distress that keeps you from falling back to sleep easily
Nightmares are only considered a disorder if you experience:
- Frequent occurrences
- Major distress or impairment during the day, such as anxiety or persistent fear, or bedtime anxiety about having another nightmare
- Problems with concentration or memory, or you can’t stop thinking about images from your dreams
- Daytime sleepiness, fatigue or low energy
- Problems functioning at work or school or in social situations
- Behavior problems related to bedtime or fear of the dark
Having a child with nightmare disorder can cause significant sleep disturbance and distress for parents or caregivers.
When to see a doctor
Occasional nightmares aren’t usually a cause for concern. If your child has nightmares, you can simply mention them at a routine well-child exam. However, consult your doctor if nightmares:
- Occur frequently and persist over time
- Routinely disrupt sleep
- Cause fear of going to sleep
- Cause daytime behavior problems or difficulty functioning
Nightmare disorder is referred to by doctors as a parasomnia — a type of sleep disorder that involves undesirable experiences that occur while you’re falling asleep, during sleep or when you’re waking up. Nightmares usually occur during the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). The exact cause of nightmares is not known.
Nightmares can be triggered by many factors, including:
- Stress or anxiety. Sometimes the ordinary stresses of daily life, such as a problem at home or school, trigger nightmares. A major change, such as a move or the death of a loved one, can have the same effect. Experiencing anxiety is associated with a greater risk of nightmares.
- Trauma. Nightmares are common after an accident, injury, physical or sexual abuse, or other traumatic event. Nightmares are common in people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Sleep deprivation. Changes in your schedule that cause irregular sleeping and waking times or that interrupt or reduce the amount of sleep can increase your risk of having nightmares. Insomnia is associated with an increased risk of nightmares.
- Medications. Some drugs — including certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, beta blockers, and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease or to help stop smoking — can trigger nightmares.
- Substance abuse. Alcohol and recreational drug use or withdrawal can trigger nightmares.
- Other disorders. Depression and other mental health disorders may be linked to nightmares. Nightmares can happen along with some medical conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. Having other sleep disorders that interfere with adequate sleep can be associated with having nightmares.
- Scary books and movies. For some people, reading scary books or watching frightening movies, especially before bed, can be associated with nightmares.
Nightmares are more common when family members have a history of nightmares or other sleep parasomnias, such as talking during sleep.
Nightmare disorder may cause:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, which can lead to difficulties at school or work, or problems with everyday tasks, such as driving and concentrating
- Problems with mood, such as depression or anxiety from dreams that continue to bother you
- Resistance to going to bed or to sleep for fear you’ll have another bad dream
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts
17 Signs Your Bad Dreams Could Mean Something Worse
We’ve all had our share of nightmares. Hey, they’re just a natural part of life! But sometimes a nightmare is actually more than just a nightmare. If you’re experiencing them frequently or severely (or frequently and severely), there could be something bigger at play. Here are 17 signs your bad dreams could indicate something much, much more serious than a series of random mental images.
Frequent nightmares are a possible symptom of panic disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative disorder, and borderline personality disorder. But nightmares are most commonly associated with the big bugaboos of mental health: clinical depression and clinical anxiety. Among adults with clinical depression, 11.4 percent reported having nightmares, while, among those with clinical anxiety, that number jumps to a whopping 17.1 percent.
While bad dreams can arise from countless factors, scientists have doubled down on how they relate to post-traumatic stress disorder. And their findings have been astonishing: one study out the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine revealed that 90 percent (!) of people who experienced PTSD had reoccurring nightmares.
Nowadays, nightmares are one of the symptoms used to diagnose PTSD. And, yes, many people have nightmares associated with their trauma—but that’s not always the case. According to one study published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 60 percent of PTSD victims reported suffering from nightmares prior to their trauma, suggesting that having nightmares could make someone prone to the condition.
Have you checked the warning labels on some of your medication bottles? It’s very common for many medications to list nightmares as a possible side-effect. A good rule of thumb: any medication that influences the neurotransmitters in the brain—like antidepressants or mood stabilizers—has the ability to negatively affect your dreams. But blood pressure meds, sleep aids, allergy meds, and steroids can cause them, too. Read your labels, folks.
In a study of university undergraduates, researchers at the Canadian Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine found that 17.8 percent of students believed that food caused their dreams to be more bizarre or disturbing. And get this: those undergrads are on to something.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, when you eat before bed, your metabolism is boosted, signaling your brain to be more active. And since the dreaming stage of sleep happens while your brain is at its most active, if you’re dreaming more, you also may be experiencing more bad dreams during that time. In other words: Stop eating right before you hit the hay.
It’s a vicious cycle. Nightmares can cause you sleep less, but sleeping less can also cause nightmares. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 17.1 percent of those with frequent insomnia reported having frequent nightmares as well when able to sleep. When you’re not getting adequate REM sleep every night, your brain ends up becoming overactive during the few moments you do experience REM sleep, heightening the amount of bad dreams you have.
Loss of sleep might not be the only thing increasing your bad dreams, however. If you are getting enough sleep, but experiencing breathing complications such as sleep apnea, you may still have increased nightmares.
A study of sleep apnea patients, published in the Sleep Medicine Journal, revealed that the patients also suffering from nightmares had a higher severity of sleep apnea during the REM cycle: 91 percent of those patients who agreed to undergo treatment therapy for sleep apnea reported experiencing less nightmares.
While sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep issues, your nightmares could be pointing to any number of problems, like sleep paralysis, restless leg syndrome, or even narcolepsy.
You also might be experiencing an actual nightmare disorder. (Don’t worry: the condition sounds more terrifying than it is.) Symptoms of a nightmare disorder include repeated awakening from intense, threatening dreams, alertness upon awakening, and frequent nightmares not associated with any other issue. Nightmare disorder is most common in children below the age of 10, but about 4 percent of adults still suffer from the disorder.
If you’re a fan of horror flicks, sorry, but you should refrain from having any marathons after dark. A study conducted by the International Association for the Study of Dreams concluded that media has an outside influence on dreams—and that those who watched violent movies before bed were more likely to experience violent dreams.
While you should already avoid snacking before bed, if you can’t help it, at the very least reconsider what you snack on: namely, dairy. One Canadian Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine study found that participants mentioned dairy most often in association with disturbing dreams. Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food allergies—one that often goes undiagnosed—with 65 percent of the population having a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. So, if you suffer from nightmares, cut out the cheese plates and ice cream.
A sharp rise in body temperature could be the answer behind your sudden nightmares. The amygdala inside your brain—most associated with negative emotions like terror and anger—can be thrown for a loop when your body is overheating. This over-activation of the amygdala, which is already quite active during REM sleep, can cause an increase in intense fear-responses while you’re dreaming. Hey, look: An excuse to call out sick tomorrow!
Most major shifts in life bring come with their fair share of stress and anxiety, no matter if it’s a good change or a bad one. An Oxford Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute study—and this surely won’t surprise you a bit, but it’s always good to have scientific confirmation—found that higher levels of worry and stress correlated with an increase in nightmares. Out of all the factors studied—including worry, psychotic behavior, alcohol use, and depersonalization—worry was the strongest factor associated with nightmare occurrence.
Take a look at what and how much you’re putting inside your body. One Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center study found that those who abuse substances are five to ten times more likely to experience sleep disorders or disturbances. Why? Simple: most substances disrupt REM sleep. Continuous abuse and sleep disturbances causes the body to go for a long period of time without deep sleep. And deprivation of deep sleep comes with an accumulation of nightmares.
While relying on substances can send nightmare frequency through the roof, quitting those substances cold turkey can have the same effect. For example, if you drink an excessive amount of alcohol daily and then stop or reduce the amount significantly, you can develop Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS). One of the most prominent symptoms of AWS is nightmares, which can exacerbate over two to three days after withdrawal—and then continue for weeks.
As you get older, sleep patterns change. Many elderly people experience sleep disturbance, but telltale signs of major health risks you might develop when older can usually be seen with nightmare-suffering earlier in life.
When experiencing nightmares, many also experience REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which is where people physically “act out” their nightmares with violent arm or leg movements. One University of Toronto neuroscientist found that more than 80 percent of those with RBD eventually developed a neurological disease, especially Parkinson’s disease. The research found that the group of cells responsible for REM sleep appeared damaged in those with RBD, eventually spreading to damage the areas of the brain that can cause Parkinson’s or other neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.
Nightmares can be linked to a variety of health problems, including the number one leading cause of death in the world: heart disease. A 2003 Netherlands Journal of Medicine study found that the percentage of irregular heartbeats and spasmodic chest pain among elderly women and men who experienced frequent nightmares was much higher than those who rarely or never experienced nightmares. During nightmares, our heart rate increases and blood pressure rises. This accumulation over time can lead to more heart problems later down the road.
A Sleep Research Society study found that amongst patients suffering with burn pain, 30 percent of their dreams had associated pain sensations. Another study published in the Open Pain Journal found that patients with chronic back pain reported more pain sensation dreams than those who did not suffer from chronic back pain. Chronic pain sufferers are also more likely to get less sleep, which is a reoccurring factor in increased nightmares.
Most mental health disorders have the possibility for associated nightmare symptoms. Unsurprisingly, nightmares are also linked with increased suicidal thoughts, attempts, and death by suicide. The longer someone suffers with nightmares, the greater the risk of suicide is. In one Psychiatry Research Journal study, researchers found that those who experienced weekly or monthly nightmares reported higher levels of hopelessness than those who reported yearly or no nightmares. Hopelessness was found to have a major contributing role in an increased risk of suicide. And to be able to spot any possible signs, learn all about these Suicide Warning Signs Hidden in Plain Sight.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!
Why Do I Have Recurring Nightmares?
When we think of nightmares, we often associate these bad dreams with kids who fear monsters under the bed or things that lurk in the dark. But adults often have nightmares too. And sometimes they are recurring.
A recurring nightmare is defined as an unpleasant dream that is repeated over and over again across a long period of time.
Perhaps you dream about being assaulted once a week. Or maybe your nightmare involves a loved one getting into an accident, and you experience it every time you fall asleep.
Whatever type of recurring nightmare you might have, waking up terrified is an awful feeling. And it can feel even scarier to fall asleep when you know you’re likely to have another nightmare.
Fortunately, understanding your recurring nightmares could be the first step in addressing them.
While dreams have long fascinated people, little is still known about why we dream. And there’s little consensus about whether dreams have deeper meanings.
Even less is known about nightmares. While some researchers think nightmares may stem from chemical imbalances in the brain, others believe they stem from deep-rooted issues or traumatic experiences. And still, some believe nightmares are simply a sign of vivid imagination.
So why would someone have a recurring nightmare? There are a few potential reasons.
Unmet Psychological Needs
Some researchers believe that recurrent nightmares stem from unmet psychological needs, such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These unmet needs can lead to recurring dreams, and in some cases recurring nightmares as an effort at processing and integrating these experiences.
Substances and Medications
Medication, drugs, and alcohol may interfere with brain chemicals and increase the likelihood of nightmares. Studies have found that sedatives, beta-blockers, and amphetamines are especially likely to cause nightmares. In some cases, withdrawing from substances can also lead to recurring nightmares.
Nightmares are one of the most common symptoms of PTSD. They often involve re-experiencing the same trauma that was endured in real life (although they may also seem unrelated to a specific real-life trauma as well).
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder that is characterized by self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships. About 49% of individuals with borderline personality disorder report nightmares.
Some individuals with recurring nightmares may qualify for a diagnosis of “nightmare disorder.” Nightmare disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by:
- Recurrent episodes of well-remembered dreams that typically involve efforts to avoid threats to survival or physical integrity
- Rapid alertness upon waking from the nightmare
- Significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning
In order to meet the criteria for a diagnosis, the symptoms cannot be explained by a mood-altering substance.
Common Nightmare Themes
While nightmares can be about anything, researchers have found that there are some common themes to nightmares.
A 2018 study examined common nightmares in children. The researchers discovered that children’s nightmares often involved being chased, physical aggression, or the death or injury of a loved one.
A 2014 study published in SLEEP found that adult nightmares are often similar. After analyzing more than 10,000 dreams, researchers found most nightmares involved physical aggression of some kind. Health issues, death, and threats were also common.
The researchers noted that fear is not always part of nightmares. Sadness, confusion, guilt, and disgust were often present.
The Toll Recurring Nightmares Can Have on You
Someone who has never had recurring nightmares might think, “It’s just a bad dream. So what?” But anyone who has experienced recurring nightmares knows that they can take a serious toll on your emotional, physical, occupational, and social well-being.
Nightmares may interfere with your romantic relationships. It can be difficult to share a bed with someone if you know you might wake up in a cold sweat screaming.
You might also be tired at work because you woke up several times the night before from nightmares. Consequently, your productivity could be affected.
You may have more difficulty managing your emotions or even your appetite when you’re sleep deprived as well.
These are just a few difficulties you might experience as a result of recurrent nightmares. Here’s what the research says about recurring nightmares and the toll they can take:
- Link to suicide. A 2014 study found a link between recurring nightmares and suicide in war veterans. A 2017 study found that recurring nightmares are associated with non-suicidal self-injury among college students.
- Sleep deprivation. What distinguishes nightmares from bad dreams is the fact that nightmares tend to wake people up. They also tend to make it hard to fall back asleep which can lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of physical health problems and emotional consequences, ranging from an increased risk of depression to obesity.
- Low mood. Nightmares have also been associated with depression, anxiety, and other mood disturbances.
If you’re experiencing recurring nightmares, talk to your physician. Your doctor may want to conduct a complete physical to rule out any potential medical reasons for the nightmares. Your physician may also recommend referral to a therapist who can assist in improving your sleep, address any underlying mental health issues, and reduce your nightmares.
The treatment for recurring nightmares depends on the cause. Sometimes, a few lifestyle changes can reduce them.
At other times, medication changes may be necessary. A physician might be able to prescribe a medication that can decrease nightmares or change one that is contributing to them.
Therapy can also be helpful. Therapists often use exposure therapy to treat PTSD, and this could decrease recurring nightmares.
Therapists may also use exposure therapy to address nightmares directly. This might involve talking about the nightmares and finding healthy ways to cope with the distress caused by them.
Different types of psychotherapy may be effective in reducing recurring nightmares as well, even when the cause of the nightmares isn’t known. Therapists might ask individuals to write down their dreams, associate to different aspects of them, or they may ask them to look for alternative endings to their nightmares.
A Word From Verywell
If you’re struggling with a recurring nightmare, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to your physician or a therapist could be key to helping you get better rest. A few simple changes in your life or working through a specific issue might help you overcome a nightmare once and for all.
Here’s What Your Nightmares Really Mean
Dreams are classified, according to experts, as “the stories the brain tells during sleep — a collection of clips, images, feelings, and memories that involuntarily occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of slumber.” While that sounds almost idyllic, we know that dreams are not always pleasant. Nightmares are also common for most people and, in some cases, can be recurring.
Fortunately, nightmares are fairly benign for the most part. In fact, some professionals believe they can even serve as a message. Below, we chatted with experts about recurring bad dreams and broke down everything you need to know about them. Read on to find out why they happen, what they might mean and when they could be a sign of something more serious.
Why You’re Having Nightmares (And What They Mean)
Sorrorwoot Chaiyawong / EyeEm via Getty Images
“A nightmare is connected to and trying to help you with an unpleasant situation in your life,” Lauri Loewenberg, a certified dream analyst in Apollo Beach, Florida, told HuffPost. “A recurring nightmare would likely be caused by either an ongoing difficult issue that is yet to be resolved … or a recurring behavior pattern that leads to a recurring difficult issue.”
Most dreams aren’t literal, but some themes or symbols may come up that can help you decipher what your nightmare is trying to tell you, Loewenberg said.
“For example, if you keep getting yourself into relationships with toxic people, you are likely to have recurring nightmares about snakes,” she said. “Or if you have a recurring behavior pattern of avoiding confrontations or difficult problems rather than facing them, you are likely to get recurring dreams of being chased.”
Negative self-beliefs, such as “I’m not lovable,” “I’m worthless” or “I’m not good enough,” can also end up manifesting in your dreams, said Anthony Freire, an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing specialist and founder of The Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling in New York. “And the more we hold on to these negative beliefs about the self, the scarier or more nightmarish the dream becomes,” he said.
Another common cause of nightmares ― especially recurring ones ― is trauma. These “tend to not be symbolic in nature, but rather a replay of the traumatic event. These are typically post-traumatic stress nightmares,” Loewenberg said.
Recurring nightmares can also be caused by health issues or medications, but they’re usually less common.
How To Make Nightmares Stop
Paula Daniëlse via Getty Images
In order to rid yourself of even the worst recurring nightmares, be prepared to identify and address the root causes. “Processing the underlying reason behind the nightmares would likely make them dissipate,” Freire said.
Depending on how intense your nightmares are, you could try one or more of these techniques:
Consider writing in a journal about both your nightmares and your real-life experiences during the day, Tracy Vadakumchery, a practicing pre-licensed mental health counselor and cognitive behavioral specialist at The Feel Good Center in New York, recommended. Doing so may make it easier to connect the dots and locate closure, she said.
Writing can also be powerful if you’re specifically focusing on the content of your dream. Try changing the outcome of your nightmare when you’re awake, Loewenberg suggested. This is especially effective with nightmares that are a result of past trauma.
“When doing this technique, be sure to write down all the details of the nightmare you can remember,” Loewenberg said. “Then, when you get to the end or the most frightening part of the nightmare, rewrite it.”
“Watching TV or movies before bed will likely just make you dream a different version of your unresolved emotional business by combining it with any vivid scenes from a movie,” Freire said, adding that you should allow yourself “a good hour before bed to not keep your brain hyperactive with screens.”
When To Get Professional Help
Hero Images via Getty Images
If addressing your recurring nightmares on your own doesn’t work, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.
“If the nightmares occur more than two times per week and/or are accompanied by severe distress and impairment in functioning, it is time to check in with a professional,” said Nicole M. Ward, a California-based licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in trauma. “Impairments in function can include falling asleep at work, avoiding sleep and/or having frequent conflict within their personal or professional relationships.”
You should also think about seeing a therapist, Freire added, “if nightmares are keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, and the accumulation of loss of sleep is causing other symptoms such as: fatigue, memory loss, anxiety, heart arrhythmias, etc.”
So don’t let bad dreams get in the way of good sleep.
90,000 Scientists told why they have nightmares – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Why do they have nightmares? What biological function do they perform? Swiss and American scientists in the course of the study found the answer to this question: it is a kind of training of the nervous system that helps a person to cope with negative emotions in everyday life.
In an article published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, scientists from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and their colleagues from the University of Wisconsin (USA) write that “the emotions experienced during sleep help to resolve emotional stress and prepare for future affective reactions.”
In the experiment of Virginia Sterpenich, the head of the study, 18 people participated. Using an electroencephalogram (EEG), scientists studied the activity of various parts of the brain during sleep. In addition, the volunteers were woken up several times during the night and asked what dreams they had and whether they were scary.
Through the participants’ responses and analysis of brain activity, the researchers identified two areas of the brain that are responsible for the occurrence of nightmares during sleep. “This is the insular lobe and cingulate cortex,” says Lampros Perogamvros, co-author of the work.
Fun fact: both of these areas of the brain are also activated in situations where a person is anxious or frightened in real life. Thus, the insular lobe is responsible for evaluating emotions and is triggered automatically as soon as a person feels anxiety. The cingulate cortex, in turn, prepares for an adequate response in a situation of a threat. It controls how a person behaves in the face of danger. “For the first time, we show that similar areas are activated when fear occurs during sleep and while awake,” says Perogamvros.
But what is the relationship between fear in sleep and emotions after waking up? To answer this question, the researchers conducted a second experiment. They asked 89 volunteers to keep a dream diary for a week. Every morning, immediately after waking up, participants in the experiment wrote whether they could remember the dream, and, if so, what emotions they experienced after it. At the end of the test week, each participant was examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The scientists then showed subjects both neutral and disturbing images such as robbery.The result, according to the researchers, was astounding: those who had nightmares longer and more often reacted less emotionally to these negative images. “They had less activated insula, cingulate cortex and amygdala when viewing negative images,” Sterpenich said.
In addition, it turned out that the prefrontal cortex was more active, and this is the area of the brain that can suppress the activity of the amygdala in anxiety situations and, thus, ensure that we are not paralyzed by fear and can act, “- said Sterpenich …
According to the researchers, the results indicate that there is a strong connection between fear in dreams and in reality. At the same time, the emotions that arise during sleep serve as a kind of training: they help us in reality to better respond in dangerous situations. “Dreams can be the preparation of our future reactions to real threats and dangers,” says Perogamvros.
Scientists hope that the findings will form the basis for new approaches in the treatment of anxiety disorders.However, in their opinion, “the healing power of nightmares may have a limit” when it comes to the worst nightmares. “We believe that if a dream has a too high level of anxiety and a person experiences excessive fear, such a dream loses its function of an emotional regulator,” concludes Perogamvros.
I had a bad dream: how your bad dreams can be useful
Each of us has both good and bad dreams – and this is normal. But if after the first we wake up with a smile, then the second make us suffer.Attempts to analyze and interpret dreams are not new, but a recent study from the University of Geneva proved for the first time that negative dreams can be of great help to us in real life. Moreover, scientists have suggested that in the future they will become a way to treat anxiety disorders.
“We were able to track the changes that occur to neurons when a person experiences fear in a dream: it turned out that the same areas of the brain are activated as when fear is felt in a state of alertness,” explains researcher Lampros Perogamvros.Using electroencephalography (EEG) to study brain activity during different sleep phases, scientists have found that bad dreams – but not nightmares – involve a specific part of the brain in participants in the experiment. So, after a negative dream, the participants were better prepared for their life problems than people who did not have such a dream. The fact is that unpleasant dreams trigger those parts of our brain that are associated with the perception and response to fear. All study participants kept a dream diary – thanks to this, scientists studied how emotions experienced during sleep were associated with feelings that arise during wakefulness.“Dreams serve as a kind of rehearsal for how we react to a real danger, and can potentially prepare for it,” says Perogamvros.
But does this explain why we have negative dreams? “Dreams show us our blind spots: they make us pay attention to things that we, for some reason, avoid or do not highlight in real life,” replies Alice Robb, author of Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey … “They allow us to look at our problems from a different angle.According to the hypothesis, we dream of dreams to teach us how to cope with potentially possible stressful situations. Take the typical “exam dream” where you find yourself unprepared or completely naked at an important event for you. Even if in a dream you fail miserably, in reality this event will already seem familiar to you – this illusion of an already experienced moment can become an advantage. ”
The interpretation of dreams still resembles a minefield, and scientists have not yet come to a consensus.“There are three points of view that explain why we still dream,” says Mark Blagrove, professor of psychology at the British University of Swansea. “They help lessen our fears — nightmares come when the fear is too great. Imagine that you are very afraid of your job, and when you are in the workplace, you are constantly worried. According to this theory, you will dream of your place of work in an unusual and even strange context. For example, in the middle of a beach or in the midst of a party – not so scary, right? But if you are afraid too much, then the dream will simply not fulfill this function of “softening” the experiences and will develop into a nightmare, after which you will wake up in even greater panic. “
Another theory is that negative dreams are similar to virtual reality. We simulate real threats in our dreams and practice how to deal with them in life – just like in computer games. Thus, bad dreams become useful, despite the fact that during them a person experiences great stress.
Proponents of the third opinion completely deny any purpose or usefulness of such dreams, saying that they bring nothing but anxiety.
As it turns out, most dreams can be considered bad.“The most common feelings in a dream are anxiety, fear, guilt and helplessness,” says Robb.
- “There is a difference between ordinary bad dreams, which can help us prepare for difficult situations in life and weaken our sensitivity to our fears, and nightmares, which can not only disrupt sleep, but also trigger a real stress response in the body.”
If you, like the study participants, begin to keep a dream journal, it will be helpful, especially if your sleep is not restful.“Keeping a dream diary is the easiest way to remember and understand your dreams,” says Robb, adding that there is no universal guide to interpreting them: each of us can decipher them as soon as we want.
Susan Devaney / Vogue.co.uk
Who has nightmares and why / Health / Independent newspaper
We cannot choose dreams, but we can make them pleasant
Because of nightmares, they do not get enough sleep and do not feel well during the day.Photo Depositphotos / PhotoXPress.ru
A person spends a third of his life in a dream. Almost half of modern people complain of poor sleep, nightmares. It is believed that children sleep peacefully, sweetly (“Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sweet sleep to yourself,” – is sung in the famous lullaby). However, children also have nightmares, it is not for nothing that they wake up screaming. Some nightmares are remembered later all my life.
Nightmares are strong negative emotions, from fear to anger, that people experience at night, because of which they do not get enough sleep and feel bad during the day.What would a dream mean? This question has always been asked. In a famous biblical story, the Egyptian Pharaoh dreamed of seven skinny and seven fat cows. None of the fortunetellers could interpret this dream for him. Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he explained that seven good cows are seven years of abundance, and seven lean ones are seven years of famine. Sigmund Freud, in his famous book The Interpretation of Dreams, argues that sleep is not a meaningless collection of images, but a distorted and veiled realization of repressed desire.
“In principle, we dream about things that we encounter in everyday life,” – quotes Deutsche Welle as the words of Professor Michael Schredl from the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim. He has been researching dreams for several decades. Michael Schredl and his colleagues point out that there are so-called “typical” dreams. Different people dream about them quite often, and their interpretation falls under a certain scheme developed by scientists. “Chasing is about being afraid of something and running away from the problem itself,” explains Professor Schredl.
Psychologists call this avoidance behavior. Both in reality and in a dream, a person runs away from solving a problem. The more stress in life, the more often you have nightmares. Other typical dreams of completely different people include being late, the death of loved ones, or a state of paralysis.
The German scientist emphasizes that the interpretation of dreams is highly dependent on culture: “If you use our scheme, then it can be applied in different countries. But, for example, you cannot say what the dog is dreaming of.It is not the element itself that is important, but the emotions that it evokes, whether you walk with the dog, whether it attacks you. ” People in the profession often dream of exams. In life, they have passed them long ago and even successfully, but in their sleep they are tormented by nightmares. “This is a typical dream. It is about assessing our skills, for example, by a boss or a colleague. Someone is critical of our work, ”explains Michael Schredl.
We dream every night, but we don’t always remember what we dreamed. Recent studies have shown that, on average, one sleep per week is remembered.It’s not that much. It all depends on how much attention a person pays to dreams. Someone gets up and immediately plunges into everyday affairs, no longer thinks about sleep, so they immediately forgets it.
How to learn to sleep soundly? How much sleep do you need for health and wellness? Goethe and Einstein needed 10 hours. Leonardo da Vinci slept for 15 minutes every four hours to give him more time to work. Now the time and duration of sleep is determined by the work schedule, and the quality of sleep largely depends on whether you have nightmares.
Michael Schredl believes that nightmares can and should be fought like any other fear. He recommends a step-by-step strategy. First step: write down your nightmare, keep a dream diary. Second step: come up with a new development of the nightmare. If you run away from someone in a dream, think about who can help you, invent a new hero. Third step: training. Play a new scenario of your nightmare in your mind. This should be done once a day for two weeks.
Is it possible to make it so that at least a week sleep without dreams? “The brain, like the heart, does not stop working at night,” emphasizes Professor Schredl. “We cannot get rid of dreams, but we can make them enjoyable. And then you will want to have more dreams. ”
Nightmares that adults dream at night can indicate both mental problems and developing serious illnesses, or simply poor sleep hygiene.
Everyone has encountered nightmares in their lives. “As a rule, a nightmare is the processing of negative information. This is how our body tries to cope with anger, resentment, irritability, anxiety,” explains Olesya Krendeleva, a psychotherapist at the XXI Century medical center.
The main reasons for the occurrence of nightmares are stress, frequent conflicts at work and at home, violation of the day-night regime, neuroses and depression, age-related hormonal disorders, various somatic diseases, overeating or, conversely, exhausting diets.
In addition, the psychotherapist stresses, recurring nightmares often indicate chronic diseases in the body that require attention: gastritis, migraines, neuralgia, pain in the heart. “Restless sleep tells us that one or several body systems do not stabilize by the evening,” says Irina Kolmykova, a physician at DOC +. “Or that pathological phenomena appear in one of the systems.” In this case, you need to contact a neurologist: he will determine the treatment plan and, if necessary, refer you to specialized specialists – an endocrinologist, somnologist or psychotherapist.
“Fearful dreams are an important signal, and you need to understand it,” says Elena Nikitina, psychotherapist of the “CM-Clinic” does not know how to build an emotionally close relationship. Perhaps then he will have a dream that someone is banging on the door or chasing him. ”
Or, she gives another example, a person wants to become a leader, but does not dare. In this case, he will dream that he is being strangled, the body is devoid of strength, the language does not obey: he cannot shout or speak.”If a person wakes up at the peak of a nightmare and does not immediately understand that this is a dream, the dream is associated with some events from his life,” Elena Nikitina clarifies.
You can start working with bad dreams yourself. “You shouldn’t eat one and a half to two hours before bedtime,” says Vladislav Ustinov, a physician at the St. Petersburg State Polyclinic No. 3. For the same reason, it is recommended to refrain from using nicotine 2 hours before falling asleep.
Normal physical activity also counteracts nightmares: doctors recommend spending 40 minutes a day on walking: with regular exercise, good musculoskeletal tone reduces the likelihood of nightmares.
Before going to the psychologist, it is worth checking the bedroom: here, too, the reasons for nightmares can be lurking. According to psychologist Yevgeny Idzikovsky, an uncomfortable bed, poor ventilation, light, sound in the bedroom are 50% of all the reasons why people see horror in their dreams.”The bed should have a comfortable, hard mattress and promote the correct position of the spine during sleep,” recalls Vladislav Ustinov. “With him, only the back of the head should be on the pillow, and the shoulder should be on the bed.”
The prevention of nightmares can be a refusal to use the phone, computer and TV 2 hours before bedtime. Doctors explain that the flickering that gadgets emit send unambiguous impulses to the brain, irritating the psyche.
“To sleep without nightmares, do not provoke the subconscious with disturbing films and exciting conversations: it will revive dormant problems,” adds Elena Nikitina.Psychotherapist Dmitry Lomot recalls how important it is to maintain sleep hygiene: get up and wake up at the same time, ventilate the room before going to bed, and prepare for the night: relax, listen to music, read.
“Sleep is a manifestation of a person’s higher nervous activity,” recalls Dmitry Lomot. “What is in the subconscious is accumulated fears and experiences. The simplest way out is to learn how to manage your emotions during the day. The main thing is to remember that to be nervous is it’s not bad, it’s bad to restrain your nerves and throw feelings into the subconscious: you need to give free rein to emotions. “
If sleep hygiene is observed, Irina Kolmykova specifies, stable positive changes occur within a few weeks.
Factors “provoking nightmares.
> A serious problem, a quick solution to which is not guaranteed.
> Lack of regular physical activity.
> Improper diet.
> Insufficient drinking water.
> Lack of a daily activity that is both enjoyable and inspiring.
> Inability to relax, presence of tension in the neck / shoulders / back.
> Presence of habitual regular pain
> Drinking alcohol before bed, using a computer.
> Lack of sleep, late bedtime.
> Obsessive thoughts about a painful topic.
> Inability to independently regulate psychological and emotional stress.
Source: Lyubov Bogdanova, psychologist at the International Center for the Study and Practice of Conscious Breathing.
Select the fragment with the error text and press Ctrl + Enter
90,000 Be silent about your dreams
Interpretation of dreams in Hebrew: a bad interpretation of a dream can harm
“An unsolved dream is like an unopened letter,” says the Talmud.And then it adds: “There is no dream that does not have a clue.”
And here, if you follow the sages of the Talmud, an almost inexorable mystical law comes into force: “All dreams follow their own interpretation.” This means that a prophetic dream will almost certainly come true exactly in the sense in which it was interpreted, and therefore it is extremely important to give any dream not only a logical, but also a good interpretation.
The Talmud in this regard cites the story of a rabbi to whom a woman came to share a dream that frightened her.She dreamed that the roof of her house suddenly opened, and a man whose face she did not see fell into the house from her.
– Have a good dream! – the rabbi smiled. – It is said: “A man’s house is his wife,” that is, you are that very house, and the opening roof is your womb. You yourself do not know about it yet, but you are pregnant, and in nine months you will have a son.
Happy with such an interpretation, the woman went home, and after nine months her son was indeed born.
After some time, she again came to the rabbi and told that she again had a dream about the open roof. And again the rabbi predicted the birth of her son, and again it was so.
When the woman came to the rabbi for the third time, that house was not there, but she found several of his disciples there, undertaking to solve her dream. And again she told that she dreamed that the roof of her house suddenly opened, and a man whose face she could not see fell from the roof into the house …
– Bad dream! – said the students.- The house, as you know, rests on a man, and therefore he is a symbol of your husband. The dream portends that he will fall from the roof and die.
The woman went home in tears, and when the rabbi returned, the disciples hurried to tell him about this visit and how they had solved the dream.
– What have you done! – exclaimed the rabbi. – You just killed her husband, for it is said: “all dreams follow their own interpretation.”
The fact is that, according to Kabbalah, an unsolved dream is not accidentally likened to a sealed letter.
Representing a message from other worlds, it is called upon at the moment of interpretation to trigger certain events in our world – just like a virus hidden in a letter sent by e-mail is launched only at the moment when you open this letter. The triggering of the events of a dream begins from the moment when the interpretation is given to the dream, its meaning is voiced – after all, from the point of view of any religion, the word has a tremendous power of influence on everything that happens in our material world. In the words of the poet, “a word can kill, a word can save” – and not only in a figurative sense.
Thus, on what plane – positive or negative – the meaning of this or that dream will be interpreted, it also depends on which “side” the mechanism of its execution will be launched. Therefore, the Jewish sages insisted that the interpretation of any dream be as positive as possible. Otherwise, it is better not to interpret it at all, but just try to forget about it. Then the message sent to you will, as it were, remain unread, and even if the dream comes true, you will not know about it.This, in any case, is much better than launching a negative mechanism for its execution.
It seems that the reader has already wondered why the woman again and again came to the rabbi for the solution of the same dream – wasn’t one interpretation enough for her ?!
Here everything is just simple: the Talmud asserts that a person himself is extremely rarely able to correctly guess his dream, and for its interpretation one should turn to someone else, and best of all – to three different people. But it is very important that these people treat the person who had a dream kindly, and it is even better to seek interpretation only from those who love you and more with their souls for you.
After all, if you ask to explain your dream to someone who openly or secretly hates you, then it is very likely that he will interpret it in a negative sense, and in this sense, the dream will eventually come true. Those who sympathize with you will try to interpret the dream as a good sign, after which it will indeed become such.
Jewish folklore contains many stories about how, at first glance, the most unfavorable dreams were interpreted for the good of those to whom they were revealed, and in the end, in fact, turned to good.
At the same time – again, far ahead of Freud and prompting him many ideas – when unraveling dreams, the sages paid attention not only to the symbols themselves, but also to the words denoting them.
It is widely known, for example, the story of a rabbi’s student who told the teacher about a nightmare he had seen: as if his nose fell off, then he heard a voice predicting that he would die in the winter month of Adar (corresponds to February-March according to the Gregorian calendar) and so Nisan will not see the coming of the next month (corresponds to March-April).Then, in the same dream, his hands were taken away, and then his legs were cut off.
– This is a very good dream! – the rabbi remarked after the story. – After all, the word “nose” – “af” – sounds the same as the verb “af” meaning “fly!” Thus, he portends that soon all your sorrows will fly away from you. The name of the month “adar” resembles the word “badar” – “honor”, and the word “nisan” – the word “nisenot” – “trials, calamities”. Thus, very soon great honors await you and you will never see any disasters in your life again.The fact that your hands were taken away in a dream symbolizes that in order to solve your current problems, you do not have to act with your own hands – they will be solved by themselves. And the cut off legs mean that you will be so rich that you will never need to walk – you will ride either a horse or a chariot.
Precisely because the fulfillment of a dream depends on its interpretation, Jewish mystics did not recommend using popular dream books and relying on them, but instead turn to the masters of dream interpretation.However, you should not rely entirely on interpreters either. The true interpreters of dreams, say the cabalists, have disappeared since the time of the Second Jerusalem Temple, that is, at the dawn of our era. At the same time, the Talmud tells a funny story about how Rabbi Bana once decided to solve a dream he had with the help of a professional interpreter. During his time, 24 famous interpreters of dreams lived in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Bana addressed each of them. As a result, none of the 24 interpretations coincided with the others, although all were positive.Ultimately, all 24 interpretations were fulfilled, but not to the end, but to one degree or another.
But what to do if a dream unambiguously foreshadows trouble and it is impossible to interpret it in a positive sense? For example, if a person dreams that his teeth are falling out, then according to Kabbalah, such a dream clearly indicates the imminent death of a close relative.
It turns out that Jewish mysticism has its own recipes for this case.
The following passage from the Talmud is considered to be key in solving the problem of getting rid of a bad dream:
“The Rabbi said:” If you had a difficult dream, and the impression of it is hard, and you want to get rid of its consequences, do three things, and you will be saved as said Rabbi Elazar: “Three things cancel the harsh Heavenly judgment, and here they are: prayer, charity (good deeds) and repentance for sins.”Rabbi Mona added: and another post. And Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yossi said: and also a change of name and correction of behavior. “
First of all, you should realize that if you had a bad dream, foreshadowing impoverishment, illness, death and other disasters, then this in itself is good. Such a dream should be viewed primarily as a warning from Above, but if they decided to warn you, then this in itself means that the final judgment has not yet been passed on you, it can still be corrected, and you simply have to try to do it.
It is curious that of all the above ways to turn the embodiment of a bad dream into reality, Kabbalists recommend starting with fasting: try in the morning in which you had a bad dream, and at least not eat or drink anything until the evening. By exhausting your body with fasting, you are demonstrating that you have already punished yourself and deserve leniency.
However, only this punishment, to which they want to sentence you from Above, cannot be canceled. You should think (such reflections can be quite combined with fasting) and understand for what sins they want to punish you.And having understood, of course, to try to fix everything and change behavior – to start living a new, righteous life (which for a Jew means strictly observing the commandments of Judaism).
If it is impossible to correct the deed for one reason or another, then try to make amends for the deed by charity by allocating donations to help those in need.
And, of course, you need to pray, to pray to the Creator for forgiveness.
True, in this case the Talmud suggests an option that is clearly suitable only for Jews.
“The one who had a dream and does not know whether it is good or bad,” says the Talmud, “let him stand before the koens (priests, descendants of the high priest Aaaron), when they stretch out their hands in blessing those who are praying, and say:
Lord of the world!
I am Yours, and all dreams are Yours. I had a dream and I don’t know what it is for. Everything that I saw in a dream, and everything that others saw about me, and everything that I saw about others – if they are good, then strengthen them and fulfill them, as You fulfilled the dreams of righteous Joseph.And if we are in need of healing, then heal us, as you removed leprosy from Moshe Rabbeinu (the prophet Moses), may peace be with him, and as you cleansed the Jericho spring through the prayer of Elisha (Elisha). And just as you turned the curse of Bilam (Balaam) into a blessing, so turn all my dreams and all the people of Israel into a good and a blessing, and give us your mercy. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, Lord, my strength and salvation “.
To this, the book “Midrash Tanchuma” adds that even if a person dreamed that a sword was brought over him and his limbs were cut off, then let him come to the House of Prayer (that is, to the synagogue) and in fear and in awe stand before the Kohens at the moment blessings – and the bad dream will be “removed” from him.
Finally, the simplest (although perhaps not the most effective) popular advice in the event of a bad dream is to wake up, without telling anyone, hurry to the running water (the water flowing from the tap will completely disappear) and, bending over above it, say the phrase three times: “Lord, turn this dream for the better!”
Dreams “to order”
Kabbalah also asserts that, if one wishes, a person can receive an answer to one or another question that worries him through a dream.
There are several rules and a whole kabbalistic ritual with the aim of having such a dream appear to you.
The first of these rules is that if you want to receive in a dream an answer to a question that is fateful for you, then you should not tell anyone about your intention or about the question you are going to ask.
The second rule says that before asking for such a dream, you must fast from morning to evening, that is, do not eat or drink. And, of course, from the moment of fasting until you receive an answer, you should not engage in intimacy, and you should also strictly observe all the usual prescriptions of Judaism (put on tefillin, tallit, say prayers, etc.).and before fasting, a special prayer should be said, which the author will lead, if the readers want it.
Finally, before going to bed in the hope of seeing the desired dream, after saying the traditional prayer “Shema, Israel” before bedtime, one more special prayer should be said, which I again will quote only if a large group of readers wants it.
However, if you are not a Jew, then you do not need to pronounce the canonical text of these prayers, but rather simply turn to God from the bottom of your heart with a request to give an answer to your question, then clearly formulate it, and then go to bed.
In the next issue we will talk about erotic dreams, about whether dreams have a nationality, and finally get to know the general principles of dream interpretation according to Kabbalah and Talmud.
(To be continued)
Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in case of bad dreams
16:13, 30 September 2015
90,002 Reading Time: 4 min. 90,003
What should a believer do if he has a bad dream?
Dreams can fall into one of three categories:
- Visions or dreams from Allah.
- Attempts of the shaitan to scare us.
- The work of our subconscious.
These three categories are mentioned in a hadith narrated by Saheeh Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “When the Day of Judgment approaches, the dreams of the believer will almost no longer lie.”
“When the time draws near, the believer’s dreams will almost always be confirmed. And the truest dreams will see the truest of you in your speeches.After all, a believer’s dreams are one of the forty-six parts of prophecy. And what has to do with prophecy is not false. And dreams are of three types:
- Dreams from Allah.
- Woeful dreams from the shaitan.
- Dreams related to the fact that a person thinks when he is awake, and then sees it in a dream.
The hadith says: “If any of you had a dream that he likes, it is only from Allah Almighty. So let him give praise to Allah for this and tell others about him. “
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that “Sleep in the claws of a bird”, as it is a secret and secret message from the Almighty, which would be wrong to tell.
Also the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “There are three types of dream! Of these, that of the Shaitan from among the horrors with which he grieves the sons of Adam. Of these, what worries a person when he is awake and then sees it in a dream. And of them what is of Allah, which is one of the forty-sixth part of the prophecy. “
Everyone wants to know what his dream means. But the interpretation of sleep is a very delicate matter, since sleep is very hidden and sacred, and, like everything sacred, very sacred and secretive. In any situation, a Muslim turns to the Quran and Sunnah, and in the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about dreams it is said:
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Good dreams are from Allah, and bad dreams are from Shaitan. If someone sees a dream that frightened him, let him spit to the left three times and seek refuge with Allah from the shaitan, and the dream will not harm him. “
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained the difference between good and bad dreams. He said: “If any of you has such dreams that he likes, it is only from Allah Almighty. So let him give praise to Allah for this and not tell anyone about it except those he loves. But if he sees a dream that he does not like, then it is from the shaitan, let him not tell anyone about it and he will not do any harm. ”
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If any of you has a bad dream, then let him not tell anyone about it.Let him get up and pray. ”
- The hadith says: “Truly, the greatest types of lies are: a man declares himself to be the son of someone other than his father; a statement that he saw in a dream what he actually did not see; and attributing to the Messenger of Allah what he did not say! ”
- The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “In the other world, the one who begins to talk about what he actually did not see in a dream will be entrusted with the obligation to tie two grains of barley in a knot, which he can never do!”
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do not tell the dream to anyone except a scientist or a sincere teacher!”
- The hadith says: “Verily, the dream will become as it was interpreted! An example of this is a person who lifts a leg and waits to lower it.And if any of you had a dream, then let him not tell about it to anyone except a scientist or a sincere mentor. ”
According to the hadith, it can be said that a person who had an unfavorable dream should:
- He should know that this is a dream from a shaitan who wants to cause melancholy, he should not attach importance to such a dream.
- He should ask Allah for help from the shaitan and say “Auzu billahi minash-shaitanir-rajim” – “I ask Allah for help (protection) from the shaitan.”
- He must seek help from Allah from the evil of his sleep.
- He should spit three times to the left.
- No need to talk about such a dream.
- You should roll over on the other side, so if a person slept on his left side and had a bad dream, then you need to roll over onto his right side and vice versa.
- Need to get up and pray.
In this case, Inshallah, sleep will not harm a person.
And Allah knows best.
If you find an error, select the text and press Ctrl + Enter.
What to do to prevent a bad dream from coming true. Bad dream is a harbinger of trouble
Anyone can dream of something unpleasant and frightening. For some people, such a vision will not matter at all, while others such dreams will make them worry and worry about the future, distracting from work and not allowing them to focus on everyday affairs. To regain peace of mind and get rid of unnecessary worries, you need to find out why a person has nightmares and what to do if you had a bad dream.
What do bad dreams mean?
Scientists have proven that dreams do not affect reality, so if someone dreams of being fired from work or getting into a disaster, this does not mean that the dream will come true. At the same time, such dreams should be paid attention to in another way. Why do I have bad dreams? This is a kind of signal from the subconscious that something is wrong with the body or psychological state of a person. The problems that cause nightmares can be of different nature.
- Overeating before bedtime, eating a lot of fatty and spicy foods. At night, the body needs to rest, metabolic processes slow down, but a hearty dinner breaks all plans. As a result, the stomach, tuned in to rest, cannot cope with the digestion of food and sends signals to the brain about it. The brain, in turn, reacts, causing the person to have nightmares and prompting them to wake up.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcoholic beverages disorient the nervous system, and as a result, the sleeping person may have nightmares.
- Stress of a different nature. Anxiety and anxiety are some of the most common causes of nightmares. It is not necessary to experience very strong stress, it all depends on the characteristics of the nervous system of a particular person, someone will have enough quarrel with work colleagues for a nightmare to appear. In general, stress can be divided into several different categories, depending on the significance of the events that cause them.
- Minor and one-off. Quarrels with someone, small blunders, an upcoming test at work or a test at an educational institution.Such events are not repetitive and cause a single surge of negative emotions, which can serve as a reason for a nightmare if the nervous system is especially susceptible to stress.
- Constant stress. These are events that repeat from day to day and make a person nervous. For example, the need to go to an unloved job every day. Negative emotions and feelings of inevitability can lead to nightmares.
- Serious stress and its consequences. This category includes situations such as difficult operations, violence, loss of a loved one.Nightmares can be one of the types of consequences that appear after such events.
- Premenstrual syndrome. This reason is relevant for women – during the natural monthly cycle, body temperature can change, which, as a result, causes nightmares. This phenomenon is not observed in all female representatives, but it may well be one of the reasons for bad dreams.
- Various health problems. With the help of nightmares, the subconscious mind can try to draw our attention to the fact that some problems have arisen in the body.Moreover, a nightmare can be dreamed both already in the process of the disease, and at a time when the disease has not yet been identified.
- Nightmares with chases may indicate cardiovascular problems.
- If someone is constantly strangled in their sleep, this is a reason to check the functioning of the respiratory system.
- When unpleasant odors appear in a dream, it may be that the digestive system is not in order or that you need to make a visit to the dentist.
- The inability to get out of somewhere, labyrinths and frightening places in a dream indicate severe fatigue and depression.
- The subconscious mind can react to an increase in temperature during illness with an unpleasant dream about a bath or a fire.
Having figured out why you have bad dreams, you should address the causes in order to save yourself from unpleasant nightmares at night and
- Avoid eating too much at night and not drinking alcohol before bed. To normalize digestion, it is recommended to eat 4 hours before bedtime and not include spicy and fatty foods in the dinner menu.
- If nightmares are from the category of those that speak of health problems, then it is worth choosing a time and being examined by a doctor.
- You need to deal with your stresses. To do this, you should sit down and think about what could bother you so much, identify the cause and come up with a way to eliminate it, or explain to yourself that there is nothing to worry about if someone else is really to blame for the problems that have occurred.
- A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and a healthy diet contribute to good sleep and well-being.
Don’t try to drown out your nightmares by taking sleeping pills all the time.This will only complicate the situation. It is better to deal with the problem right away than to delay until serious consequences.
Summing up, we can say that nightmares are just alarming signals of the subconscious, which do not need to be afraid, you need to listen to them and solve the problem that has arisen. And in order to calm down after a sudden nightmare, you can wash yourself with cool water or drink tea, at the same time mentally telling yourself that this is just a dream, which in no case will come true.
What to do if you had a bad dream, and it does not get out of your head, distracts from work and your mood spoils.First you need to stop getting upset and try to analyze it. Vivid dreams filled with negative emotions foreshadow changes in life, and they are often positive.
Dreams are the work of the cerebral hemispheres, which process the received impressions and some signals from the senses, which continue to function all the time. As a result of complex activity, the brain produces a video sequence that a person watches at night.
How to overcome the urge to sleep at work?
“I want to sleep at work, what should I do?” This question can be heard from the office staff.If the urge to sleep starts to get in the way of focusing on professional duties, use the following effective ways to combat sleepiness:
- Strong coffee. The caffeine contained in the drink has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, increases the heart rate and energizes. Black coffee with a small amount of sugar is effective. Its rich taste and bright aroma will invigorate and improve your mood, and caffeine will do its job.This substance is found not only in coffee, but also in strong green or black tea.
- Energy drinks, containing caffeine or taurine, energize and help relieve drowsiness. But do not overuse: energy drinks have side effects in the form of increased heart rate, increased blood pressure. Such drinks are contraindicated for people with diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Sleep at lunchtime. If you have time to spare, grab a quick bite and try a nap at your workplace.To get into a comfortable position, recline the back of the chair. If you plan on resting regularly, get a specialized sleep pillow that prevents curvature of the cervical spine and supports your head. But this method is not applicable in all cases, although it was practiced by Stirlitz himself, for whom a 20-minute rest was enough to recuperate.
- Bright light. Go to the window and tilt your head up towards the sun (looking directly at it without sunglasses is not recommended), turn on artificial lighting or use an additional device if the room is dark.
- Suck on an ice cube or refreshing peppermint. Coldness or irritation of the taste buds will make the brain work, increase its activity.
- Music. Choose energetic and mostly unknown or unfamiliar compositions to make your brain work and invigorate. Slow and favorite songs have the opposite effect. It is recommended to listen to the music quietly: you will intuitively listen and concentrate on the lyrics, thanks to which you can drive away sleep.
- Exercise. Feeling sleepy and weak? Get up from the chair and move around, do a short warm-up. Jumping or walking in place, squats, body bends, swinging arms and legs, lunges will help. If it is impossible to do exercises due to strict office rules or dress code, take the stairs, instead of e-mailing or calling a colleague, give him information in person when you come to the office.
- Have a snack. But give up fast carbohydrates, provoking a sharp rise in blood glucose levels and the same rapid decline.Choose foods rich in protein, vitamin C, slow carbohydrates. These are cereals, citrus fruits, fresh vegetables, dairy products, herbs, berries. But do not overeat, otherwise the desire to sleep will increase, it is better to eat a little several times a day.
- Drink cool water. It speeds up the metabolism and invigorates. Drinking cold liquid regularly throughout the day will interrupt sleep. You can drink a few sips at intervals of 15-20 minutes.
- Smells that activate the olfactory receptors and improve mental capacity will help fight drowsiness.The aromas of citrus, coffee, mint, pine needles, ginger, and cinnamon invigorate and eliminate sluggishness. For aromatherapy, use natural products or essential oils, but in moderation to avoid headaches.
- Loud sounds. A method that can be used in the office is to set an alarm clock on your phone or a reminder on your personal computer or laptop. Let the device fire every 10-15 minutes to keep you awake. It is advisable to choose a loud and energetic melody.
- Chat with colleagues, ask them to tell an interesting story or a funny anecdote.Being interested and engaging in conversation will activate the brain and improve its functioning, help ward off sleep and keep working.
- If you start to feel very sleepy, change your occupation. When typing on a computer, make a call to a colleague, hand over documents to your boss, and take a work trip.
- Temperature difference. Not everyone will be able to take a contrast shower at the workplace, but everyone can wash with cold water. If a woman cannot sacrifice makeup for this procedure, you can wipe her cheeks and forehead with a cool towel, go outside during the cold season.
- Ventilating the office will provide the fresh air the brain needs to function properly.
- Give yourself an invigorating massage. Pinch your cheeks or sides, actively rub with the pads of your fingers, press your thumb on the cavity located at the base of the skull for ten seconds, massage the earlobes. Manipulation will speed up blood circulation and help overcome falling asleep.
- Breathe deeply. If you take deep breaths and exhalations and count them, then you, firstly, will force the brain to function more actively, and secondly, saturate the body with oxygen, a deficiency of which can provoke drowsiness.
- Take a break and solve a small crossword puzzle, play an intelligent online game, keep yourself busy with puzzles. Such activation of brain activity will give you a cheerful state.
- Laughter. Watching funny videos on a computer or mobile phone will charge you with positive emotions and drive away sleep. But make sure that there are no superiors nearby so as not to receive a comment.
- When you get sleepy, use the advice: pinch yourself hard or press down on your body with a pen.The pain will trigger the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream, and this hormone accelerates blood circulation and increases heart rate.
- If you start to feel sleepy, quickly switch your attention. Look at a colleague’s new bright tie or jacket, look out the window, look in the mirror, change a pen or marker.
Why do you have terrible dreams
Any information received consciously or unconsciously during the day can be seen in a dream from a different angle at night.Therefore, children often dream of dinosaurs, frightening monsters, monsters, and this terrifies them. Such dreams need to be carried out outside the window or washed off with water for peace of mind and forget about them forever. For this, many people use the magic phrase: “Where the night is, there is a dream,” while looking out the window.
A terrible dream most often comes in the morning, in the stage of REM sleep, which lasts only 5 minutes. It is clearly remembered and then becomes the subject of discussion. It can reflect sexual fantasies and sensations, various fears.A detailed interpretation of such a dream helps to calm down and forget the event in a dream forever.
Women have bad dreams more often than men, and this is due to the work of the reproductive system. The course of natural monthly cycles with a decrease and increase in basal temperature and premenstrual syndrome can cause bad dreams.
Negative energy accumulated during periods of prolonged stress is processed during periods of sleep. It is used by the cerebral hemispheres to relieve nervous tension.Such night visions bring benefit to the mental state of a person, because a positive perception of life comes to replace the negative, and the person adapts in society.
Having a bad dream is often a signal to the nervous system that it needs help. Nightmares can occur when the subconscious is trying to convey to consciousness about the onset of serious failures in the organs of internal secretion. After such dreams, a person usually begins to get sick. Doctors say that some of the dreamed details can be correlated with health problems:
- People with heart disease see chases.When you dream of running with strange feelings of weakness and fatigue, you need to consult a cardiologist and check the work of the heart muscle during exercise.
- If you had a bad dream with suffocation, drowning or a clear lack of air, then we can assume that the disease has affected the respiratory system.
- Videos with raw meat and rotten smell may be present due to disturbances in the digestive system.
- Wandering in an impenetrable forest, unfamiliar place or labyrinth signals overwork, depression.
- Fire or steam is often dreamed of at high temperatures.
Such visions should be perceived as the work of the body and developed intuition, and it is advisable to take timely care of your health. Seeing a doctor for a preventive examination helps to get rid of the developing disease in time.
Phrases that must be pronounced without getting out of bed and not talking to anyone after waking up:
- “What I see in a dream, I will not see in reality.”
- ” All good things stay, all bad things leave. ”
- “What arrived in a dream disappeared without a trace at sunset. Amen. Amen. Amen.” You need to repeat the phrase 9 times.
- “What I dreamed of was forgotten. And what was forgotten did not come true. Amen.” It is necessary to pronounce the phrase when washing, it is better to use holy water.
- “Water, take away all my troubles, all my sorrows. Where there is water, there is a dream. ” It is necessary to pronounce the words when the water from the tap is on.
- “As this salt has melted, so my dream will disappear, it will not do any harm.»The phrase should be said at the moment of throwing a piece of salt into a glass of water.
- “Good Sunday sleep, bad crack in half.”
- “My dream is out of place, go to the waterfall, from the waterfall go to hell. Amen.” When pronouncing this phrase, palms must be applied to the forehead and eyes closed.
- “Whoever’s dream comes true, but it doesn’t concern me. The Lord is with me, the bad dream is not mine. Amen.”
- “Samson, Samson, where the night is, there is the dream.” It is recommended to say the phrase while looking out the window.
- “Smoke, smoke, as you eat your eyes, so eat evil out of your sleep!” Words must be spoken when burning a sheet of paper on which a dream is described.
Conspiracies from a bad dream:
- “I had a dream, from the servant of God (his name) it rolled away into a distant, endless distance. Where the night goes, there is a dream. ” You can pronounce a conspiracy at any time, including at night, if bad events interrupted the dream.
- “I will put on the holy robe, stand on the domes. Just as the shadow does not drop its shadow, the hand does not eat the hand, does not curse its tongue, so the bad dream passes, does not come true. Lord Jesus Christ, defend me! Amen, amen, amen.”Pronounce the conspiracy at dawn.
- “My angel, sleep with me. I’m not afraid with you. I avoid bad dreams. Fly away in the morning, take your dashing sleep. In order not to dream, so that it does not come true. ” The conspiracy must be pronounced before bedtime, if nightmares are removed regularly.
- You can also read this prayer: “In the name of our Lord! To me, Saviors, to me, Baptists! Turn to your soul, stand up for it! In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” It must be pronounced at sunset, while you must stand with your back to the sun, and lower your head.
- “Like a dark night comes and goes away with the rising of the sun, so that my bad dream will go with it. As the darkness melts and wanes in the early morning, so my dashing sleep disappears. Key. Lock. Language. Amen. Amen. Amen.” The conspiracy can be pronounced at any time.
We invite you to read Recognize which of your acquaintances has brought damage to you.
How to get rid of bad feelings
Popular experience recommends getting rid of dreams that disturb with their information.This only works if the vision was born during the processing of the information received and experienced emotions. It does not indicate illness and only gives rise to uncertainty about the future.
In order for such a dream not to come true, you need to carry out a ritual:
- look at the flame so that the energy is purified;
- escort him out the door;
- tell your loved ones about him;
- Leave it to the stone by knocking on it;
- Rinse off the information with cold water, washing your face three times.
All rituals must be accompanied by affirmations to accompany the dream. It is recommended to use the words in them:
- indicating the direction: where, there;
- items that can carry away unpleasant thoughts;
- actions to be taken to cleanse.
So, in order to get rid of forebodings, they first talk about a dream episode of the flow of water from a tap or running water in a river or stream, and at the end they ask for water to take away all troubles and sorrows.
Such ritual actions help to forget the dream, but if it is prophetic, it will still come true. So the subconscious mind warns a person about danger or changes in life. To calm down, you need to try to understand what it wanted to communicate. To do this, you can purchase a dream book and read in it what objects and actions that were seen at night are dreaming of. Often after that, you can realize that the worst dream is an allegory that carries a positive meaning.
How to get rid of sleep at night.Deceive biorhythms
The fight against sleep at work is conducted with varying degrees of success. The situation when the eyelids get heavy during the day, the eyes stick together and thoughts scatter, is explainable from the point of view of physiology. The alternation of sleep and wakefulness is inherent in nature in the form of biological rhythms. Efficiency is ensured by the intake of excitatory hormones into the bloodstream. Then the concentration drops, and the inhibitory neurotransmitters give the brain a rest.
When working from 9.00 to 18.00 sleep rises at 10, 14, 18 and 22 hours.Anyone who has struggled with this condition has noticed an increase in naps after lunch. There is also a 90-minute cycle, during which the concentration on the action being performed increases, then decreases to a minimum. It’s hard to outsmart biorhythms, but there are harmless ways to cheer up and stay awake at work.
The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is coffee.
Among commonplace advice, the first place is occupied by the offer to drink coffee or tea. This helps with the sudden desire to sleep.Caffeine in tea and coffee improves performance, stimulates the brain. The inflow of fresh air from an open window provides the oxygen the body needs. The proposed methods are easy to apply without harm to health and labor.
What works best for staying awake
Vote for the option that works for you best or that does not work at all. You can give 5
Dehydration during work or rest hours makes you want to take a nap.An adult needs 30-40 ml of liquid per 1 kg of body weight. In order not to want to sleep, they drink water, juice or tea regularly, and not only when a feeling of thirst appears. Weaning to the bathroom gives you the opportunity to move more often than usual. During work, you can visit colleagues in the next office, run up or go down the stairs, after which the dream disappears.
What they pay attention to
There is an opinion among the people that dreams do not always come true.
To understand whether it can come true, you need to take into account the position of the moon, day of the week and time of day.It is believed that:
- A prophetic dream can only be dreamed at dawn.
- On Monday he gives the alignment for the week.
- A dream from Tuesday to Wednesday or from Thursday to Friday often comes true.
- A Sunday dream can only come true in the morning. If you dreamed of something terrible, sit out the weekend at home and nothing bad will happen.
People who are engaged in astrology believe that it is necessary to pay attention to the dreamed nightmare on the new moon, when energy information is laid for the entire lunar month.8, 12, 13, 25 and 28 lunar days can bring important information that should be taken into account. The nightmares dreamed at this time require cleansing ritual actions.
If a person does not suffer from an overabundance of emotions, leads a calm lifestyle and does not have mental problems, then he may consider some visions as prophetic. Usually the following events occur in them:
- Dead relatives may come in a dream – with reproaches, warnings of danger, words of gratitude.
- A monk can inform about an important event.
- A dreamed icon indicates a change in worldview.
- Water always indicates things to come.
- Attack of animals and reptiles informs about upcoming quarrels and intrigues.
Such dreams do not need to be afraid, they need to be taken into account and some steps must be taken so that they do not come true or the damage is much less. Many people avoid trouble when they perceive a dream as important information and do not try to get rid of it, but use it in planning the day.
Dreams and their content have always excited the imagination of people, forcing them to look for a prediction of the future or a hint of a solution to current problems. Sometimes dreams are so vivid and exciting that they overshadow reality.
The one who sees them wakes up every morning with regret and waits for the whole day – he cannot wait for the moment when he again plunges into the magical world of dreams.
But other dreams also happen – difficult, unpleasant. Some of them leave a painful, sticky feeling of impending disaster.Others show acquaintances or loved ones in impossible, strange, or dangerous circumstances. Still others are terrible nightmares that cause panic, overwhelming horror and make you wake up with a cry on your lips and a desperately beating heart. What if I had such a bad dream?
Why do I have bad dreams?
First you need to figure out why you had a bad dream. It often happens that an unpleasant dream has no mystical background and was the result of a completely material reason.For example, if you go to bed after a plentiful fatty dinner, there are good chances to wake up in the morning from a terrible nightmare with the walking dead, or little appetizing representatives of the fauna.
An unventilated bedroom before going to bed, overly fluffy pillows and a stuffy nose can turn into a fall from a height, drowning in water, or desperate flight from hordes of terrible enemies in a dream.
Those who have brought themselves to work to nervous exhaustion can continue to work during sleep, or wander to exhaustion in a dark labyrinth, finding no way out.
Dreams are the work of our subconsciousness
Often bad, disturbing dreams are dreamed by people who are in a difficult situation, from which they cannot find a way out. The brain continues to search for a solution to the problem even during rest, and the feeling of hopelessness generates pictures that make the dream frightening or unpleasant.
Sometimes a person may not be aware of a change for the worse in some circumstances, but the subconscious mind registers any little thing and in a dream gives a hint to the consciousness – what should be paid attention to.
So, sometimes bad sleep becomes a harbinger of the disease. While awake, a person does not notice the signals of the body about the onset of the disease – he is busy with completely different things. However, at night, when the day’s worries are gone, the brain processes weak signals from the body and issues them.
A similar mechanism can act in the case when the one who is dreaming is a victim of deception or betrayal: the nuances in the behavior of a loved one are not registered by the consciousness, but are obvious at the subconscious level, and the result is a “prophetic” dream.
However, bad dreams are often the usual release of nervous tension or a change in hormonal levels in the body. So, women often have unpleasant dreams as one of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. They are not uncommon for those who have been in a stressful situation for a long time: in this way the accumulated negative is dumped. These dreams are incoherent and illogical, their content is quickly forgotten.
What if I had a bad dream?
Almost all esoteric teachings agree that bad dreams are manifestations of negative energy, one’s own or someone else’s.An excellent way to get rid of it is running water, so every night before going to bed, you need to wash your feet in a running stream, preferably with cold water.
If you still had a bad dream, you should immediately after waking up go to the bathroom, turn on the tap, immerse your hands in a stream of water and quietly so that no one can hear, say three times: “Where the night goes, go there and sleep! “, Then tell the dream to a stream of water and add at the end:” Run, water, run, take the dream with you! ”
You can write down a dream on a piece of paper and then burn it by throwing the ashes down the toilet.
These actions will serve as, at least, a fairly strong psychotherapeutic tool and help calm down if an unpleasant dream had an accident.
Recurring bad dreams or nightmares are a good reason to get a medical examination, as they are most likely caused by an early illness. The sooner you start treatment, the easier it will be to recover.
“One, two, Freddie will take you.
Three, four, lock the door to the apartment.
Five, six, Freddie wants to eat you all … ”
There is hardly anyone who is not familiar with these lines.
The cult horror film from the 80s, A Nightmare on Elm Street, has been the epitome of the nightmares of an entire generation.
Why do bad dreams have and how to deal with them, read on.
Dreams and the lunar calendar
Whether the dream will come true, it is worth looking at the calendar numbers. Eastern astrologers have revealed that prophetic dreams are dreamed of such lunar days: the 14th, 15th, 16th, 24th and 28th.But on the 2nd, 9th and 13th lunar days, dreams do not come true at all. Do not pay attention to them.
On other lunar days, the strangest dreams can occur, their realizability is 50 to 50.
Experts say that prophetic dreams can fall on any lunar day, if it is important for a person. If something is dreamed before the 16th lunar day, then the execution may occur in the very near future, and after the 16th day according to the lunar calendar, the execution date may be postponed for a long time.All people are different, therefore, the timing of the fulfillment of dreams is also different.
Dream or Reality?
Sleep takes up about a third of our lives. Because what we have to experience in a dream often interests us no less, and sometimes even more, than real events. Of course, you want your dreams to be bright and pleasant. But, alas, even in this parallel world, troubles are possible. Why do I have bad dreams every night?
By themselves, if they do not become the norm, they do not carry any danger in themselves.But most often they entail a depressing mood and anxiety for the next few days.
Dream Correction Bad Dreams
Sometimes you can correct your dreams. It is worth starting to train any night. For example, if you dreamed about a black cat, try to imagine that you have a can of white paint and a paintbrush in your hands. Imagine that you are repainting the fluffy animal white. Problems should be avoided.
If in a dream you seemed to have fallen from a great height into an abyss, then imagine that two large wings opened behind you.With such a development of events in real life, you will have the opportunity to get around any troubles, to find an original solution to the problem.
In frightening dreams, try to destroy all unpleasant moments and images – tear to shreds, burn, bury or explode, change everything negative to positive.
There is one more important point: after a nightmare, you should not expect similar events to occur in real life. Thoughts are material and negativity is very easily attracted by a person.If the dreamer has a dream with the same content over and over again, it is necessary to remember and write down all the details of the dream. Thus, all experiences will be transferred to paper. These manipulations will help create protection from possible troubles.
Any overwork, physical or emotional, has a negative effect on all systems of our body. We try not to notice such conditions, in every possible way we drive away all negative thoughts that it is time to rest, that the body cannot work for wear and tear.But it is these harbingers that should be the first bells in order to stop and take a break.
If we do not respond to our dark thoughts, the body begins to send other signals – illness, and due to weakened immunity and nightmares, as a sign of mental disorder.
You can overcome sleep during the day by moving from a soft and comfortable chair to a stool.
You can play the game on your smartphone, but it should be bright and positive enough.And how to overcome sleep if the TV is on? Turn it off! Better then listen to the radio.
Take a cool shower to invigorate. If you want to sleep all the time, perhaps the problem is related to your health, and you need to see a doctor.
If you get up very early for work, try to go to bed before 23 o’clock. Don’t sit late at night. Start every day with something pleasant and invigorating.
Sleep is essential for man. No matter how much you want to extend your day, the body needs rest.Lack of sleep leads to nervous system disorders, lack of appetite, headaches. To prevent this from happening, you need to remember the main rules: we rest at least 7 hours a day, eat right, follow the daily routine. And we wake up only in a good mood!
Stressful situations happen almost every day. Moreover, a little stress is even beneficial. They make the brain think and make decisions. But when life is overwhelmed by stress, or in the event of severe emotional overload, the brain shows that it can no longer cope on its own.This is manifested by a decrease in immunity, apathy and nightmares. It would be strange to ask why you have bad dreams every day when you are in a depressing state.
How to interrupt sleep. How to fight off sleep
In the life of any person there are days when there is simply not enough time for sleep. Long-distance driving, dead-line, any other reason excludes any possibility of getting enough sleep. But the body is difficult to deceive, and the brain cannot be explained that, for a number of reasons, it will be possible to sleep only after a couple of days.And so a man sits on a project that needs to be completed “yesterday” or, even worse, at the wheel, and nodding, trying not to fall asleep. Meanwhile, there are methods to help fight off sleep for a while.
Brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea with lemon. These drinks are great for drowsiness. The only “but” – the funds should not be abused. Experts recommend using coffee differently. Add a cup of instant coffee to a glass of Coca-Cola, stir and drink in one gulp.Sleep as if by hand.
Tinctures Take an alcoholic tincture of Eleutherococcus or Ginseng. Eleutherococcus and ginseng also have an “anti-sleep” effect. A few drops (usually 15-20) of the product dissolved in water will help to invigorate.
Vitamins Take a couple of ascorbic acid dragees. A good effect of relieving drowsiness is given by increased doses of vitamin C. That is why tea with lemon invigorates more effectively than just tea.
Aromatherapy Light the aromatherapy burner (aroma lamp) by adding essential oils of lemon, anise, orange, grapefruit, jasmine – of your choice.All of these essential oils help ward off drowsiness. If you have a split system with an air aromatization function, add oil to it.
Daytime Sleep Try to carve out half an hour to take a nap between 12 and 14 o’clock. A nap during the day will help you regain strength and stay on your feet longer, if necessary.
Lighting If you urgently need to finish a project, pass a coursework, learn a couple of textbooks, and there is only one night for everything about everything, light will help to cope with sleep.Turn on full overhead lighting in the room where you are working. The bright light will signal to the brain that it’s not time for sleep yet.
Exercise Get rid of sleepiness by exercising. A couple of squats, a few arm swings, three or four lunges – and you are again ready for labor exploits. A contrast shower will be an excellent addition to charging. After it, you will feel that you are ready to stay awake for at least another day. and at the same time you will train the vessels. Always start taking a contrast shower with warm water.Alternate a warm (38-39 degrees) shower with a cold (18-20 degrees) shower 4-6 times. Always finish with cold water.
Perhaps it is difficult to imagine a more inadequate person than a pregnant woman. Being in a sober mind and with a good memory, it can behave, to say the least, strange.
Why do pregnant women have bad dreams, and how does this condition affect the relationship between mom and baby? This is quite explainable by the change in hormonal levels. Excessive impressionability of a woman during this period, her fears regarding the development of the baby and childbirth – all this leaves an imprint on the content of dreams.
Illness and medication
Fever can be a serious cause of nightmares. Moreover, this condition can lead the patient to hallucinations. The cause of a dream in which you are tormented by suffocation may be the notorious runny nose.
The same effects can be expected from some medicines, especially antidepressants, barbiturates and narcotic substances. To find out the reason why you have bad dreams, read the instructions for the medicines you are taking.
The physical discomfort experienced during sleep will certainly affect the dream. For example, you may dream of an avalanche and death in the ice due to the fact that you are simply naked. Most likely, this is a reaction of the subconscious to the fact that you are freezing.
A stuffy, unventilated room, too hard, or, conversely, too soft bed, unpleasant odors, crumbs on the sheet – all these are factors that can provoke the subconscious to have bad dreams.
How to get rid of nightmares
If an unpleasant dream visited you by accident and you, in general, understand why you have bad dreams, then nothing terrible has happened. The correct reaction will help to avoid the repetition of the discomfort.
Another thing is when the “Nightmare on Elm Street” continues for several nights, or even becomes habitual. This situation speaks of serious mental disorders that can be associated with any of the above problems.The main thing that is necessary in such a situation is to find the reason. It is best if at this time you will be provided with qualified help from a doctor or psychologist.
Do not bring your body to alarm bells, rest, walk, and your dreams will always delight you.
“O my rashness! How do I dare to see my dreams? ” – wrote B. Akhmadulina. After some dreams, these words are immediately remembered. Indeed, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and with a pounding heart and you don’t know, maybe you will never sleep again, so that this will not happen with a guarantee.
Why do people have bad dreams?
What if I had a bad dream?
When a person sleeps, his brain works in a different mode – not the same as during the day. During sleep, the brain goes through two alternating phases several times: the phase of deep (slow) sleep and the phase of REM sleep (it is also called paradoxical).
Phases of deep sleep are long, they take about 40 minutes. The paradoxical sleep phase lasts an average of a quarter of an hour. It is during this period that people see dreams.
How many hours a person slept, approximately so many dreams he saw. Why didn’t I remember? Because people remember sleep only if they woke up during REM sleep.
And during these periods the human brain “digests” its daily impressions with great intensity. Sometimes at this moment there is a decision that was not given to a person during the day. It is known that Mendeleev could not correctly arrange the elements in the table until he saw it in a dream.
And there are nightmares.These are also scraps of memories, but mixed into a crazy “vinaigrette”, because at night it is not consciousness that rules, but the subconscious.
If you had a dream from Friday to Saturday
Such dreams also tend to come true in real life, however, in the end they will have a good ending. An event that seemed bad in a dream in reality will have positive and favorable consequences for the dreamer. It is necessary to prepare for the fact that will have to pass some tests sent by fate , which will cause drastic changes.
However, a bad dream does not mean at all that everything has long been decided for you and that you need to fold your hands and humbly wait for the future. On the contrary, Sabbath dreams are an opportunity to find clues and develop a plan to avoid bad consequences. For example, you can make attempts to improve your own situation, meet new people, and acquire useful connections that will help you solve an impending problem.