Nightmares – Nightmare Dreams

A nightmare is a dream that occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that results in feelings of strong terror, fear, distress and extreme anxiety. Nightmares can happen to anyone at any given time of their lives.  Generally your typical nightmare will evoke negative emotional responses from the mind, typically the anxious, fear or dread feeling. Nightmares and symbols in them can be unconscious messages to the conscious alerting the dreamer to pay close attention to the meaning. Constant nightmares might be classified under a type of sleep disorder.

If nightmares persists on a regular basis that stop you from getting a healthy sleep, then it might be classified under a sleep disorder. Parasomnia falls under a nightmare or sleep disorder that involves a series of abnormal jerks, emotions, thoughts and behaviors while falling asleep, or during sleep stages. Most parasomnias are dissociated sleep states which are partial arousal’s during the transitions between wakefulness and NREM non rapid eye movement sleep. It can occur during  wakefulness and REM sleep as well.

Night Terror Vs Nightmare:

There is a misconception that night terrors and nightmares are the same thing.  They might mimic nightmares but though they are completely different in nature. Sleep terrors can be classified under a parasomnia disorder where the individual can physically act out in their sleep by screaming, thrashing, or even crying. Occurrences of aggressive sleep walking have happened as the dreamer may attack a family member. The dreamer may experience difficulty trying to snap out of the dream state.
Sleep terrors usually occur with children under the age of nine, though, it  can frequent adults who are under extreme stress, depression, or even bi polar disorder. Generally the movement can last anywhere between 10 – 20  minutes, either the individual will go right back to REM without ever disrupting their sleep state. If they do wake up from this state they will often encounter confusion or anxiety. The majority of sleep disturbances, occur in the stage before deep sleep that decrease.

Not all nightmares are bad. Nightmares have the ability to contain metaphoric messages to warn the dreamer of ignored internal idiocracies. Understanding the dream symbols might give the dreamer insight to what might be overlooked that could be causing distress. A nightmare might also be arise when dealing with a current stressful event. If nightmares continues on a nightly basis then it will fall under a nightmare disorder. These disorders can be the cause of many different factors which include PTSD, medication, illness, drugs and alcohol. Nightmares are more vivid then night terrors where the dreamer can snap out of REM knowing in full detail of the dream. Nightmares can occur at least once a month. Scientists say that  children who suffer from nightmares are due to stressful events or deaths will be more inclined.


Nightmare Disorder:

Nightmare disorder or commonly referred to as a”dream anxiety disorder”, is a series of nightmares classified under the DSM -IV. These repeated awakenings during nightmares occur during the stages of REM sleep. During the dream the individual will experience intense fear as if they are fighting for their life. Most of the time they will wake up instantly due to the terror they are experiencing, and have trouble going back to sleep. During the episode the dreamer may experience speaking, moaning, screaming or moving at random. Though these symptoms may not always be present. When woken from the sleep state, the dreamer will often experience a feeling of anxiety as adrenaline is still pumping thought out their body. Nightmare disorders cause after effects as the individual will fear going back to bed to experience that same scenario.  As a result one will be more likely to encounter a mild sleep deprivation, decreased mental clarity and depression. This can also lead to insomnia. There hasn’t been a cure for nightmare disorders but their are many techniques to minimize them from occurring. Frequent yoga and mediation have been known to help reduce the cause as your body and mind to be in a more relaxed state.

Causes Of Nightmares:

Nightmares in adults are often spontaneous, but there are many factors that might increase the probability of them occurring. Some people might be affected by eating food or snacks right  before sleep. Eating foods cause an increase to your metabolism that trigger the brain to become more alert. Eating certain foods such as cheese or caffeine before bed can increase the vividness in your dreams. Prescriptions medications have been known to increase dream vividness and nightmares.  Taking illegal drugs or alcoholic substances have an increased chance of triggering nightmares. This can also occur if the individual is coming off medication, or if an addiction wears off. If you are experiencing a fluctuation of nightmares taking a new medication, talk to your doctor.  Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of nightmares.  Reasons for lack of sleep include work, stress or depression.  Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome can also contribute to nightmares.  If you are suffering from lack of sleep we recommend you to consult your doctor.

Other Possible Causes of Nightmares:

-  Experienced a death of a loved on or somebody close to you
– Quitting smoking, alcohol or going on the patch
– Consuming large amount of alcohol in blood stream
– Battling a illness or flu
– Having a Bad reaction to drugs or withdrawal
– Not dealing with an on going problems in your life
– High volumes of stress and anxiety
– Trauma from witnessing violence

Recurring Nightmares:

Nightmares are fairly common in both men and women, they can frequent as much as 2 times a month. Nightmares are perfectly normal once and a while, but once they become repetitious then you may want to investigate a bit further. Recurring nightmares might be linked to an  unresolved unconscious problem. Nightmares act as red flags to get our attention on an important matter that is overlooked in our lives. Understanding the symbolic meaning of nightmares can better help you to bring light in a dark place. Recurring nightmares should be written down in a dream journal to better help decode the dream. Dreams and the symbols in them act as a metaphoric language for you to decode.  We are giving an opportunity via unconsciousness to show us where the ongoing problem may be in our lives.  Recurring nightmares never go away until you fix your what issue you are facing.You can better help understand your dream at our forum.


Nightmares With Children:

Believe it or not nightmares are more common with children than adults.  Roughly around one quarter of children have at least one scary dream or nightmare a week.  Scary dreams can start as early as  2 to 3 years of age for a children.  By the time they reach the age of 6 they may start to experience full on nightmares.  Around the ages 10 and up,  nightmares tend to subside and become less vivid.  Children’s nightmares typically  involve frightening situations or events that revolve the people close to them.  The types of nightmares contain images or bizarre events, the typical “monster or ghosts” theme.  Children are generally quite during their nightmare and hardly move around like most adults.

How to Stop Nightmares With Children:

Unfortunately there is no cure to stop your child from having nightmares,  though they can be prevented by using techniques that we provided below.  Studies have proved that nightmares with kids are genetic and passed down from either member of the family. Though there are ways you can help take control to comfort your child from nightmares.

  • Play relaxing music for your child though out the night
  • Have them stay away from junk food and high sugar drinks
  • Train them to control their dreams.  Tell your child what to day to monsters in the nightmare.
  • Read them a nice book and keep positive thoughts in their head before bed.
  • Talk to your kids and ask them what are there greatest fears and tackle them.


How To Stop Your Nightmares:

Understanding what underlining factors that might be causing your nightmares by examining your lifestyle.  Has there been a build up of stress lately?  Have you been taking any drugs that might be affecting your sleep?  Analyzing what you nightmare means helps figure out what problems in your life you need to tackle.  If you sign up at our dream dictionary forum you would be able to get your nightmare dream analyzed for free.

Tips On How To Stop Nightmares:

Taking the time to relax before you go to bed is a start. You can practice each night 10 minutes of Yoga and breathing exercises right before bed.  Listening  to relaxing soothing music during sleep calms your whole mental being.  Reports state that playing video games and watching negative images before bed will cause an increase of nightmares. Practicing lucid dreaming has been quite beneficial when it comes to manipulating your dream settings. You can make the bad guy go away in a blink of an eye.

There is not much you can do when you just had a nightmare, though paying attention to the symbols in them will give you a better understanding on what your unconscious is hinting at.  Keeping a dream journal helps you remember the dream in more detail.  Find out and post what your nightmare means at our Dream Dictionary Nightmare Forum.

 Taking good care of your body goes a long way.  Eating healthy has more benefits then just feeling well.  You will experience peaceful sleeps and less snoring.  This in turn will help cut your chances of nightmares.

Forum Nightmare Dreams:

“In my dream I woke up feeling that something terrible was about to happen – as I lay in bed I became very very cold and I knew that someone was going to come into my room. The door opened and I was terrified, my heart was beating fast and I could not move a muscle. The ghost of a little girl approached my bed and knelt down before me. I could not see her face, she was featureless and she was very distressed. I tried to speak to her asking what she wanted from me but my voice would not come out. All of a sudden she stood up and got into bed with me. She was crying and told me that she had to be somewhere but did not know where and was frightened, she wanted company and for me to help her. She looked absolutely soaking wet and was shivering. Despite being absolutely petrified and unable to speak I felt compelled to hug her and began crying as I leaned forward to take her in my arms. I really did not want to touch her because I was terrified she would do something horrible. She smelled strongly of stagnant pond water and I was repulsed by her. I found I could not breathe. I became hysterical but nevertheless put the duvet around her and hugged her sobbing as i did so. She put her arms round my neck and tucked her head under my chin and as she did so I felt the type of burn you would associate with frost and ice. It was so painful. Instantly we both shot up into the dark night sky. I held onto her tightly and we sped through space at breakneck speed. Then a screen – like that of a computer appeared in front of me and on it was instructions directing me that I had to let go – if not I would not be able to return home. I became aware of how clean the air was and I began to prize the arms of the ghost girl from around my neck although I did not really want to – immediately she was gone and I was alone and for a split second, felt at peace. At that point, I really did not care if I lived or died – I was expecting to fall but did not experience a sense of falling. Then, I woke up, still cold, frightened and I felt that this had really happened. I could not convince myself that I had been dreaming.
I have never ever remembered a dream with such clarity and certainly have not ever been aware of smells in dreams before. I’m intrigued by this and wonder what this dream signifies. There was nothing remotely familiar about the ghost girl. I’ve been thinking of her all day as if she was a real child and am concerned for her welfare! How stupid is that? She is after all, nothing but the creation of my over active mind at rest. 

“When I was little, I use to have a recurring dream that i was being chased by pitch black hands, and I would have to hands that stayed on my shoulder and would help me out. There was a rainbow hand which helped me fight against the other hands and would help me get away and save me; and then there was a bright white hand which was my health. When I was being chased it was always in a big city at night and no one one was around. I would always get away from the hands that were chasing me by running into a dark alleyway and hiding. i still don’t really understand the dream; the hands that were chasing me and trying to grab me was me being affraid of something trying to consume me and maybe even control me (which would have been my mom and grandmother)and to this day i still think the rainbow hand was the sign for my dad; i might be thinking to much into it, but…when i was 12 i found out my dad was gay. My dad has always tried to help me and i moved in with him out of my moms house so i could get away from drugs and her mental illness and abuse, so in a way he saved me.

Forum Nightmare Dreams: cont..

This last week I’ve had a similar nightmare. I can’t say they’re the same….
Every so often I have a dream where there is a texas chainsaw massacre type guy chasing….
It’s been puzzling me for a very long time. Last night I had a dream that..

So all I can remember is that my sister disappears and i’m left with Joe and Nana…..
So I’ve been having these dreams that all take place in the same area involving the same people (who all but 1 I’ve never seen in real life)…..
Last night I dreamt that someone I knew was killed outside my school and dumped in a lake. I don’t know him
I have this dream almost every night and it’s basically the same. I’m stuck in this room, it’s pitch black with no windows or doors….
Last night I woke up at 3:20 am from this dream or nightmare. I am still very confused by it…..
So I’ve been having this dream that takes place at my house and it’s always at night and it was about this woman with dark