Home > Types of Dreams > What You Need To Know About Nightmares

What You Need To Know About Nightmares

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 27 May 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
What You Need To Know About Nightmares

Dreaming can be an extraordinary experience. Research shows that most people have between four and five dreams a night, whether they remember them or not. Dreams can help us recognise things we often ignore during waking hours.

However, as incredible as dreams can be, they can also be frightening. From time to time, you may find yourself having a nightmare. A nightmare is any dream in which something happens that frightens or upsets you. Nightmares may be due to some event currently bothering you. But, it can also be a past experience or trauma you feel consciously that you have put behind you, but really haven't.

Unresolved Issues And Nightmares

Researchers have found that war veterans often experience nightmares of the war, many times several years after the fact. Once they return home, they may try to gloss over and quickly forget the terrible things they have experienced in an attempt to move on with their lives. But, the mind knows these are unresolved issues and keeps bringing them up as a natural way to heal.

Traumatic Events And Nightmares

But of course, war veterans are not the only ones that suffer from nightmares. We all have traumatic experiences in our lives. Having a loved one die, losing your job, going bankrupt, divorcing a spouse, having a car wreck - any of these things may be traumatic enough to cause nightmares. The nightmares may occur right after the event or several years later and interpreting the dreams is quite easy.

Nightmares And Personality Factors

Research has shown that people who are more sensitive, artistic, and creative during waking hours tend to have more nightmares. These nightmares may not be caused by trauma but by the fact that these individuals are more empathetic to others and their environment.

Your first reaction upon waking from a nightmare may be to try to forget it. But, if you pay attention to the nightmare and try to interpret the dream relating to whatever in your past or present life may be causing it, you may be able to heal yourself and prevent the nightmare from occurring in the future.

Types of Nightmares

Nightmares can resemble a horror film, being grizzly or bloody. It may involve you being chased by a vicious monster or knife-wielding murderer. Or it may be something more psychologically upsetting, such as dreaming that someone long dead is alive again.

Common nightmare themes include:

  • Dreams of bodily harm
  • Dreams of lethal injury
  • Dreams of dismemberment
  • Dreams of lack of control
  • Dreams of losing something or someone
  • Dreams of harm to a loved one
  • Dreams of danger.
With most nightmares, the greater the stressor (that is whatever it is bothering you) the longer and more prevalent the nightmares will be. If you are involved in a car wreck, you may have one or two nightmares about it. However, if you are involved in a car wreck in which your spouse dies, you may have nightmares for years until the loss is properly dealt with.

Sometimes a nightmare is caused by something you can easily pinpoint. If you are feeling under a lot of pressure at your job and hate your boss, you may have a dream in which a monster is chasing you, with the monster being a personification of your boss. But, sometimes you have nightmares that are not as easy to understand and interpreting the dreams can be difficult. If this is the case, keep a dream journal. Write down all the dreams you can remember, including the nightmares. Looking over a group of dreams like this may be able to give you more insight into what is really bothering you.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Lee
    Re: The Chinese Culture and Dream Analysis
    I dreamof a monk sitting under a tree,suddenly disappear and become a bird.about 20 birds attack him and he fallto…
    4 June 2020
  • Model
    Re: Dreams of Travel
    I always dream travelling to areas that are not in plan. Like I once dreamt going to America. Then today I dreamt going to Hoima.Am really…
    1 June 2020
  • Naj
    Re: Dreams of Losing or Finding Something
    I had a dream that I lost everything, I lost my phone, I lost my card, I lost my way home.
    25 May 2020
  • JARA ZENA
    Re: Dreams of Being Lost
    I DREAMED WALKING IN ONE SPECIFIC PLACE AND I KNOW HOW TO AND WHERE IT IS. BUT THE THING IS WHEN WE'RE ABOUT TO GO BACK FROM THE PLACE WE…
    20 May 2020
  • Suman
    Re: Dreams of Travel
    Hi, I have dreamed about that, my transportation manager did not arrange transportation for me to catch my flight. He said, I did not give any…
    14 May 2020
  • Woh
    Re: What do Dreams About People Dying in Water Mean?
    I dreamt my uncle and little sister by the sea and there were also many people by the sea in their cars…
    13 May 2020
  • Jayne
    Re: Dreams of the Phone Not Working
    I mostly dream about not being able to call 911 most of it has to do with being in danger or afraid and everytime i try to…
    11 May 2020
  • Raven
    Re: Dreams of Losing or Finding Something
    What might it mean if I lose my partner in my dream but then find him again? In the dream, he floated away and I was…
    9 May 2020
  • Catamount
    Re: Native American Dream Analysis: Iroquois
    Looking for help with this dream interpretation. I dreamed I could hear many shamans chanting, but they were very…
    5 May 2020
  • Lillin
    Re: Dreams of Public Nudity
    I dreamt that I was taking a train tho where dead people go because I was going to die but on the way the person driving me and some more…
    29 April 2020