Source: sketchport. Regardless of the content of your nightmares, having nightmares every night is a significant problem you need to address. Even if you don't have frequent nightmares, you may have bad dreams that affect your daytime functioning. To understand whether you have nightmares that need to be addressed, consider this list of types of nightmares. Having a nightmare once a year or so shouldn't worry you at all.
Even if you have nightmares once a month, you're still not likely to suffer any ill effects. Recently, some experts have even suggested that the occasional nightmare might even be helpful because it is one way to process a stressful but non-traumatic event that happened during the day. When nightmares become frequent, they can begin to affect your sleep and health. They happen for some reason, either psychological or physical.
If you have chronic nightmares, it's important to see a doctor first to ensure a medical problem isn't causing your terrifying dreams. If you still don't have an answer, a psychologist or psychiatrist can identify any psychological reasons behind the nightmares.
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Source: pixabay. Recurring nightmares are scary dreams that include the same dream content night after night. Although there may be some small differences, the same people may be involved in the same activities each time. You may dream of the same danger every night. Recurring nightmares are a sign that you have some unresolved psychological issue that you've never completely dealt with.
In this case, seeing a counselor can give you the opportunity to work through the event or situation behind the bad dreams and put it behind you. It isn't surprising that women commonly experience nightmares during pregnancy. After all, pregnancy is a time of uncertainty and upheaval. In fact, for this same reason, the woman's partner may have nightmares while she's pregnant, too.
Some of the most common pregnancy dreams include:. One thing to remember about pregnancy nightmares is that a few nightmares are nothing to worry about. They can't predict the future, but they can help you face current fears. Having some nightmares during pregnancy is to be expected as you process what is happening to you during the pregnancy and what is about to happen to you as a parent.
However, if the nightmares recur or cause you severe emotional distress, you need to address them. Nightmares are such an integral part of post-traumatic stress disorder that they are one of the most common symptoms. PTSD nightmares are often filled with remembered images of a traumatic event. You may have trouble waking up completely. You may even have waking nightmares that affect your daytime behavior.
If you are having nightmares related to PTSD, it is an urgent problem you need help with right away. In a condition called ' sleep paralysis ,' you go through a short period of waking nightmares just before you fall asleep. Scientists suggest that these 'nightmares' aren't nightmares at all, but instead are hallucinations caused by lying on your back. They rarely happen to anyone over 30, but they can be quite distressing during the teen and young adult years. If you have this type of waking nightmares, you may be able to stop having them just by avoiding lying on your back to fall asleep.
It seems there is always more you can learn about nightmares generally and about your own nightmares specifically. Scientists have accumulated a large body of research on the subject. In addition, people who have experienced nightmares often tell their stories through literature, the media, or in everyday conversations. Some of the most common questions are about how to induce nightmares, and what nightmares mean.
If you find nightmares fascinating, you might think about how to induce nightmares, so you can feel that adrenaline rush that often accompanies them.
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However, playing with the dream state can be very risky. Once you start having nightmares, it can be difficult to stop. Also, if you aren't having nightmares already, it may mean that you aren't ready to face some hidden trauma or fear. Another reason someone may want to induce nightmares is to face a traumatic event or situation they are having trouble accessing their feelings about while awake. Again, inducing bad dreams is a bad idea unless you are doing it under close professional supervision.
Finally, you may want to learn how to induce nightmares, so you can avoid doing those things and thus how to not have nightmares at all. If so, see the list of nightmare causes above and avoid as many of those triggers as possible. Who hasn't wondered 'What do my nightmares mean? The truth is that sometimes, there may be no meaning beyond a physical reaction in the brain caused by some type of physical stimulus in your body or in the environment. Some dreams, though, do seem to have a significant meaning. The best way to interpret dreams is to look at the content of the dream in terms of what it could symbolize.
If you have a nightmare about being in an out-of-control vehicle, it probably doesn't mean you're going to have a wreck tomorrow. More likely it means that you yourself feel out of control in some life situation such as at work or in a relationship. So, always think of the possible metaphorical meanings of your dreams. The only exception is likely if you suffer from PTSD and are having nightmares about the trauma you faced.
How to Cope with Nightmares | Here to Help
Just talking about what happened might make you feel better. If something has been troubling you during the day, talking about those feelings also may help. Some kids "rewrite" their nightmares by giving them happier outcomes. Another trick is to draw a picture of the bad dream and then rip it up! Sometimes it helps to keep a dream journal, a notebook in which you describe the dreams you can recall. Tracking your dreams — good and bad — and how you felt before you went to sleep can give you a better sense of how your mind works at night.
If you have nightmares a lot, you and your parent might want to see a counselor or a psychologist to help you deal with your bad dreams. It will give you a chance to talk about some of the things bothering you that may be related to your nightmares. Remember, nightmares are not real and they can't hurt you.
Dreaming about something scary does not mean it will happen in real life. And it doesn't mean you're a bad person who wants to do mean or scary things. Everyone has nightmares now and then. You aren't a baby if you feel afraid after a nightmare. If you need to snuggle with a parent or even a sister or brother, that's all right.
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More than half of all nightmares occur around the time of a major life event, such as starting at a new school, changing careers or having a child. Other common causes of nightmares are entirely physical. There is also a theory that some people may have a genetic predisposition to nightmares. In other words, nightmares may run in your family. What are some common symbols in nightmares? Some people believe that nightmares and dreams have a deeper meaning and that they can symbolize your subconscious emotions. Dream interpreters suggest that these elements symbolize something specific. Some symbols are self-explanatory.
A bad dream about falling means you feel powerless or out of control, or that you are afraid of failing at something. A nightmare about drowning means you feel overwhelmed by your emotions. Dreaming about war or a fight could mean that you need to be more assertive in a real-life confrontation. Also, monsters and other nightmare creatures represent some aspect of your life that has gotten out of control.
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The most common type of nightmare is that of being chased. Adults commonly find themselves being chased by a stranger usually male ; children are more often chased by some type of animal, monster or other nightmare creature. Dream interpreters say that being chased in a nightmare represents feeling that you are being pressured or inhibited in some way.
Some bad dreams can actually represent good changes in your life. For example, death in nightmares and dreams symbolizes a new beginning. If you dream that you are dying, perhaps you are going through an important personal change in your real life. How can you get rid of nightmares? Bad dreams may simply be a symptom of not getting adequate sleep. You might need to reevaluate your sleeping habits and overall lifestyle. Try to go to bed around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning.
Nightmares can be the result of a reaction to a new medication. If you recently began having nightmares and you just started taking some kind of medication, contact your doctor. You should also talk to your doctor if you experience bad dreams more than once a week or if they keep you from getting adequate sleep for a prolonged period of time. You may need to get a physical, neurological or psychological exam to determine the underlying cause.
If you experience especially intense or recurring nightmares, you may benefit by talking about it with a counselor or psychologist.
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