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Why do we Have Nightmares?

By: Wendy Jacob - Updated: 10 Apr 2014 | comments*Discuss
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Many people experience nightmares at some time during their life. They can cause anxiety and confusion as the disturbing images and events are often remembered when awake.

Nightmares happen during REM sleep. This is when sleep is lighter and accompanied by eye movement. They usually occur during the last half of a night's sleep. The disturbing nature of the dream and the 'lightness' of the sleep state may cause the sufferer to wake up and be able to recall the drama and fear.

The dreamer may wake up suddenly and still be confused and fearful. Many people seek explanations for their dreams and there is a rich heritage of dream recall and their interpretations. It is often hard to fall asleep again after a nightmare. The mind may still be actively involved in the events that have caused fear and the sudden wakening. Recurrent Nightmares may make the sufferer fearful of falling asleep and cause anxiety and other sleep problems.

Content and Confusion

Dream Psychology seeks to interpret the meaning of dreams. Sigmund Freud published 'The Interpretation of Dreams' in 1899 and believed that dreams were related to the subconscious repression of desires such as the sexual urge and the need for parental approval. Much of his work has been discredited but the relationship between anxiety and unresolved stress in daily life and the effect of this on the subconscious, is still considered to be one of the reasons for dreaming.

Carl Gustav Jung parted from this view of dreams being solely related to an individual's personal experience and upbringing when he recognised that many people experience the same dream. This 'collective unconsciousness' suggests that there is a level of consciousness that is universal and explains why people from different ages, cultures and environment experience similar images and events.

Dream Interpretation has created explanations for many of the more common images and experiences. They can help explain and provide reassurance to those who feel that their experiences are the result of actions or thoughts from their 'conscious' mind.

Common Experiences

Some experts have suggested that some of the events in Anxiety Dreams are related to the REM Sleep State. In REM sleep the dreamer is prevented from 'acting out' the dream by the relaxed state of the body. Being unable to move the nightmare may contain images of immobility and helplessness. Other explanations include the connection between the conscious and unconscious mind. The nightmare is acting as an outlet for unresolved guilt, conflict and anxiety.

It has also been suggested that a nightmare is the way the unconscious mind reminds the conscious mind to deal with issues such as anxiety. By trying to interpret the meaning of the dream the experience becomes less threatening, and may even prove helpful in identifying and resolving previously unrecognised problems.

Many people find comfort and support in discussing their dreams with friends and family. The universal nature of nightmares means that many people have similar dreams and may be able to offer insight and understanding. There are a number of reference books on dream interpretation which explain the history of dreams and their meanings.

Relaxation and breathing techniques may help sufferers return to sleep after a distressing nightmare. Meditation can help access and explore other levels of consciousness. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may help sufferers deal with anxiety and other related sleep problems.

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There are two main types of scary phenomenons in sleep(nightmare and sleep paralysis) that are caused by two main scary symptoms of cardiovascular disease {palpitation and fainting (syncope)}. Persons who palpitation is easy to occur are easy to have nightmare, drugs can cause nightmare because drugs can cause palpitation. Females are easier to have nightmare than males, because palpitation is easier occur to females than to males. Women have a huge amount of nightmares during pregnancy because women experience more palpitations in pregnancy. Physical factors that contribute to bad dreams include fever as also sleep because fever causes an increase in the heart rate, When palpitations occurs, people will have two most common feelings: one is tachycardia cause a feeling of seeming to be chasing ; the other is bradycardia or premature beat cause the feeling of heart suspension or heart sinking. Therefore, people in sleep accordingly will have the two most common nightmares : one is dream of being chased (occasionally hunting other people) ; the other is dream of flying in the air or dream of falling down. If transient cerebral ischemia or fainting occuring during the day may result in some very terrible dizziness, palpitations, feelings of chest pressure, dim vision, tinnitus and a variety of neurological symptoms. As a result, all the people who are prone to cerebral ischemia or fainting frail corporeity, excessive fear, taking the quinidine which may lead to low blood pressure, as well as a excessive high pillow ors, error in sleeping style which may lead to the aggrieved neck, pressed blood stream. when they sleep in deep night, they will have the extraordinary corresponding horrible dreams, in the dreams, they do some kind of terrible Belial pressuring them or being hunted down, but they can not cry out or escape, which are called nightmare in iatrology. Vague terrors in light sleep, which is known as sleep paralysis. Sometimes people was just woken up with the cerebral ischemia or fainting, be cause the vision continuing for a few minutes and dyskinesia have not yet concluded, which will cause psychological illusion that people struggle to wake up but fail to do it. For instance, a place in country, there is a “haunted” bed which makes people have nightmares every night and it is this fact that the pillow in the bed is too high. Another example, sleeping pills are the treatment of nightmare of being chased of neurasthenia, due to the nightmare of being chased of such patients is caused by tachycardia, and sleeping pills can lead to slower heartbeat, moreover slower heartbeat sometimes leads to sleep paralysis or fainting for people of low blood pressure. Therefore, treating a nightmare with sleeping pills at times is not only invalid, but also it will instead increase the patient’s state of the disease.
sgroclkc - 10-Apr-14 @ 11:21 PM
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