Why do we have Nightmares?

Nightmares are bad dreams.

They can make you feel extremely scared and frightened. But fear not….these dreams are not real and are usually quite normal.

Characterized by vivid imagery and extreme feelings such as anxiety, fear, sadness or guilt they are powerful enough to wake you up.

Children experience frightening dreams more often than adults, especially between the ages of 3-4 and 7-8, as this is when they are dealing with separation anxiety.
Bad dreams at this age show a normal struggle to cope with fears and issues and they usually involve being chased by wild animals. This is a normal stage of development for children and should be viewed as such.

In adults, about 50% report experiencing nightmares occasionally and of these, they occur more often in women than men.

There are certain factors that contribute to frightening dreams occurring in adults:

1. Certain Medications and illnesses, especially fever, can cause bad dreams.

2. Stress and anxiety in adults is the main reason that causes bad dreams. If there are some stressful events or huge changes in your life this can definitely lead to frightening dreams.

3. Traumatic events such as deaths, serious injuries or being attacked can bring on a severe form called Post Traumatic Nightmares and these are more severe than regular bad dreams and are usually recurring dreams. Treatment can be sought for these forms of dreams as they are usually more disturbing and persistent in nature.

Chase dreams are the most common form of frightening dreams. However drowning, disasters both natural and man-made, falling or anything fearful can also be the theme of a bad dream. While animals are generally the feared objects in children’s chase dreams, adults are more likely to be chased by some shadowy male figure in their bad dreams.

Is there Help for Nightmares?

Finding the source of your bad dream is the first step.

Have you recently gone on new medication? Have you experienced a traumatic event? Are there new stresses in your life that could be contributing to your frightening dreams?

Like normal dreams bad dreams are generally our way of dealing with life stress and anxiety while we are asleep.
As such you do not need treatment, and you can get rid of them by exploring the content through dream interpretation.

Frightening dreams are just as important as “regular” dreams in offering valuable self-exploration and discovery. As such they should be treated the same as any other dream.
Explore your bad dream as you would any other dream and try to figure out how it could assist your waking life.

Even though they can bring on sad, angry and intensely frightening feelings they are a healthy way of dealing with issues at night and as such provide an important function.
By focusing on the dream and finding an interpretation, you will likely deal with the issue through this process and stop the dream from happening again.
If you want to learn more about dream interpretation be sure to visit our dream interpretation tutorial.

Learn a quick and easy way to figure out the meaning behind your nightmares so that you can stop having them!

If you would like additional information on nightmares visit www.selfgrowth.com. They have some valuable insights into nightmares and how to handle them.

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