EVERYONE has dreams and the occasional nightmare, but many people wonder if there is a deeper meaning behind these strange experiences.
However, many popular nightmares have a logical explanation, and they can even be prevented if they interfere with daily life, experts say.
Alan Eiser, Psychologist and Clinical Lecturer, said the Washington Post that dreams have the potential to be “highly meaningful.”
Dreams “deal with the kind of personal conflicts and emotional struggles that people experience in their daily lives,” Eiser told the Post.
Conversely, dream researcher Deirdre Barrett said that dreams can be likened to normal thoughts, as many are insignificant and can be “trivial or circular or repetitive”.
Significant or insignificant, the fact remains that dreaming is an integral part of sleep, as is the much less desirable experience of having nightmares.
DEALING WITH NIGHTMARE
According to the Washington Post, nightmares can be triggered by a variety of factors.
“Some medications, including certain antidepressants, can make dreams more vivid, and some underlying conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder, can cause frequent nightmares,” sleep expert David Neubaur told the Post.
For people with frequent nightmares, there are several habits that can improve sleep quality.
Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine consultant Bhanu Kolla said the best-researched behavior-based treatment is repetitive imaging therapy.
This includes trying to rewrite dreams to make the next nightmare more bearable.
“Nightmares become a habit over time,” Kolla told the Post. “It’s something your brain learned. With these images, we try to get him to learn a new habit and get rid of that unwanted habit.”
Deirdre Barrett also said that you can focus on what you want to dream about.
“This has the additional side effect of making falling asleep a slightly more pleasant experience,” she said.
Many people have dreams in which they try to run or scream but cannot.
This makes sense because during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the body’s voluntary skeletal muscles are paralyzed.
Barrett said it’s possible these sensations during this common nightmare are related to the skeletal muscles being paralyzed.
Similarly, many people have had an experience where they are unable to move or even see after waking up from a nightmare.
This is the common phenomenon known as sleep paralysis, and it’s the lingering effects of REM sleep that Barrett explained.
Sleep paralysis can even lead to hallucinations, where people think they are seeing something that was only in a dream.
This comes from sleep analyst Jane Teresa Anderson, who sat down with The Sun to discuss the ten most common nightmares and what they mean.
And this expert reveals a sleep-related action that can prevent major problems that arise later in life.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/18023525/what-nightmares-tell-you-about-your-life/ I’m a sleep expert – what nightmares reveal about your life and the top tricks to stop them