Dreams and nightmares are no new words to us, but the science behind it is. Why we dream what we dream are things that we are yet to confirm.
What are dreams?
Dreams are basically vivid mental images that our brain creates while we are asleep. Dreams can be interesting, entertaining, frightening and sometimes downright bizarre.
Mostly, we don’t remember even half of what we dream when we wake up and sometimes these dreams can make u feel confused almost the entire day as if you can’t shake the feeling of what you saw. What you dream and why you dream is still under vigorous scientific interpretation.
The science of studying dreams is called oneirology. Did you know that?
What are nightmares or bad dreams?
The most vivid dreams happen in deep, REM(rapid eye movement) sleep when our brain activity is the highest. The REM phase is a unique phase of sleep quite different from normal phases of sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements, low muscle activity and accompanied with vivid dreams.
During this state, the eyes move rapidly(thus the name), but your muscles are paralyzed, which prevents you from carrying around the commands your brain is still giving to the motor cortex while you are in your dreams.
This is when we see bad dreams which are usually haunting and frightening. They are extremely vivid, disturbing and haunting. They bring about uneasiness and anxiety. We tend to remember these dreams if we are awakened during the REM phase.
Why do nightmares occur?
Mostly nightmares don’t have any certain causes and are pretty much voluntary, there can be some bottom-line reasons that could have been the cause of your nightmares.
Late night snacks:
Are you in the habit of stacking up your stomach with late-night cravings? If yes, you are increasing the risk of your nightmares by 50%. Eating causes increased metabolism and brain activity, thus paving the way for nightmares.
Anxiety and stress:
Too much stress in life is actually bad for you and can affect your sleeping cycle. More stress leads to more nightmares, and more nightmares lead to lack of sleep, causing you stress and the cycle goes on and on. What we suggest is to go see a doctor or to a counseling session and maybe change your lifestyle for better sleep.
Drugs and medications:
Drugs that affect the chemicals in your brain, like antidepressants can lead you to have serious nightmares. You may switch to a different drug to see if it has a positive effect on you.
Though there is no specific answer as to why we dream, scientists have claimed that they are a way to manifest our fears and our most scared events.
For example, a person with an everyday fear of accidents might have more often nightmares.
Many have pointed their fingers at past traumas or bad experience. Sensitive people are likely to get more affected by nightmares than normal people because life isn’t just easy for them.
Nightmares like death and murder are the most common. Some people even dream of trapped in places or being left alone. Others have dreamt of falling from a building or getting attacked by someone.
What do your nightmares mean?
All nightmares don’t have meaning but over the years, psychics and scientists have narrowed down the meaning of these 9 nightmares that you may have been seeing. It is believed that nightmares, though spontaneous, are a way of looking deeper into your life and are maybe forewarnings of events in your life. Let’s have a look at top 9 nightmares and their probable meanings.
The most common type of nightmare, it indicates a feeling of anxiety and specifically that fact that you are unable to control some aspect in your life. Give attention to your relations, career and try deciphering what’s wrong.
2) Teeth falling out:
Do you have issues with your body image or do you feel that you are unattractive? Well, nightmares of teeth falling out are signs of insecurities and feelings of being judged by others. What we suggest is, don’t let others ruin your confidence.
3) Being naked:
This might be due to self-image issues or vulnerability issues. Much like teeth falling out, this type of nightmare can be very disturbing to the one having it. Are you pretending too much in real life? Let your guard down for once in your life and accept all the problems you are having.
Often associated with fear, spiders are an indication that you are either manipulating someone or are being manipulated and you definitely need to stop. Much like the real spider webs, you are maybe getting trapped into someone’s nasty spell.
5) Death or contacting the dead:
These nightmares don’t mean you die. It just simply means the end of something in your life and the start of something new.Feeling better? On the other hand, contacting with the dead means that you are not able to let go of something or someone in your life.
Like death, pregnant nightmares doesn’t mean you become pregnant. It means the evolution of some new ideas within yourself and you need to focus on your creative side more.
7) Being late:
Its an indication of not being able to live up to expectations and usually happens to people who push their limits too far. What you need to do is take rest, sit back and stop worrying about living up to expectations.
8) Water or Drowning:
An indication of purification or renewal of life. On the other hand, offering water to others means that you are offering new opportunities to others.
9) Being chased:
Also one of the most common types of nightmares, it means that you are running away or avoiding something in your life. Don’t run, face it.
Can we get rid of nightmares or bad dreams?
Nightmares occur only when we are not in a controlled state of mind. So, it is difficult to control your dreams and nightmares but a healthy and a guilt-free lifestyle may help the situation get ten times better.
- If you are having nightmares due to a particular drug, ask your doctors to prescribe something new.
- If you are having nightmares due to some sleep disorders, treating the disorder might help
- If you are having nightmares due to behavioral conditions like stress, fear or anxiety, try solving the underlying reason for these changes.
- Some other therapies like avoiding tobacco or caffeine might help. Also doing some yoga before sleep can make your sleep a peaceful one.