Every once in a while we end up seeing a horrible dream – we wake up shivering, crying, screaming, and gasping for breath. The horrifying images haunt us, and leave us insecure, terrified, and scared. Falling, drowning, running away from something which is chasing us, seeing frightening objects such as snakes and the scariest of them all, death, are some common nightmares. Don’t worry, you are not affected by some kind of physiological disease – it probably happens to everyone. The question is, why do we see nightmares?
There are a number of physical, as well as physiological factors which trigger nightmares. The most powerful of all the reasons of seeing nightmares is stress, Just like stress affects one physically, it also affects the subconscious. A sense of failure, being chased by the enemy, and being captured are different nightmares which you might see when dealing with stress. Seeing nightmares when dealing with stress is actually stress relieving, so once after waking up from a nightmare (and realizing it was a dream) relax and believe that you have actually been relieved from some part of the stress!
Sleeping in cramped and dark places may cause you to dream of drowning or smothering. If you have gone though a traumatic experience, you might forget it during the daytime, but the trauma may affect your sleep and dreams for a long time.
Here’s a piece of fact for all coffee addicts – Caffeine stimulates nightmares! If you cannot lessen your intake of caffeine, then make sure that the last intake is at least 6 hours before you sleep!
If you take vitamins (particularly vitamin B6) then take it in the morning. B6 increases the chance of seeing nightmares over regular dreams.
One last interesting piece of research which relates a full stomach to nightmares. Eating right before you sleep stimulates the brain such the chance of seeing nightmares increases.
Whatever the reason, there are many ways to deal with nightmares, minimize their occurrence, and sleep peacefully. Sleep in a calm atmosphere. Listen to some relaxing music (try to drown out unwanted noise) when in bed. Try reading a book (no horror books please). Reduce your stress by going through some relaxing exercises. Take a hot bath. Spray aromatherapy scents. Whatever the method, create a relaxing atmosphere – it might make a good difference.
If nothing works, then please consult a doctor. Getting a nightful of peaceful sleep is something everyone needs to keep us going.