Why Do We Dream? The Role of Dreams and Nightmares
Runners and other serious fitness enthusiasts tend to spend less time in dreamy REM sleep, which is one of the lightest stages of sleep.
Also, the more effectively you can de-stress during the day, the less likely you’ll be to bring stress and anxiety to bed. That should help cut down on nightmares and interrupted sleep each night.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Nightmares are broadly defined as frightening dreams that result in some degree of awakening from sleep.
Nightmares themselves contribute to disrupted sleep not only by waking the sleeper but also because they can lead to fear of falling asleep and returning to a disturbing dream. According to research, nightmares may contribute to insomnia, daytime fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Night terrors are very intense episodes of fright during dreams. These frightening episodes are often accompanied by screaming or yelling, as well as by physical movement such as leaping out of bed or flailing in panic.
Research suggests that sleep terrors occur during non-REM sleep dreaming, while nightmares tend to happen during REM sleep.
People are compelled to talk about dreams. It is a natural impulse because dreams are emotional, affect moods, feel profound.
What is unusual is that we live in a culture where we’re expected to forget our dreams. We have this cliche that it is boring to talk about dreams.
Keep a dream journal. Get into a habit, set things up the night before to reinforce your goal.
In lucid dreams, you become aware you’re dreaming. You can take control of the plot. They can be anything from a brief moment where you’re in a nightmare and tell yourself: “this is a dream” and wake up.
Nightmares appear to be more common in those who have intense reactions to stress. When our time awake is frightening or remains unpressed, the sleeping brain may produce horrible images to awaken a sleeper.
The more trauma we have in our lives, the more likely we are to experience anxiety and nightmares.
If an action against the threat is irrelevant or impossible - as it would be if the trauma happened long ago - then emotion-coping efforts like dreaming may be useful to get on with our lives.
If the threat will be encountered repeatedly, such as abuse, then waking problem-solving action is necessary.
Nightmares happen later in sleep when dreams are longest, and the content is bizarre and emotional. Nightmares wake the sleeper into full consciousness and clear memory of the dream. It temporarily relieves the negative emotion.
As we develop the skills for managing negative emotions while we are awake, nightmares will reduce in frequency.