Dreams and Nightmares

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night yelling, and covered in sweat after having a bad dream. Well the other night I was sleeping in my dorm, and I had a ridiculous dream of a raccoon chasing me around campus, then finally pouncing on me. Immediately, I jumped out of bed and face planted onto the floor while splurging out some bad words. Once I pulled myself up off the floor, I decided to write down the occurrence, so I could retell it to my roommate in the morning. Furthermore, at that current moment I had no idea as to why i had that dream.

falling

*The picture above accurately depicts how I landed when I jumped out the bed.*

That morning when my roommate had awakened, I retold my dream to him and then he began to point out reasons why I had that dream such as the events that happened the day prior.

“Dreams purpose are to resolve unfinished thoughts left over from the day before”, according to a post. Usually one was obstructed when they had a certain thought, which explains why I dreamed of a raccoon since I saw one the previous day.

Some researchers believe that the purpose of dreams are to:

  • Help process/understand new information
  • Prepares one for change
  • Help cope with trauma/loss
  • Consolidate information

Harvard psychiatrist and other sleep researchers believe that their is more to it. Doctor Hobson of Harvard says that REM sleep has a physiological effect rather than just a psychological one.

 

On the flip side we have nightmares. An article discusses that the main reasons for recurring nightmares is because one’s subconscious is trying to assist the individual in ridding a certain problem in their actual daily life. Stress, conflict, fear, trauma, emotional problems, drug use, and illness can be underlying factors.

nightmare

*This article  recommends that one who has persistent nightmares to see a professional about their mental health.

 

18 thoughts on “Dreams and Nightmares

  1. Jonathan Solimano

    I have always wondered why we dream good dreams as opposed to nightmares. I have always been a bad sleeper, and I tend to have very real dreams, which make me wake up very often. I have wondered whether it is the way I sleep, or if it is the snacking that I do before I go to bed. Either way, I love writing about this topic, and am determined to figure out how to stop the bad dreams, so every nigh sleep can be a good one.

  2. Jonathan Solimano

    I have always wondered why we dream good dreams as opposed to nightmares. I have always been a bad sleeper, and I tend to have very real dreams, which make me wake up very often. I have wondered whether it is the way I sleep, or if it is the snacking that I do before I go to bed. Either way, I love writing about this topic, and am determined to figure out how to stop the bad dreams, so every nigh sleep can be a good one.

  3. Mehmet Fevzi Eygoren

    This is a really interesting topic, i did a post on lucid dreaming, it is kind of similar to this. Lucid dreaming is where the individual is sleeping, but realizes that he is dreaming, and basically takes over his dream. He can do whatever he wants to ranging from flying, to having a great night with Kim Kardashian. I also came across the idea that we dream about issues that we have in our lives. Here is more on lucid dreaming
    Lucid Dreaming

  4. Mehmet Fevzi Eygoren

    This is a really interesting topic, i did a post on lucid dreaming, it is kind of similar to this. Lucid dreaming is where the individual is sleeping, but realizes that he is dreaming, and basically takes over his dream. He can do whatever he wants to ranging from flying, to having a great night with Kim Kardashian. I also came across the idea that we dream about issues that we have in our lives. Here is more on lucid dreaming

  5. Mitchell Seth Korzen

    Very cool topic! I myself have always wondered where dreams come from and why certain topics occur. That was also a great idea to write it down as the worst part is not remembering the great dream you had the night before. What are the causes of a pleasant or non pleasant dream? Do they always continue thoughts because a lot of mine seem completely random.

  6. cmd6021

    i really liked your blog because dreams are so fascinating to me! I find it so weird how we have them while we are asleep and it usually how something to do with our sub-conscious thoughts. I find that if i have a big event coming up that I am anxious about I will have dreams about it and usually everyone goes wrong in my dreams. That just shows how being anxious follows you while your asleep and effects your dreams. I also think it is super fascinating how you can having the weirdest dream and it actually mean something is either gonna happen or something you need to deal with emotionally. ( here is the link to a website that analyzes your dreams http://www.mydreamvisions.com/dreamdictionary/analyzer/)

  7. Stephen B Caruso

    I have always wondered about why we nightmares opposed to good dreams. There is always the occasion when you go sleep after watching a scary movie, but other than that i don’t understand it. I have heard, as you said in the post about the dreams somehow trying to relate to your life. However, i have also heard that sometimes it can be the position in which you are sleeping and the temperature in the room. I do not know if any of this is true or just a myth, but it is always something to keep in mind. For example, if you notice the same dream or try occurring, maybe it is due to the position you are constantly sleeping in. I do not have any research to support this but you never know sometimes what causes certain things.

  8. Yu-ting Chien

    Your topic is really cool. I am interested in everything about dreaming. I always dream that people are chasing and killing me and this frightened me. I was trying to figure he reasons for it but I have done that. It’s surprising that “dreams purpose are to resolve unfinished thoughts left over from the day before”. That made me even more interested in figuring out why I have those ridiculous dreams so often. By the way, since you mentioned dreams, I found a post about psychic dreams that come true. It is really interesting, you might want to see that!

  9. Jack Landau

    My mother is a psychologist, and often has to analyze the dreams of patients. I am a firm believer, in congruence with Sigmund Freud, that dreams are subconscious projections. Oftentimes, following a good dream or nightmare, I am able to trace the routes to my subconscious. Sometimes, I have no idea where one dream originated. However, usually I can find a logical route explaining why an action or feeling generated such dreams. After reading an article on dream interpretation, Calvin S. Hall simplified things for me. He described dream analysis as a cognitive process. Within this process, he suggested one must strictly pay attention to whom he interacts with, how it makes you feel, etc. He emphasized specific fields including actions within the dreams, interactions with objects/people, setting, outcome, and reactions. I believe these categories help in order to better explain the emotional relevance of dreaming. Then again, there are always random dreams which shouldn’t be overthought.
    http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/p/dream-interpret.htm

  10. Alexander William Beitel

    I found this post to be interesting as dreams are a topic that I am unfamiliar with. However, I often remember my dreams in a lot of detail but never knew that they served to finish unfinished business from my days. I was always told to make sure to write down my dreams so that I wouldn’t forget them and this has rung true as when I forget to do so, I often don’t remember the dream hours later. One thing that i have always thought is that dreams are connected to experiences of deja vu. Whenever I experience deja vu, I often feel as though it happened in a forgotten dream.

  11. Nicholas Sivak

    Dreams and nightmares are a fascinating concept. They are weird to think about and try to understand. I had one thought come up while reading your blog and it was “what about lucid dreaming”? When someone is self aware that they are indeed in a dream, I wonder what kind of effects or events led to that situation in the mind. If anyone finds any information on this that would be awesome to read. Cool post!

  12. Jessica M Lee

    I was told that dreams/nightmares are usually based off of what you were subconsciously thinking about last. But after reading that they are usually from unresolved issues I feel like that makes more sense because usually my dreams are about something I’m anxious of since the topic is usually from something I don’t know the answer of.

  13. Jennifer Lee Wales

    This is very interesting! It was a good idea to write down your dream because I always forget them after the first 3-5 minutes of being awake. I find dreams so interesting because theres so many different reasons why they occur, as you explained!

  14. azb5768

    Although i havent had a nightmare in a while, i remember getting them more frequently when i was a child. This article made me realize that my subconscious was guilty because maybe i did something bad and didnt tell my mom about it. I would then have a nightmare that night and feel even more guilty about it in the morning. Now i know if i ever have a nightmare this website helps me have less frequent nightmares or prevents me from having them.

  15. Brooke Kaiden

    I was told that every night that everyone has a dream it just matters if they remember it or not. I would say a couple times a week I don’t remember my dream. I typically have nightmares, I don’t know what that means, but if I do I think it is good that I don’t remember my dream. Also one of the problems that I am happy that I don’t have is being an active dreamer. I don’t talk or scream in my sleep and I don’t sleep walk because that could be dangerous. One time is was reading an article of a man who stabbed his wife multiple times and claims that he was sleep walking and didn’t do it consciously. I think that dreams help people with their problems. If they are sad for the day and they dream about winning the lottery then they wake up happy the next day and energized. I also think that it helps people solve their problems in their daily life.

  16. Eric Horowitz

    I do believe that dreams/ nightmares are unresolved issues during the day that people think about. The way people say that they will sleep on the issue and the next day they will know what to do. This happens because they dream about the issue in a relaxed environment overnight. By the next day they know what to do. Overall great post though

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