The Theory of Recurring Dreams/Nightmares

I am alone in a plain, white room. The room contains multiple doors aligned on each wall of the room. There is nobody, and nothing in this white room except a clock. The timer counts down from 30 seconds, and I need to pick the right door. For 20 seconds I yank at every door except one left that must be the right door; except that it’s across the room from where I am standing. With 10 seconds to spare, I attempt to sprint towards the door, but suddenly I am moving in slow motion and don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I know that one door is an escape, but I can’t seem to get there because I am unable to move anymore. I continue to struggle in slow motion until one second is left, then I wake up to the real world. I always wake up confused as to how and why I had a dream with that exact scenario multiple times before. I looked up the ideas behind recurring dreams to investigate.Image result for choosing a door

Psychology Today claims that the idealistic theory behind recurring dreams is that the dreamer must have some unfinished business, whether it be current (or past) conflicts or perhaps loads of stress. This is of course related to recurring nightmares. An article from The Huffington Post provides an example of how a past conflict could impact recurring dreams: a PTSD suffering veteran could have nightmares from war in the past. Recurring dreams are rather interesting as they can show impact from the past and present. The feeling of being stressed is not a crazy theory behind this, as I can recall having the recurring dream (more like nightmare) before when I was under a fairly stressful time. However, when the dreamer is not feeling stressed or does not have a current issue to solve, the dream/nightmare could not come again until the dreamer starts to re-experience stress or conflict.

I now know that if I wake up with that nightmare again, I need to evaluate how I am feeling and make sure to take care of myself; because this recurring dream I have is a form of my unconscious mind telling me that I am stressed or need to fix whatever is unresolved in my life.

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4 thoughts on “The Theory of Recurring Dreams/Nightmares

  1. Amira A. Oloufa

    I always have this one dream where I am going to the airport and I get on a flight but somehow I always get on the wrong plane and there is something wrong with the flight and I never reach my desired destination. These dreams usually happen before I go on a trip somewhere, so I guess its the stress of the trip manifesting in a dream.

  2. Angela Maria Napolitano

    Hey! I’ve also been really interested in the concept of dreams and whether they hold any actual meaning or not. Have you ever been to any websites that tell you what an element of your dream might mean. I actually went on this one a few times when I was younger and had just found out about it. It’s mostly just for fun but it’s still pretty interesting.

  3. Mark Paterra

    In high school I wrote a paper on the idea of Lucid Dreaming and it was similar to this article. It is a very interesting topic and it allows you to explore truly why people dream and how to consciously effect those dreams. Through lucid dreaming one is able to control their dreams which adds an interesting element to this idea of recurring dreams.

    1. Naseem Memari Post author

      Hi Mark,
      I agree because I never thought that a person could actually control their dreams, as I only thought dreaming came from the unconscious mind. I am still actually trying to figure out why I have had that recurring dream the last time I had it!

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