What are nightmare dreams about?
This symbol is identified by words like nightmare.
Nightmares in dreams is a common dream symbol, occuring in about 7.8% of dreams. That's about 1 out of every 15 dreams.
What are the major highlights of nightmare dreams?
Nightmares is a normal dream symbol. Having nightmares in a dream changes the dream in the same way as most other dream symbols.
Nightmare dreams are scary
Dreams containing nightmares are more related to fear than 90% of all other dream symbols. Of course each dream is unique and this does not mean that all dreams of nightmares are about fear. It simply means that if you dream of nightmares, this dream has a great chance of being scarier than most other dream symbols. Other symbols that are like this include emaciation, suffering, venom, escaping, body parts, chemical weapons, deluges, pressing buttons, cursing, and waking.
What symbols more present in dreams of nightmares?
Nightmare dreams are notable because they have substantially more torturing, orange eyes, recurring nightmares, white eyes, horrors, fear, screaming, trying to scream, foreshadowing, cannibals, paralysis, sleep paralysis, yelling, Kuwait, cold sweats, bones, monster, glowing eyes, waking, deformation, quicksand, possessing, opened my eyes, demons, verbs, red eyes, couldn't open eyes, dolls, yellow eyes, suffering, serial killers, blood, castration, noises, decapitation, shadows, strangling, sleeping, creatures, abusing, losing an eye, ovaries, Serbia, helplessness, movement, panic, infesting, vomiting, black eyes, tasers, things, maggots, suffocation, knives, clowns, dissecting, emotions, shaking, dead ends, and raping than 95% of other dream symbols.
What symbols less present in dreams of nightmares?
Nightmare dreams are notable because they have substantially less relationship events, time travel, crushes, pregnancy tests, amazed, west, love, falling in love, kissing, Ireland, romantic partners, presidents, sex, spaceships, carrots, sadness, joy, old friends, gold, eagles, butterflies, shopping, thrones, dating, weddings, boyfriends, heroes, praising, sexuals acts, turkeys, diamonds, large gatherings, flirting, jealousy, the future, friends, rockets, dragons, warriors, mountains, stores, giving birth, precognitive dreams, heaven, and money than 95% of other dream symbols.
How does the dream symbol of nightmares affect the different aspects of a dream?
Explore different elements related to dreams of nightmares
Who is in nightmares dreams?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are less related to characters in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are more related to fantastic beings than dreams in general. They are less related to animals, less related to different roles, and less related to distant people.
What are the emotions in nightmares dreams?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are more related to emotions in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are much more related to fear and more related to pain than dreams in general. They are less related to happiness, less related to sadness, and less related to embarrassment.
Grief and sorrow
Who is in nightmares dreams?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are less related to places in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are less related to work, much less related to human places, and less related to transportation.
What happens in nightmares dreams?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are much more related to events in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are less related to friendly interactions, less related to sex, and less related to disasters.
How do nightmares in dreams related to other dream phenomenon?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are much more related to dream events in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are much more related to sleep paralysis and much more related to sleeping than dreams in general. They are less related to nightmares and less related to waking life.
How do nightmares in dreams related the senses?
Overall, dreams with nightmares are aren't really related to senses in dreams. Specifically, dreams of nightmares are more related to hearing than dreams in general. They are less related to smelling, less related to taste, and less related to vision.
How can you make sense of nightmares in dreams?
Nightmare dreams are common. Among other things nightmare dreams are normally interconnect and scary.
Do you think this is true for your dream of nightmares? How might your dream of nightmares be different?
All dreams have meaning
You can gain insight from thinking about any dream, no matter how strange. Only you, as the dreamer, have final say on what your dream may or may not mean. Each dream is unique.
Look for the differences
The DreamWell dictionary provides information on how each dream symbol appears in dreams in general. Finding how experience nightmares in dreams can be a key to understanding its meaning.
Return to the feelings
Our emotions in dreams can help us understand its meaning. Pay attention to how you felt in the dream. Pay attention to how you feel about nightmares in dreams. See how you feel about nightmares now, in your waking life.
What are possible meanings for dreams of nightmares?
A nightmare can be a big flashing sign that warns, “Something’s wrong!” A situation has gone on too long. Stress levels are too high. Something about you or your life needs to change, pronto.
Think of a nightmare as shock therapy, an attempt to break a pattern or get your attention after gentler methods fail. Dreams usually try to get through to you in what you might call a normal speaking voice, and they crank up the volume if you don’t get the message. It’s like shock therapy, a last resort.
Dreams tend to focus on unprocessed emotions. You haven’t worked them through your system, so your dreams take up the slack. If you want to lessen the odds of having nightmares, process your emotions consciously. Don’t give your nightmares fuel for the fire.
Fear is the number-one emotion behind nightmares, and some fears are more obvious than others. For example, if you fear spiders and dream about them crawling all over you, the dream could be a way of amplifying or confronting the fear. And if you successfully confront a fear in a dream, you’re likely to reroute your brain’s neural pathways away from that fear, creating a lasting change. Or if you fear heights you might find yourself dreaming about being stuck on top of a skyscraper, and your choice is to overcome the fear or succumb to it.
Don’t worry. If you fail the first time, you’ll be put back in the scenario again, and again, and again—as many times as necessary till you get it right.
It’s very important to understand that the imagery in your nightmares is not to be taken literally. It’s symbolism. It’s telling a story. For example, see: Incest. Incest, the ultimate taboo, is symbolism in a dream. If you take it literally you’ll end up judging yourself for it and completely miss the point.
Nightmares come in three general varieties.
1. Trauma. You can also call them “shock to the system” nightmares stemming from sudden, dramatic, and traumatic events. You find out your spouse is cheating. A layoff is coming at work. Someone close to you dies, and the death provokes a nightmare. Trauma nightmares tend to be meaningful but often there isn’t much that can be learned from them or changed as a result. These nightmares reflect the events that spark them—events that are probably beyond your control—and act as a release valve. Your best bet to avoid this sort of nightmare is to consciously process your thoughts and emotions after a shocking or traumatic event. If you have been through trauma, for example because of fighting in combat or abusive parents, then you will dream about it, and it will hurt. It might seem cruel to relive traumas in dreams, but if you believe what Carl Jung said, all dreams—nightmares included—are for your benefit. In a moment we’ll discuss why.
2. Abuse. Chronic stress. Some sort of addiction or compulsion. Self-abuse. A prolonged situation that’s harming you, or something untenable. Abuse nightmares are most likely to be potentially beneficial, because they’re often brought on by something that can be changed or addressed. For example, you are aware that a work or home situation is stressful, but it takes a nightmare for you to realize how much of a toll it’s taking. You can change the situation or take steps to alleviate stress. Or you know you have been ignoring the warning signs that your health is deteriorating, but it takes a nightmare about dying to spur you to action.
3. Illness. Fever dreams and “something I ate” nightmares are brought on by indigestion and certain medications. Spicy foods and heavy dairy products are known to produce nightmares, especially if eaten just before bed. Also, SSRI and other psychoactive drugs are known to cause them. Withdrawal from the drug Cymbalta even has the term “Cymbalta nightmares” associated with it, noted for extreme gore and violence. Often, there isn’t a deeply personal message or meaning. The body reacts to something inside it, and dreams translate it into scary imagery. Or in the case of withdrawal, the body reacts to something taken from it.
Nightmares help you by putting psychological distance between you and the event, trauma, or situation. Once the dream is finished it is “in the past,” behind you. It creates a mental cushion.
A nightmare provides emotional release. Think of it as a safety valve for pressure. If you don’t dream about the trauma and let the emotions out, the pressure building inside you might erupt.
Nightmares give you ways of viewing situations in your life as stories and working with the imagery to find resolution. Dreams function at a neurological level to reroute neural pathways, called “neuroplasticity,” a process of reorganizing and rerouting the brain. See: Letters
For example, let’s say you were a soldier and are haunted by the blood on your hands. No matter how you justify it, it’s just wrong, and your conscience won’t let up. You can’t change what happened, but dreaming can give you some distance from it. It can give insights. It can help you reprocess the experiences in a way that heals the trauma.
You can work with the imagery consciously as a sort of therapy. It’s amazing what apologizing to a dream character and resolving to learn from your mistakes can do. And you don’t have to be dreaming to do it. A heartfelt daydream can do the trick, or try dream rescripting and active imagination technique.
In some nightmares, what makes them so frightening is obvious—the serial killer pursuing you; the tidal wave enveloping you; the evil presence haunting you—but sometimes your reactions stand out. When you react powerfully to imagery in a dream, it’s because you subconsciously know what it symbolizes.
For example, you dream about going into the basement of an abandoned home and seeing a young child. It floats in the air and its head spins around like in the movie The Exorcist. For some people, such imagery might be disconcerting or frightening but not terrifying. They wouldn’t necessarily describe it as nightmarish because what it represents to them is not at that level. Hell, they might even think it’s funny.
But for other people, such a scene is no laughing matter. It might induce panic and cause them to wake up screaming. Why? Because they recognize something about themselves in that child, such as repressed memories from childhood causing current emotional problems. To them the child symbolizes something they have been avoiding at all costs, while to someone who reacts more mildly the child might symbolize that he or she acted childishly the previous day—not exactly nightmare material.
Which brings up a point that everything in a nightmare is a projection of something about you and your life, except on occasion when it’s a direct representation of a nightmarish experience.
Nightmares are easy to confuse with sleep paralysis. See: Sleep paralysis
Chronic nightmares can be caused by airflow obstruction while sleeping, such as from snoring or sleep apnea. It causes your body to send panic signals to the brain—Help, I need to breathe!—which the brain then translates to scary, even life-threatening imagery and scenarios. Oftentimes, the dreams have themes or imagery related to lack of air, or to ventilation. For example, a man dreams recurrently about being stuck upside down in a chimney. He has sleep apnea, and the chimney symbolizes his airway. To help determine if your nightmares have a physical cause, you can ask your sleeping partner to monitor your sleep, or use a voice-activated recorder to record the sounds you make while asleep. A popular phone app, Sleep Talk Recorder, turns your phone into a voice-activated recorder.
And finally, chronic nightmares can be caused by REM deprivation. It’s a serious problem in this age of twenty-four-hour schedules, night work and the constant distraction caused by electronics, especially phones. Search online and check whether the symptoms of REM deprivation, which include drastic mood swings and inability to focus, match what you are experiencing. A hallmark of REM deprivation is dreaming about being fatigued or sleepy.
See also: Attacking, Creatures, Dream within a dream, Emotions, Enemies, Evil, Fear, Fighting, Hell, Monster, Panic, Sleeping, Sleep paralysis
This interpretation is from ""The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Signs, and Meanings" and is provided by J.M. DeBord aka "RadOwl". He is the author of several acclaimed books about dreaming, the host of The Dreams That Shape Us podcast, and is a moderator of r/Dreams, one of the largest dream sharing communities on the internet.
Examples of dreams of nightmares
Read some real dream reports of nightmare dreams.. These real life dream reports come from the moderated dream sharing communities of Reddit including r/Dreams, r/Nightmares, r/DreamInterpretation, or r/thisdreamihad. Please note that some of these may contain graphic, sexual, or violent images and text. Use the source link for each dream to view and join the discussion of each one.
I'm Dr. Scott Sparrow, author of the first book on lucid dreaming published in North America (1976), dream-oriented psychotherapist, and developer of the FiveStar Method of dream analysis, which is...
Find me at…
[www.dreamstarinstitute.com](http://www.dreamstarinstitute.com/). DreamStar Institute, where I have posted my writings and videos on dream theory, lucid dreaming and dream analysis, and where I have a program of study hosted on a separate Moodle partition, leading to certification.
[www.onlinecounselinggroups.net](http://www.onlinecounselinggroups.net/), DreamStar Free Online Counseling, where you can receive individual dreamwork-assisted therapy, or join an online dream sharing group, run by graduate students I supervise. (Free, but donation appreciated)
[www.drscottsparrow.com](http://www.drscottsparrow.com/), Gregory Scott Sparrow, EdD, LPC-S, LMFT, my private practice website, telehealth via Zoom.
Find me at…
[www.dreamstarinstitute.com](http://www.dreamstarinstitute.com/). DreamStar Institute, where I have posted my writings and videos on dream theory,...
Source | Show dream
Dreamt I had a daughter - I'm 27, male and single.
I don't remember the first part of the dream only what it led up to, where I'm being introduced to a daughter I never knew I had for the first time, if I had to guess she's something in between 6 to 10 years old, not sure.
in the dream, I kneel in front her, tell her I'm her Dad and she doesn't say anything but gives me a big hug, I then burst into tears.
I woke up pretty much then, feeling an immense sense of loss, it feels like I was given something wonderful and then had it taken away.
Anyone else have anything like this? I feel like I'd rather have had a nightmare than something that leaves me feeling depressed.
I don't remember the first part of the dream only what it led up to, where I'm being introduced to a daughter I never knew I had for the first time, if I had to...
Source | Show dream
My girlfriend is dreaming but awake at the same time???
I’m pretty scared right now as I write this. I was up late studying just now until about 3am. My girlfriends been asleep since around 1. Shortly after I get in bed, she’s breathing fast, crying a bit, and murmuring words, all while she’s asleep. I figure she’s having a nightmare and I try to wake her up but I can’t. She eventually stops.
A little whole after that, she sits up straight and looks around, but her eyes are closed. Then her eyes open and she keeps talking about ‘it’ and how it’s gonna come back for her. It already cut out her stomach and she can’t escape a second time. She looks at the coats hanging on the door and says, “there it is you need to run.” I try to comfort her and she falls back asleep.
Then she sits up again and sits at the edge of the bed. Her eyes are actually open and she’s speaking normally, albeit a little tired. She says she’s going home because it’s gonna come get her again. I get her to come back to bed and try to have her use her phone to try and wake her back up fully. She’s on Instagram and starts typing that it’s coming back for her and then she falls back asleep.
Just ten minutes ago she woke back up and starts playing with my face. She seems normal this time. She’s talking energetically, her eyes are wide open, she’s laughing, etc. Then I try and check if she really is fully awake. I ask her, “what year is it?” And she responds “2017.” I say, “it’s 2019,” and she gives me this really dead creepy stare, then looks towards the coats hanging on the door and says, “it says you’re lying.” After that I just didn’t ask anymore questions. I just let her do whatever she wants because I’m scared to ask right now. I’ll wait until the morning to ask about wtf is going on. Honestly reading this it sounds like a story that should be on r/nosleep but honest to God this just happened and I am shook.
Is this a thing? Where people are awake but dreaming at the same time? The last part really scared me because she seemed so awake and alert
I’m pretty scared right now as I write this. I was up late studying just now until about 3am. My girlfriends been asleep since around 1. Shortly after I get in...
Source | Show dream
the most crazy nightmare i have ever had
so this morning i had a dream in which the moment i opened my eyes there was a demon standing on the left side of my bed . i thought i had woken up from the dream but it was just a false awakening. i wasn't scared but i couldn't move my body just like sleep paralysis but it was a dream. for some reason i still remember it clearly happening and i know it was a dream but still couldn't become fully lucid . i asked the demon why can't i move my body but he didn't utter a word. i just prayed to god and believed in myself that i can move my body and guess what i was able to rise up from my bed. i just went to a room nearby and the demon followed me. he said to me that he knows what i am thinking right now so i challenged him to read my mind and the next moment itself he started saying all the things that i was thinking at that time. i then just realised that this can't be real and when i was just about to become lucid the alarm woke me up.
so this morning i had a dream in which the moment i opened my eyes there was a demon standing on the left side of my bed . i thought i had woken up from the...
Source | Show dream
I can turn any nightmare into a sexual dream
I was just wondering how this is possible due to the fact I’ve never had a lucid dream. If I see like a scary creature or anything that is a humanoid or if it’s living I can make the dream a sex dream. For example last night I had a dream that I woke up from a dream and there was a weird woman standing at my door and I felt terrified, it’s like my mind that was awake forced me to fo up to her and kiss her and ask her to have intercourse with me. Obviously this wouldn’t work in the real world due to obvious reasons, but I was wondering how this was possible if I’m not lucid dreaming? I haven’t had a real nightmare since I realized I could do this.
I was just wondering how this is possible due to the fact I’ve never had a lucid dream. If I see like a scary creature or anything that is a humanoid or if it’s...
Source | Show dream
Explore your own dreams
Download the free DreamWell app to start journalling your dreams.