What causes nightmares?

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  1. snoblet profile image82
    snobletposted 11 years ago

    What causes nightmares?

    I have been having nightmares which has been ongoing for some time now, and I am just curious what is causing it and if there is a way to fix it.  I do not watch horror movies nor had any bad experience lately.

  2. montecristo profile image75
    montecristoposted 11 years ago

    Going to bed with stress! It is very important to learn how to relax before going to sleep.

  3. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 11 years ago

    Good question. I have always pondered how at night a horse of feminine nature can get things all stirred up. I know, smart a** comment. But, the first part is correct. This is a great question for a hub. Sleep where dream occurs can be either theta or delta.

    I don't remember where recall occurs if that be theta or delta.I think delta is too deep of a sleep to recall and is where psychologically we kinda' unload, sort & file stuff, and refile misfiled stuff. I have hear a rumor that needs verification that when a person doesn't get enough sleep in rem near delta night mare occur, yet I dun'no for sure.

    There is another theory that could be looked into. Seems it takes about 1/4 second for an image to get from the orbital (eye ball) to the occipital lobe. That is where it is interpreted as a fantasy or a dream. So. the question may have a twist being is it a nightmare = dream or nightmare = fantasy.

    Messages if I remember correctly are then sent to the hippocampus (sp) where things get sent this way and that way. Maybe something is interpreted as a fantasy from a car light reflecting on the wall or the TV left on, the occipital lobe says 'fantasy' and the hippocampus learns it while giving it an emotion. Then the parasympathetic nervous system hears the emotion fear because the hippocampus is confused between a dream and a fantasy, which neither are reality,

    Oh, none of that is verified yet, credible who knows, although one thing for sure the hippocampus looks like a seahorsey .  .  .


  4. chef-de-jour profile image96
    chef-de-jourposted 11 years ago

    tsmog has given a most fantastical answer which may or may not be verified in fact but I have voted for it because of the seahorseyiness is provides!

    Nightmares can be induced by events happening in your life be they real and present, real and future, real and past, or imagined. Not all nightmares are negative - some are vividly colourful which may be our subconscious asking for a more creative outlet or some worry we have that has no immediate solution. Try to get any issues out into the open and talk to those around you who are close.
    If the nightmares are truly concerning you then you should try relaxing herb drinks or comforting rituals before you sleep.

    Having said that if you ate the wrong cheese too late into the night then this could also have an effect!! It's true. The wrong sort of food at the wrong time can cause all sorts of bizarre brain activity. So look closely at your diet too.

    Hope you have more peaceful dreams.

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is very informative. I should take my diet into consideration because who knows, it will not only stop the ongoing nightmares but also give me a good night sleep.

  5. Seeker7 profile image81
    Seeker7posted 11 years ago

    Any kind of dream - whether nightmare or not - tends to be the sub-conscious telling us things about our situation in life, our wellbeing and environmental and other factors that surround us. The sub-conscious cannot work with words or speech, therefore it has to use symbolism. For example many years ago when I had severe money problems I would have nightmares about dinosaurs chasing me. Normally within a day or so I would get a nasty letter or phone call from creditors.

    But there can be a number of causes for nightmares - sometimes a combination of factors will lead to them. Firstly is the stress in your life. This can often be stress that we are unaware of during the day, but the sub-concious can bring out these factors in nightmares. Diet, according to some people can also play a part in having nightmares - I can say that if I eat too heavily in the evening then it has resulted in nightmares. Medication is another factor that may cause nightmares - these can be prescribed or over-the-counter. I know that  a friend of mine who was put on anti-depressants had several nights of nightmares - whether this was due to the depression or the medication or both is up for debate I guess. Changes in your life can also lead to nightmares - this is mainly in association with stress mentioned earlier, but the changes needn't be negative ones for nightmares to occur.

    So it's perhaps best to look at your overall lifestyle and environment to see what clues you can pick up, that may be triggering your nightmares. Look at the symbolism your mind is using and try to find some form of link. If you can find a link then do what you can to reduce the trigger for your nightmare. Hope this helps a bit.

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Very well said seeker7. You almost cover all the factors that gives nightmares to people. And I could not agree more with all those factors.

  6. SidKemp profile image86
    SidKempposted 11 years ago

    My own experience for many years is that dreams are messages coming our way. They offer wisdom.

    They are not intrinsically nightmares. Rather, our fear of the message turns them into nightmares.

    When I find I'm having nightmares, I relax gently as I go to sleep, and I say, "I want to receive this wisdom. Please send it to me in a gentle way." I also keep a dream journal, writing down my dreams, thinking about them, and seeing what I can learn each day.

    Over time, nightmares turn into pleasant or exciting dreams with the same theme. For example, I used to have dreams of being in a car crash. Then it slowed down, so I had time to pull over to the side of the road and prevent the accident. Then I dreamed I was riding a tricycle!

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I never tried keeping track of my dreams but it surely is good idea... I will try that one of these days... thanks sidkemp..smile

  7. watergeek profile image93
    watergeekposted 11 years ago

    I look at feelings as clues to all my dreams. Nightmares could be a result of fear, anger, intense resentment, frustration, jealousy, extreme disappointment - any of these. I suggest you define the feelings and the specific part of the dream that was most intense, then look for a match in your daily life.

    My father used to have a recurring nightmare of being up in front his class and forgetting what he was going to teach. I call that performance anxiety. He was always worried about how he was coming across to people and, as he grew older, about still knowing more than most people.

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I been having some anxiety lately and kept thinking about what too but this has been for some time and not just recently yet these nightmare are always recurring as of late.  thanks for the feedback.  going to try to do some serious relaxing.

    2. watergeek profile image93
      watergeekposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There's a book on Amazon by Richard Hittelman that teaches you a program of hatha yoga you can do at home for the rest of your life, if you like. I've been using it off and on for about 30 years. It's helped me relax and tune into myself really well.

  8. Barnsey profile image71
    Barnseyposted 11 years ago

    There are extreme versions of what you are experiencing.When I was a medical transport driver I met a very nice lady who was having terrible with vivid recurring nightmares. She couldnt get any sleep. The medicine so far only made it worse and dangerously so. I explained that as a teen I had this problem and then my older brother introduced me to something that finally freed me...she never went back to that particular doctor thanks to my advice. Can anyone guess what that thing was? It is well known that if you partake before sleeping you are far less likely to recall your dreams. You just sleep right through and all is well with the world.

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      not a clue to what that maybe.  i take vitamins thinks it was a lack of nutrients but same thing.  all doctors tells me are the same and that is to sleep early and dont let anything surprise me but same results no change. still no solutions yet

  9. edhan profile image37
    edhanposted 11 years ago

    Nightmares can be caused by memories of childhood's fear. You may not be watching horror movies but it maybe related to your past childhood or encounters you have forgotten or block out of fear.

    1. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      i been thinking about that but there are nothing that i really remember that drew such fear all i really fear were roaches lol and these nightmares are wierd.  its like everything is all jumbo and spotty but nothing makes sense.

    2. edhan profile image37
      edhanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Nightmare has relation to the past. It can be hard to recall if your brain is blocking it. You can try hypnosis as it might help to know your past.

    3. snoblet profile image82
      snobletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Problem is this started recently, and of recent there wasn't anything out of the ordinary but work, I am starting to wonder if its stress that is bringing up all my fears of the possibility that jobs are low.

    4. edhan profile image37
      edhanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes. Stress is one of the major causes of rooted problem. You may not realize it. Maybe it is time to do meditation to help relax your brain.


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