Sweet Dreams (and Nightmares)

Monday, July 29, 2013

I am a very vivid dreamer. I have long, epic, masterpiece dreams.  I still remember dreams I had as a kid.  I remember them vividly, and in detail.

However, I also have nightmares.  Nightmares were something I thought would stop as I got older, or at least get less intense, though I am finding the older I get, the more vividly I dream, which is awesome when it is a fun dream, and terrifying when it is a nightmare. My nightmares have changed, I no longer dream about being chased by bears, or having to drive a car when I was only 5 and didn't know how a car worked...  I feel like my dreams and nightmares are much more nonsensical now.



In general, I have a pretty strange sleep pattern. As a teenager, I remember going through bouts of not being able to sleep.  I wouldn't call it insomnia, as I would sleep, but normally for just a few hours at a time, then wake up again for an hour or so, then go back to sleep.  I now go back and forth between periods of sleeping well for 8 hours, to periods of sleeping like this:
9pm - sleep on the couch for an hour.
10pm: Go upstairs to bed, and toss and turn for an hour.
11pm-3am - sleep/dream.
3:15-5am Wake Up, go downstairs, watch documentaries, fall in and out of sleep/dream.
5am: stumble upstairs and sleep.
6:30am: Wake-Up and Start my day.

So, anyway, on Friday night I woke up around 3 and went downstairs and put on some documentary on Ancient Egypt, curled up with Oliver and tried to get back to sleep for a bit. I was having this dream that my parents, my brother, my aunt and uncle, my cousin and her husband and Dan and I all lived in our tiny, 1100 sq ft house.  I was wandering around looking for a place to sleep, and finally settled on the couch.  In my dream, I was still somewhat aware of my surroundings, so my position on the couch, and the lighting played a role in what was happening and what I was seeing, which is interesting and terrifying because it makes the strange events seem very, very real.  I dreamed I was trying to sleep, when I noticed a large dog coming down the stairs.  I figured it was one of my relatives dogs, and called it over to me.  It sat in front of me, and in then hazy blue light of the TV, I tried to make out which dog it was.  I could tell there was something not quite right about the dog. Suddenly, it got up, walked behind me, stood on it's hind legs, and as it hovered over me and I realized it had a human face. This dog was probably 7' tall, standing up on it's hind legs, with a cloth around his waist, and a HUMAN FACE.  This was the most terrifying things in the whole entire world at that moment, though now it sounds comical. So, naturally, I start screaming, but I was still in that paralyzed REM dream state, so my screams came out like weird muffled moans.  So, that was disturbing, and I assume it has something to do with me thinking too much about Anubis before sleeping...



Last night I had another screaming dream.  In this one, I had gotten up to use the bathroom (exciting content, huh?) and while standing at the sink I noticed a ghostly figure slumped in the corner of the room.  It started slowly moving towards me, and as it got close it grabbed my arm. I started screaming "NOOOOOO" but again, was paralyzed by sleep so it came out like "mrph hrmph MHRMPHAMLMMMOOOOO".  I was in bed this time, so Dan was able to gently wake me up and snap me out of it.

I don't believe that dreams serve as any great insight into the future or anything like that.  I feel like they are just a mash-up of bits and pieces of information we have picked up throughout the days and weeks, and our brain assembling it in some mangled-up way. While my nightmares are scary, and my dreams (good or bad) disrupt my sleep, I am kind of glad I have them.  They are interesting to reflect upon, and try to make sense of.  Some of them also make hilarious stories.

So... any other adults out there still have nightmares?

20 comments:

  1. I don't remember dreams too much but I've recently read that a two-part sleep schedule is now considered quite common and normal. I tend to sleep 4 hours, be awake for half an hour, then sleep for 3 more hours. Knowing it's normal allows me to just wander around and peer out windows to check on the weather and the neighborhood for a few minutes then snuggle right back up and go to sleep without stressing about my "insomnia."

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  2. YUP! Add me to the list of adults who still have nightmares. They generally come in two forms

    1. Where I try to run/scream ect and can't
    2. Dinosaurs (thanks Jurassic park!)

    Last night I had a dream where I kept waking up and trying to call out/leave the room to get to my hubby (who generally falls asleep on the lounge). Every time I would get close to the door I would "wake up" and the dream would repeat all over again. I think it was about five times before I realised I was actually awake and out of the bedroom and begged hubby to come lie down with me so I didn't have to keep having to try to wake up to go see him.

    But usually it's dinosaurs. Until Jurassic park my brain could not comprehend dinosaurs and people in the same dream...now it's all I seem to dream/have nightmares about. And yet I never dream about things I am really scared about - sharks and snakes.

    Dreams are weird.

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    1. haha... dinosaurs, eh? Well, they are pretty insanely scary when you think about it. Now I want to watch Jurassic Park!

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  3. Have you tried lucid dreaming? it might help with the nightmares and make the good dreams more fun.

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    1. I think I sometimes lucid dream just naturally - like I am aware I am dreaming and aware of my surroundings, but continue dreaming. I have not been able to do this intentionally though. Would be interesting to try!

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  4. How strange and terrifying! I tend not to have nightmares (though my boyfriend has awful, awful nightmares), but my dreams are very strange and usually are a mash-up of things I've seen or thought about during the day. I will say, the handful of times I've looked them up, I'm shocked at how accurate they are.

    (Once I had a dream that I was on a news crew and we were being chased by the bad guys who were trying to stop us from reporting a story on them. Every time we'd pause to catch our breath, I'd whip out my sewing machine because I ALSO had to finish my outfit so I could be on air. The scenario was almost directly lifted from a tv show and I was trying to finish a dress, but then I looked it up and it said, "i'm attempting to activate change that will allow for easier expression of my capabilities. i have a desire to be free, to grow, and to create a new image/attitude esp regarding how i make a living. i'm trying to express myself and i'm struggling." which sounds vague, but was spot on at the time.)

    If your nightmares are recurring (my bf dreams almost every week that a bomb goes off over the city and he just watches it until it reaches our apartment), there's supposed to be a meditation trick that helps. You go into a deep calm, bring up the dream, and then take control and change the ending. It's supposed to be very helpful, but as my dreams are so random, I haven't tried it. I just stick with my random, thriller dreams.

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    1. hahahaaa!! That dream is hilarious!! I can just picture it.

      I find my dreams are pretty random, no thread that draws them together, other than being very, very real.

      I used to work at a HUGE H&M and I would have dreams where I'd be holding a garment out in front of me, and I'd have to search for where it went. That was the only reoccurring dream I had! And it went away as soon as I quit lol :)

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  5. I totally have nightmares! When I was a kid, I used to have night terrors (I would sleepwalk and everything, and wake up crying). It would always be the same dream, which I still cannot describe with words--I should learn to draw. Every couple of years, I'll still have that dream. Although, thankfully, I've stopped sleepwalking!

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    1. oooo... that is interesting. Night terrors can be quite severe! I've watched a few documentaries on that. I have been afraid of sleepwalking.

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  6. Gosh good to know I'm not alone with all the dreaming! I tend to dream on a Hollywood epic scale - one dream will feature a cast from my family, all my previous schools, jobs, countries I've lived in, unicorns and Sherlock Holmes! (No idea why Sherlock Holmes keeps cropping up!). Both my husband and I frequently have nightmares, so there's always one of us waking up with a muffled scream! Even our dog barks, growls and yaps EVERY night in his sleep. It makes for a lively household at night time lol.

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    1. haha! Must be a noisy place at night :)
      My dog is a noisy dreamer too. I think he dreams about chasing the ball and barking at the mail man.

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  7. You are describing my daughter! She is just like you.

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  8. I have both insomnia and nightmares quite frequently. About 2-3 times a month (almost once a week) sometimes more, I have nights where I cannot sleep. I toss, I turn, I try reading myself to sleep, try watching TV to put me to sleep, tea, warm milk... all of it. No dice. I just simply cannot fall asleep. It's the worst when it happens two days in a row.

    My nightmares frequently revolve around loosing all my teeth or hair in various situations involving friends, family, characters from TV shows.... it's bizarre. And freaky. I also have a reoccurring dream that I've had since I was an early teen where I'm trekking through the jungle--it's usually in black and white like an old movie--and in the foreground I can see snakes crawling through skulls. It's so weird!

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    1. ohhh loosing teeth dreams are terrifying! As are anything involving snakes!! :)

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  9. I am 33 and still have periods of nightmares that sound like the ones you are describing. I even wake up trying to scream, but really just moaning and freaking out my husband. Nice to know there are other people that experience that.

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    1. Haha, yes I feel better knowing I'm not alone! When my husband and I were first dating, we went on a trip to San Francisco... i had a nightmare so bad that first night I let out the longest, blood-curdling-ist scream, that echoed through the halls of the Hilton where we were staying. I was mortified, but Dan's reaction was priceless. Knew he was a keeper :)
      My screams tend to be on the quieter side now lol.

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  10. For me the nightmares don't stop till I pray.

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  11. I'm sorry you (and the other people who told they were having them) are having nightmares :( In that sense I am lucky since I hardly ever have them. Yeah, sometimes scary things happen but for some reason I don't get very scared. But now and then something simple happens that scares the hell out of me (I consider those the nightmares). What I notice is that the type of dreams come and go in periods. One period the dreams are connected to the things that happen during daytime, and another period it's like I'm leading a different life in my dreams. They feel different. During the periods where I hardly dream (or remember the dreams) it's giving me trouble during daily life, like if I didn't get much sleep (even if I did sleep as many hours as during other periods). Thanks for bringing up dreaming, it's an interesting subject :)

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  12. Ahh yes, I also have nightmares sometimes, often they are not really nightmares, but just very stressfull dreams. I had to stop watching game of thrones because of the awfull dreams I used to get afterwards.. Your nightmares sound pretty scary to me..

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  13. My nightmares are always about work. Once When I was working my first job as a cashier I dreamed that There was no one in the store do I decided to fill up a hot tub and get in naked. Then of course there were customers coming into the store and I got all embarrassed and wanted to get out but couldn't find a towel or my clothes. I've gotten better now at recognizing when things seem really bad that it is probably is a dream. I have these nightmares more often when I'm sick.

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