How many times have you woken up and been distressed by a nightmare? Most people experience disturbing dreams throughout their lives , which can even provoke fear with physical symptoms such as sweating or shaking. But do they really have a meaning? How can they be interpreted?
We may even feel that the dream has been so real that it generates anxiety or nervousness and that it prevents us from falling asleep again. Having nightmares from time to time can be a response from our subconscious if we are suffering from episodes of stress or if we have a problem.
Likewise, having a disease, consuming certain medications or maintaining poor sleep hygiene are also risk factors for nightmares. The Nighmares study , led by Sleep Medicine specialist James F. Pagel and published in American Family Physician, showed that if they become recurrent they could be a symptom of a psychological disorder.
Dreaming that they are chasing you
However, there are many dreams that are similar for a great majority of people, beyond their own internal conflicts or associated risk factors. One of the most common is to dream that you are being chased and it can have several meanings.
It is a clear sign that we are going through a difficult or stressful time in our life, although it can also indicate that we are trying to avoid a problem. As the specialists in the journal Psychology and Mind point out , one of the main causes of these dreams is “the fear of facing something.”
Fall into the void and wake up abruptly
How many times have you had the sensation of falling into the void during a dream and waking up with a start? This nightmare is very common and may be another sign. In this case, ” from fear of losing control over some life situation,” they add.
“We woke up with a bad feeling in the body, as if the fall had been real and we abruptly opened our eyes at the moment when we should have hit the ground, ” they detail.
A nightmare with the death of a loved one
This is another very recurring dream that all it does is reflect some of your deepest fears . In this case, you are afraid of facing loneliness. If you dream of someone who has already died, the explanation is simple: you miss them.
What if you dream of your own death? This may be related to some aspect of your life that is about to end, such as a relationship or a job.
These types of nightmares can indicate a feeling of losing control, indecision or thinking that we have made a mistake about something. We can also dream that we miss an important event, such as a wedding or a work meeting, which can mean the fear of not meeting expectations.
Another frequent dream in many people is the feeling of drowning, especially in water, or that we cannot escape from somewhere. “It is normal for it to appear in stages of life in which we are especially anxious in which we do not see a way out of the tunnel in the short term,” they point out.