:scared: We’ve all had them. We all know that they are dreams with very negative, scary, emotional effects. If you ask “What Are Dreams?”, read the “What are dreams” article in the knowledge base. In this article, i’ll give you the lowdown on what nightmares are, the history, and how to get rid of these baddest of dreams. :hide:

Causes of nightmares

Nightmares are very negative dreams filled with unpleasant emotions (as said above)Nightmares can be caused by illnesses and high fevers, or psychological trauma and distress deep down and in your subconscious. For example: A young boy goes on a hiking trip with his family. The boy wonders to a nearby ledge. Not knowing that the cliff is there, the boy goes and trips. He falls and dangles on the side of the cliff. His hands become weak and is overwhelmed with fear. While he’s hanging for his life, his father runs and rescues him. But the trauma has been done and later in his life, he may experience nightmares of this situation. Also bad diet may be a cause (see in history of dreams below.)

Some people believe that nightmares are caused by deeply repressed feelings. These feelings may be looking for an escape route. They then show up as nightmares to get your attention. Nightmares may also be a way to relieve stresses of the day. Another thing that may cause nightmares is watching scary movies or reading scary books, especially before you go to bed. Also, some medications are believed to cause nightmares.

History of nightmares

The term nightmare was used to describe what we now call sleep paralysis. One of the signs of sleep paralysis is a heavy weight on your breast or stomach which they believed was the work of demons or incubi(a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them) sitting on the stomach of their victims. The mythology of the Sea Island people of Newfoundland, South Carolina,and Georgia describe the nightmare as a Hag that leaves her physical body at night to sit on the stomachs of victims. Then the victim would awaken and have all the symptoms of what we call sleep paralysis.

Other theories of nightmares include that they were caused by various forms of magic and spiritual possession(being possessed) . In nineteenth century Europe, nightmares were believed to be caused by bad diet choices. For example, in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge describes the ghost he sees to “… an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato…”

The Household Cyclopedia (1881) offers the following advice about nightmares:
“Great attention is to be paid to regularity and choice of diet. Intemperance of every kind is hurtful, but nothing is more productive of this disease than drinking bad wine. Of eatables those which are most prejudicial are all fat and greasy meats and pastry… Moderate exercise contributes in a superior degree to promote the digestion of food and prevent flatulence; those, however, who are necessarily confined to a sedentary occupation, should particularly avoid applying themselves to study or bodily labor immediately after eating… Going to bed before the usual hour is a frequent cause of night-mare, as it either occasions the patient to sleep too long or to lie long awake in the night. Passing a whole night or part of a night without rest likewise gives birth to the disease, as it occasions the patient, on the succeeding night, to sleep too soundly. Indulging in sleep too late in the morning, is an almost certain method to bring on the paroxysm, and the more frequently it returns, the greater strength it acquires; the propensity to sleep at this time is almost irresistible.”

Did You Know?

Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein after having some sort of bad dream or nightmare?
“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli was influenced by theories of nightmares at the time?

How to Deal with Nightmares

If you have repeating nightmares, there are things you can do about them. Simple things like, having a night light, stuffed animals, keep the door open while we sleep, have someone in the same room , and other simple things to make you feel comfortable. But we’re better than that :yes: . We are LUCID DREAMERS :good: ! We can deal with these bad dreams by countering with our Lucid dreaming skills :thumbs: . Here’s how:

The first step is to become lucid by using MILD,WILD, WBTB, or you can use whatever technique you want to. If you don’t know how to become go to some of the links below or explore this site. Once you’re lucid, all you should do is CONFRONT the tormentor or tormenting situation. Call upon the tormentor or specific situation. Now counter them with something pleasant. For example: Say we use the first nightmare example in this page. You’re hanging from the cliff. Now FLY! PULL YOURSELF up! Counteract with positive changes! Know that these are dreams and you can’t be hurt. If your being tormented by a monster, give it a hug, talk to it, accept it as a part of you. CONFRONT THEM. You nightmares should then lessen greatly or even halt immediately. :yay:

Now you should understand what nightmares are and know how to deal with them. I hope that I helped you somehow and gave you a better understanding of Nightmares. Thank you for reading and I’ll catch ya later.

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