Why do we have scary/creepy dreams...?

After just having a dream that scared the crap out of me last night, i want to know WHY we have them. Why does our mind come up with these scenarios and scare us… I think it made it worse last night because i havnt had a bad dream in over a year… im just curious… i find it hard to believe that all ND’s are random…

any thoughts…?[/i]

Well, I believe it has something to do with reality. Not all situations are good or weird or random, sometimes life can be really scary or deadly. And maybe our SC wants to remind us of that.

I think it’s our SC trying to treat our RL problems or emotions.

There’s a lot of theories. RL problems transferring to dreams, unconscious thoughts trying to manifest themselves, the unconscious mind training you for possible RL scenarios… the list goes on. No one really has the full answer, it’s just another one of those great mysteries of dreaming.

Maybe the possibilities that may cause it (as Rhewin listed) are not separated. Maybe when they reach an specific level, they cause nightmares.

I also believe that the SC does that to notify our conscious mind that it’s afraid of something.

I’m of the belief that nightmares are underlying issues. Understand what the nightmare could represent and work to resolve the issue. I stopped getting nightmares doing just that. :smile:

And dreams as far as my understanding goes aren’t out to get you. They want to show you something. I believe that if we dont get the message or dont do anything about the issue in RL, the dream will increase in intensity to make sure you get the message. Im reading Robert Moss Conscious Dreaming at the moment and he suggests the same thing. Also,he adds a technique called dream re-entry to enter the dream to face the nightmare or to get answers to other unclear messages from dreams. It involves using a drum and to get into a light trance and enter the dreamspace again. I guess you can use other methods of achieving trance as well. When in the dreamspace, you can face the nightmare and ask questions like Why are you here? What are you trying to tell me? This is supposed to transform the nightmare into a source of healing and strength.

cus of wut we fear, think about, worry about, or absorb thru culture or stories that excites adrenaline. cus of symbols wanting to show us something about things too. i hardly ever have them . they are essentially gone from me . however i have lots of unpleasant dreams about things my mind has built up worries over. - well - sometimes!

I think that the explanation could rather simple. I do not believe in the “dreams as messages” idea, although I might leave the possibility that sometimes it is the case. However, if the subconscious wanted you to know something, which is a strange perspective on the subconscious in the first place because it is not separate from you, it could so easily just bring it to the surface and you would know it. There is no need for cryptic messages in dreams, which is a delivery system that is tremendously flawed in that we tend to forget dreams. But I do not think that dreams are random. I think it is simply a stream of consciousness situation, where things are made up on the go. And dreams often go in a “free association” way. One thing leads to another.

Because we have a lot of ideas about what might happen and what ought to happen, based on our experience, we can string together storylines that may take on the appearance of a message, especially if we believe in that sort of thing. It is schemas of experience. So if you have seen many scary movies, you know how scary storylines go, and where to expect what. And once you have associated your way to a scary theme, the fact that it is interesting at all, though in a bad way, means that you focus on that theme. How can you lose interest in a wolf that is chasing you?

REM sleep in itself has been show to produce more dreams of a stressful nature than non-REM sleep. (Yes, you dream during other sleep stages too.) This is supposed to be because the amygdala is more active during REM sleep which makes you more likely to experience fear, and fear makes you expect the worst.

Finnish dream researchers have put forward the theory that the purpose of dreams is rehearsal for life. This explains bad dreams simply as a survival mechanism, because we have had training for different dangerous scenarios during sleep. Why we may dream about monsters and other things that do not exist makes just as much sense, because IF there were monsters, we would do well to be prepared.

With that in mind, perhaps your resolve should not be to trick the dream into a fairytale conclusion, with a layer of sugar on the monsters, but to respond to the threat in a realistic way that leads to your survival in the dream. Verbally confronting an attacking tiger will not do you much good in waking life, so why encode that behaviour into your subconscious?