By thinking about what each dream element means to you or reminds you of, by looking for parallels between these associations and what is happening in your waking life, and by being patient and persistent, you can learn to understand your dreams.
Nightmares are very common among children and fairly common among adults. Stress, traumatic experiences, emotional difficulties, drugs, medication, or illness often cause nightmares. However, some people have frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. Recent studies suggest that these people tend to be more open, sensitive, trusting, and emotional than average.
Recurrent dreams or nightmares, that can continue for years, may be treated as any other dream. That is, one may look for parallels between the dream and the thoughts, feelings, behavior, and motives of the dreamer. Understanding the meaning of the recurrent dream sometimes can help the dreamer resolve an issue that he or she has been struggling with for years.
Some people experience extreme feelings of fear in their sleep. As opposed to nightmares, which happen during REM sleep, night terrors or ‘incubus attacks’ occur during stage four of sleep. Unlike nightmares, which we often remember as movie-like dreams, those who suffer from night terrors can rarely explain what they were dreaming of, other than that they experienced an extreme sense of fear.
However, when they do remember, spiders, snakes, animals, people, paralysis, or an evil presence in the room are often featured.
Some sufferers continue to hallucinate when they wake, which can cause some to become violent, either as a response to their dreams, or in an attempt to run away. The cause of night terrors is thought to be increased brain activity, or a chemical reaction that makes the brain ‘misfire’. For many, medical treatment is necessary to help them cope.
Note that in children any night terrors tend to dissipate over time with most children no longer experiencing by the time they reach their preteens.
For more on nightmares you might want to consult the following link:
Another link that looks at nightmares is a March 15, 2017 posting on this blog:
If interested in exploring this further go to this blog’s “search” box (to be found at the bottom of any posting page after clicking on the title of any posting) and type in “Nightmares” and several posts dealing with dark dreams will come up.