Wednesday, October 7, 2009

♫ Nightmares 101

“Nightmares are anxiety attacks while dreaming.”

I had a nightmare last night. A bad one. One that gave me tremors, chills, and anxiety. The kind that had me reaching for my phone and going through my list of contacts trying to think of who’d be awake at 3:42am to tell me all is well. My glass of water empty-and I was too terrified to make the short walk to the bathroom to fill it up to make it better. I hate nightmares.

I have a process when I get them though, my mental game, if you will, on how I overcome the attacks on dream-hood. I would assume my parents encouraged most of these habits, though the only one coming directly from them was:

Go get a drink of water, go back to bed, pray about it.

It always worked, except I remember being terrified that something was going to eat me in the kitchen. I was so scared once, I remember waking up in the middle of the night on top of the kitchen counter. I assume I was hiding from the floor monsters after attempting to gulp a glass of water.

Here I am, mid-twenties, still cowering from monsters.

My dream last night:

Somebody attacked the biggest part of my heart by stealing the two things in this world most precious to me. I remember, I was specifically walking out of a gas station after getting them their favorite chocolate milk, and having to watch them drive away with somebody else. I woke up shaking and paralyzed. One of the things I immediately do post-nightmare, is make my own ending. It always helps me come to a resolution, and move on. “Rewrite the movie” so to speak. Last night, no matter how I rewrote it, it didn’t end well. Luckily, I had allowed one of them to sleep with me, and woke up with her literally sleeping with her head on my shoulder and her fingers entwined in mine, which is the only reason I survived the night, I’m sure of it. I lost three hours of sleep though, even with the fact that we were completely protected…ammunition, guard dogs, cops next door and all. ;)

My biggest fear is losing my children-or them suffering in some form that I am unable to protect them from. Which explains the reason I had it, but not the timing. Last night I read a happy book before bed, ate a healthy meal, and got plenty of cuddle time. No movies or TV last night at all. So why the attack?

The random part about this dream that tells me that it wasn’t some prophetic message? Randall McDaniel, a recent Minnesota Vikings hall-o-famer was the guy that did it (in my dream of course). Obviously, that’s not true. Nor will it ever be. Knowing that it was completely false, I did some research today. I really hope that what I found, helps you overcome your night terrors and battles:

~When your children get them, hold them tight, and reassure them that it was just a dream. The younger we are, the harder it is to understand.
~Check your medications. If you’re nightmares have become more frequent, could it be relative to the medications you’re taking? It’s a pretty common side affect.
~Rewrite your nightmare (I AM doing something right! Until I read this article, I thought I was crazy!). You can create your own ending, tricking your mind to assume everything is ok.
~Talk about it!
~Most nightmares are stress related, or stem from a traumatic occurrence in the past, or one that you worry about regularly. Find a way to get over that event: dream less about it!
~Alcohol or Illness may be a factor. If you went to bed slightly medicated or intoxicated, it will probably have an effect on your dream cycle.

Dream Sweet!

Yours Truly,

Sources for Dream Research found here:


Sista! said...

Another thing I learned in my psych class in high school was that nightmares are also caused by irregular sleeping patterns, or just a lack of sleep nights previous to that one and you are going through a "REM rebound" which causes random firing of the nerves in the brain, which leads to nightmares.
Just a bit of an addition :)

Sazaran said...

I'm sorry you had a bad dream! I promise that you can ALWAYS call me and I'll sing you the song my dad taught me when I had nightmares as a little girl. I still sing it to this day when my sleep is disturbed by monsters.

True story: Marilyn Manson was in town a few weeks back. He had a small concert across the street from the restaurant we ate at. THAT NIGHT I had some of the worst, demonic dreams I have ever had (invisible forces pinning me to the ceiling, crap like that). Point being, I think that nightmares are a way of Satan attacking us. Prayer is works. Also, praise and worship music.

Oh and this verse, I quote over and over: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7

Anonymous said...

um, honestly? I think Marilyn Manson is harmless, and though he touts this evil persona, it's just a way to make money. don't let him mess with your head, babe! Also, I think "demons"--or bad vibes or whatever--only have power over you if you allow them to. I seriously think that if you were standing in front of the devil in the flesh, all you'd have to say is "you can't hurt me, AND you look like a goon" and he'll be like "ah, crap. she figured it out" and BAIL!

Linda in Cody said...

I totally understand girl...when you have 'real feeling' nightmares like you did last will actually keep you from having another one for a long time. At least it did me.

I had a terrible nightmare about 5 years ago...(short version)...I felt like I was being tapped on the shoulder and woke up (not really, I was still asleep) and my niece was standing beside my bed saying "you need to come help me! I've wrecked my car off the side of a mountain and no one can find me! No one knows where I'm at and I'm hurt very bad Aunt Linda"...this all seemed so real to me and scared me out of my bed (literally...I woke up right away)! I thought it was reality, so I called me sister at 2am in the morning to see where my niece was and explained my dream. It was hard...but I finally figured out the reason for my dream. My niece was my 1st niece, my little angel, my special girl, I spoiled her every day of her life...and she had just gone off to college. My sister said I was having 'separation anxiety' because she was out in the real world on her own now and I was 'unable to protect her' (as you, in your dream, with your girls).

I have never forgotten that dream...scared the pee out of me because it was soooooo real!!!

I pray you don't have another nightmare again...or at least not one about losing your precious angels.

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