I'm always reading about spiritual and alternative therapies and applying them at home to my family, pets, and friends. So far, so good!
How I Started On Deciphering Nightmares
Recently, my daughter had terrible bouts of recurring nightmares of her losing her teeth and getting attacked by a bear. I am glad to say that all is over and her sleep is much better but I got very interested in these nightmares. In some sense, I formed a tunnel vision on (1) Getting attacked and (2) Losing teeth nightmares. After researching a lot more, I realized there are many scenarios in (1) and (2) and how it should be interpreted.
I sincerely hope what is researched out is helpful and will help lift you out of this bad episode of nightmares and like my daughter, eventually got over these nightmares and sleeping soundly now.
Is Having A Nightmare A Negative Thing?
Sleep is an integral part of our survival. Although in recent times most of us have been choosing to stay awake till the late hours of the night, generally sleep is extremely important. A vital part of how we feel and how we act throughout the day depends upon the quality and the amount of sleep that we have been able to get the previous night. Taking the influence of healthy undisturbed sleep on our everyday lives into account, nightmares are extremely disruptive.
A nightmare is a dream which leaves you with feelings of vulnerability, fear, and discomfort. Dreams, whether they may be good or bad, occur in the deepest portion of our sleep. This is called Rapid Eye Movement sleep and is abbreviated as REM sleep. The only problem or difference that arises is that pleasant dreams tend to only increase your level of rest in the waking hours, while, nightmares often cause people to wake up with a start.
Planned to have a peaceful night’s sleep? Have a big day tomorrow and want to be well-rested? Well, a nightmare i.e. a bad dream can do a great job at ruining all those plans. It is very unpleasant to wake up filled to the brim with fear and anxiety. In some cases, people may wake up with drops of sweat coating their whole bodies. As disturbing as the experience of having a nightmare is, what adds to the issue is having trouble sleeping afterward. Now, we can’t control our dreams, can we? But what we can do is be prepared to have them. Having nightmares from time to time is completely normal. There is no particular thing that causes these unsettling dreams.
At the root, a nightmare is a result of the emotional distress that you experience when you are awake. If you leave your feelings unresolved and unacknowledged, they will not go away just come back to annoy you in another form. In cases of severely degrading mental health, nightmares can become a daily event instead of a rare misfortune. If this is what you are going through, here are a few tips to avoid nightmares.
How to Stop Nightmares
Nightmares especially recurring ones are annoying and negatively affect our mood as well as our mental peace. If you struggle with these regularly, try to establish a nighttime routine before you head to sleep. Get into something comfy and meditate before you sleep. This will help you process everything that went on in the day and also bring you into a calm state of mind. Avoid activities like watching a movie or being on your phone as they can negatively impact your sleep. Listen to some white noise or nature soundscape before you doze off. These are the things you can do before. If you want to tackle a nightmare after it has occurred, talk about it with a friend or family member. You have no one to talk to? No issue! Write down what happened in your dream and how it made you feel.
- Establish a nighttime routine
- Unwind with white noise or nature soundscape
- Talk to someone about your nightmares as it is usually tied to your life situation
- Have a journal to write down your thoughts
For kids: What I find helpful is to read positive books before sleeping. What I did was establish a nighttime routine with my daughter by changing her into her PJs, followed by a positive book reading. She's crazy about over-achieving women so we are reading and re-reading these book series by Vashti Harrison:
As for the nature soundscape, we have a Google Nest in her room. She will shout "Play Forest Sounds" to start her bedtime.
Here is a list of commands that are already included in Google Nest that gives white noise or nature soundscape.
Getting Attacked In Your Dreams
Being attacked by an animal
A dream in which you are being hurt in some way by an animal or beast is indicative of an emotional build-up. Animals, especially large or ferocious ones in your dreams imply anger and rage. This type of dream in which you are being attacked by an animal is your subconscious’ way of addressing anger. Perhaps you have been feeling rage about something but have no way to release it. This dream is a message to remove this energy from your mind and body. Scream into a pillow. Scribble nonsense on to paper. Punch a cushion. Whatever you need to do to let out all the rage you feel.
Fighting with someone
You may have had a verbal argument with someone in your life before this dream. Arguments and disagreements are a normal and healthy part of any relationship yet they are not pleasant. Feelings of resentment and conflict remain inside your mind. This is the cause of a dream in which you are fighting with someone. In reality, the argument may have only been verbal but in a dream state, it may translate into a physical brawl or scrimmage.
Being chased by a dangerous person
One of the most common dreams that are interpreted is dreams of being chased. Being chased by someone who wants to hurt you means that you are in your real life running away from confrontation. There is someone or something that is bothering you but you do not want to acknowledge it. The person who is chasing you also varies the meaning behind the dream.
Being sexually assaulted in a dream
If you are being raped or sexually abused by someone in your dreams, it is a sign that you feel powerless in your day-to-day life. An influence is present in your life that is causing you to feel weak and out of control. This may be a violation of personal space, a violation of trust, or any other kind of violation. Someone has taken control of something that you had sovereignty over. It has left you feeling like there is nothing you can do. In dreams, sexual assault represents your power being taken away i.e. feeling out of control.
Dream of someone breaking your limbs
If you are being attacked specifically in your arms and legs during a dream, this is what it means. Without all four of our limbs, we are not stable. Our functionality is compromised. Although differently-abled individuals learn to live with these hardships, generally we need our limbs to function. This dream symbolizes an imbalance in your life. It may be socially, financially, emotionally, or otherwise.
Teeth Breaking Nightmares
Dream of teeth rotting
Rot comes from within. It is not surface-level damage or caused by an external force. Dreams of your teeth decaying and crumbling signify something you have buried under layers and layers. Your teeth rotting are a symbol of your dark and morbid parts being exposed. It means that you have some secrets that you do not wish to become public knowledge.
Dream of someone breaking your teeth
Did your dream involve someone punching and hurting you in a way that your teeth break and fall out? This means that there is a bully in your life. It may be difficult to recognize bullies when they are not outwardly mean. Bullying does not always mean someone is punching you in the face but it can feel like it. If you had this category of tooth-breaking dreams, you, unfortunately, have someone toxic in your life. They most likely undermine you in front of your peers. They may disrespect you or insult things that are important and personal to you.
Dream of chipped and crooked teeth
A bright smile is one of the most attractive features of a person. It is also the feature that most people notice first of all. A good set of radiant white teeth is an integral part of an attractive smile. Since teeth are so important to our self-image and confidence, having a dream in which your teeth turn crooked and chip away probably has something to do with your self-esteem. If you had this dream, you are most likely struggling to accept how you look. This is not uncommon in today’s world of social media and Instagram models. The standard of beauty is almost impossible to obtain. Young teenagers are presented with unattainable beauty standards which cause them to become insecure about the way they look. Remember you are so much more than just your outer beauty.
Dream of watching your teeth fall out
A dream in which you can see your teeth falling out is the last category of these dreams. Here you may be looking at a reflection or watching yourself from a second person’s point of view, either way, it symbolizes a moment of weakness. Your teeth falling out is a sign of old age and old age is the part of your life where you are the weakest and most vulnerable. This dream represents feelings of helplessness. You feel like there is nothing you can do to stop an inevitable sort of doom. There is a heaviness latching on to your heart and weighing down your mood.
Releasing and Letting Go with Apps
It's easy to write "let go" but it's a really hard action to do. Here are some apps I have on my phone which have been very helpful in my life to release my emotions and to let go.
This is using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), a stress releasing technique. Don't ask me why it is useful, I am sure there's some science behind it but just tapping around the suggested points, it is really relaxing and help in some of my stressful days. The above title is the link to the official website so that you can download it on your iPhone or Android device. By the way, it's FREE for most programs.
This is a free app by the company called Down Dog that does a series of fitness and wellness apps like Yoga, Barre, and Prenatal Yoga. I've been a long-time fan of these apps. Down Dog has been very generous to offer free access to all its apps for students and teachers till January 2022. My teenager stepson has downloaded it but it seems like he is just not into HIIT nor Yoga! The meditation app, by itself, is free. It's a fuss-free app to use. Something I will open if I can have some free time for myself!
The number one cause of nightmares is emotional distress or trauma that has not been addressed. Bottling up your feelings will only make the matter at hand worse. Talk to someone about the nightmares you have been having. Participate in small acts of self-care every day to show your body and soul some well-deserved love. Nightmares might not mean much but it is important to understand that it might be your mind’s way of calling out for help if you continue to have recurring nightmares. Above are the tools and tips I've used to assist my daughter (and myself). Reach out and let go of all the negative energy holding you back from your true potential. All the best!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Muriel B Tewes