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Angelique
10-17-2009, 03:58 AM
I really need to know as much as I can about dreams, nightmares, and night-terrors. There are so many websites out there full of information, but none of them really have the information I'm looking for. So, if any of you are dream experts and are willing to answer my questions, please let me know.

gypsyscarlett
10-17-2009, 11:08 AM
I really need to know as much as I can about dreams, nightmares, and night-terrors. There are so many websites out there full of information, but none of them really have the information I'm looking for. So, if any of you are dream experts and are willing to answer my questions, please let me know.

I've studied and worked with dreams for years. What sort of information are you looking for? Feel free to ask on this thread or PM me. I'll try to help.

Wayne K
10-17-2009, 03:29 PM
I'm an expert at having them. Since childhood I haven't been able to sleep normally because of it.

I'm interested to see what comes of this thread.

VChandler
10-17-2009, 10:44 PM
I'm interested too. My 15 yr old daughter has had night terrors since she was a toddler. They are kinda scary because she still walks in her sleep and we have found her in some precarious situations.

Angelique
10-17-2009, 11:07 PM
Thanks guys, I think both of you could help me tremendously. I'll start off with with a few questions and then come back for more.

1. Have there been reports of people severely harming themselves in their sleep? How often does this happen? What causes it? How is it treated?

2. What is believed to be the reason you shouldn't wake someone from a night-terror? I've read that it's because they will feel as though they are being attacked, is that correct? Moreover, why doesn't hearing their name wake them? Why are they so deep in sleep that they can't be woken?

3. I have suffered from insomnia on and off, all my life, but not because of dreams. I was wondering if the symptoms of insomnia due to nightmares is different than insomnia caused by other things? How is it different?

4. Why are 90% of dreams forgotten? What are the given scientific reasons, and the mystical reasons?

5. What are the most common images in nightmares: places, things, people?

6. Most of us have heard of mythical beings said to roam through our dreams, like Freddy Krueger and Morpheus(Greek God). What are some other legends of dream-monsters, or just legends of dreams in general?

7. How does one feel when constantly plagued by nightmares? Is it hard to distinguish reality from dreams at times? Is it hard to relate to people?

8. For someone who does experience nightmares often, are the nightmares often repeats? If so, then does it get easier to remember the dream after having it repeated several times?

9. Is it frightening or embarrassing for someone who has night-terrors/nightmares often, to talk about what happens in their dreams? Why or why not?

10. What about sleepwalking? Why does it happen? Who does it? What does it feel like? How is the problem solved? Can people actually murder someone in there sleep and not know it?

backslashbaby
10-17-2009, 11:21 PM
My sleepwalking felt totally like I'm asleep. I didn't know a thing until I woke up and someone told me what I did.

I don't do that anymore, but I "sleep-lie" [my word]. I try to pretend I'm awake if someone talks to me or calls me. I'm so good at it, folks have to ask me tough math questions to know if I'm awake or asleep. And I never remember any of it.

I don't know how it works. It'd be called a state of altered consciousness is about all I can tell you. What I learned has been debunked since I studied psychology.

gypsyscarlett
10-18-2009, 12:10 AM
2. What is believed to be the reason you shouldn't wake someone from a night-terror? I've read that it's because they will feel as though they are being attacked, is that correct? Moreover, why doesn't hearing their name wake them? Why are they so deep in sleep that they can't be woken?



Speaking from the metaphysical viewpoint:

People often leave their bodies while they're sleeping and travel in their dream bodies. The dream body (what ancient Egyptians called Ba) is much more sensitive than the physical body. That's why things in nightmares are always way more terrifying than anything in real life. All the senses are heightened.

Even when someone is merely sleeping (without night terrors), it is a terrible sensation to be jarred awake. That's why people are cautioned to wake others in a gentle manner. Being jarred awake is a terrible shock to the system. I'm sure you've experienced that yourself. So imagine that shock when one is in the midst of a nightmare.

4. Why are 90% of dreams forgotten? What are the given scientific reasons, and the mystical reasons?

I found this link. It has some ideas on that: http://www.psychwww.com/books/interp/chap01d.htm

Basically, the more interest someone has in dreams, the more likely they are to remember them.

Matera the Mad
10-18-2009, 05:47 AM
When I was young, I was afraid -- not of the dark, but of what lurked somewhere in it. My fear was probably bred by the general insecurity of an unstable family. I was very happy when I got a lamp at the head of my bed so that I didn't have to race in the dark from the light switch to that warm island of safety.

I've never completely gotten over it. There are times when I start the night with a series of nightmares involving darkness, lights not turning on, and things trying to attack me. My bedcovers seem to come to life and move, pulling away to expose me. Animals turn vicious. People are talking in the next room and doors are not locked (I live alone). It is always dark. Even if I can turn on a light, it dims out. I struggle out of one nightmare and end up in another until finally normal sleep and dreams come.

These episodes seem to me closely akin to schizophrenia. They are most frequent when I am not only under the weather physically, but depressed.

My (deceased) mother and/or my obnoxious sister have plagued me in dreams that give me a feeling of lack of freedom. I have less of those as time goes on.

Then I have other sorts of bad dreams. Some of them I am sure do not originate entirely in my own mind. This is not a delusion, because I have experienced verified sharing of thoughts with friends. It's the passing strangers that realy bug me. There are things that I feel in these dreams that are very foreign to me. Ican't forget the one in which I had murdered someone and buried the body in the back yard. The intense feelings of guilt and horror clung to me all the next day. Other less realistic but equally hideous scenes occur.

To balance all that miserable crap, I also have very nice dreams, full of fun stuff, although I kind of hate the ones in which I am about to fly to some distant place. I have never flown and I don't like traveling. :( Besides, I am never sure if I can pack what I need :D

I learned how to stop a dream when I was pretty young -- self-taught lucid dreaming -- because of the nasty ones. The flying rats were the last straw!

Smish
10-18-2009, 06:19 AM
I'm going to answer a lot of your questions, but not in any particular order. Sorry. :)

I have nightmares several times a week, and always have (since I was a very small child). They're worse in times of high stress. For example, when I was studying for the bar exam, they were so awful that I was harming myself in my sleep (I'd wake up bleeding where I had clawed at my arms and neck, and pulled out my hair on a couple of occasions).

At that point, because I was harming myself, I finally went to the doctor about it. He suggested I meet with a psychologist, which I didn't have time for because I was working and studying for the bar. He also suggested an anxiety medication, which I declined to take because I was afraid to start something before the exam (I was paranoid that it'd affect my brain somehow and erase all my legal knowledge. Yeah, I know that's silly. :) )

So, I ended up just wearing gloves to bed and putting my hair in a pony-tail. The nightmares didn't go away.

I do have recurring themes to my nightmares. I often have dreams where I'm being attacked or my family members are being attacked. I also have a lot of tornado dreams. And occasionally, I dream I'm drowning. I never have the exact same dream twice, but the themes are often the same. And they're very, very graphic and real. In my tornado dreams, for example, I can actually feel the debris pounding against me and/or cutting my skin.

I once had a dream where I was being burned at the stake, along with thousands of other people. It was a field of people tied to stakes; I was somewhere in the middle of the field. The fire started from behind, so I couldn't see it coming, but I could hear the screams of the burning people behind me. The screams intensified the closer the fire got to me. I could smell the burning flesh. Eventually, the fire was close enough to me to feel its heat. Then it was close enough for my skin to blister. Then I was on fire, and writhing on the stake, screaming in pain. So, anyway, my dreams involve all the senses.

You asked about people waking a person up. I think that's a bad idea for the other person, really. I do feel like I'm being attacked, and I fight back.

I'm also an insomniac, due to nightmares. It's not as bad now, but when my life was more chaotic, I was afraid to go to sleep. Also, I've often woken in the middle of the night from a nightmare and been unable to fall back to sleep. I think it's different from other forms of insomnia because there's the fear element.

It doesn't bother me to talk about my nightmares, but a few minutes have to pass so I can calm down. Sometimes it helps to talk about it, so there's someone to remind me that no one is trying to kill me...

Being plagued with nightmares is a hassle in lots of ways. Not only is it miserable for me, but it effects those around me, particularly if I'm sharing the bed with someone. It's been an issue in relationships before.

Mostly, though, it's just something I deal with. I'm used to it now, and I've learned ways to cope. For example, I don't watch scary television programs or movies, or read scary novels, before bed; it helps a little not to fuel my imagination. Cutting caffeine has helped a bit, too. I also had to learn my limits with stress. I can handle high loads of stress in "real life"; it's only my dreams that are effected. So, now that I've learned these things, the truly horrible nightmares for me (the ones where I wake up screaming or hurt myself) are rare, and I can predict with a fair amount of accuracy when they're going to happen (high stress times), and I resort to wearing gloves to bed again. :) The nightmares I have regularly are far more manageable... they'd scare the hell out of other people, but I can handle them.

I do wish I knew what caused them. I've always wondered if it's somewhat hereditary. My mother and maternal grandmother also have horrible nightmares, and my grandmother also sleepwalks.

:)Smish

Angelique
10-18-2009, 08:05 AM
I'm also an insomniac, due to nightmares. It's not as bad now, but when my life was more chaotic, I was afraid to go to sleep. Also, I've often woken in the middle of the night from a nightmare and been unable to fall back to sleep. I think it's different from other forms of insomnia because there's the fear element.

It doesn't bother me to talk about my nightmares, but a few minutes have to pass so I can calm down. Sometimes it helps to talk about it, so there's someone to remind me that no one is trying to kill me...



Smish, do you ever flash back to the nightmares during the day time? If so, how do you react?

And you said that it was hassle because of other people. Do people who know, or have scene you have a really bad nightmare treat you like you're unstable?

Smish
10-18-2009, 08:14 AM
Smish, do you ever flash back to the nightmares during the day time? If so, how do you react?

And you said that it was hassle because of other people. Do people who know, or have scene you have a really bad nightmare treat you like you're unstable?

No to both questions. During the day, I'm perfectly normal. :)

I sometimes think about my nightmares, often searching for something to write about. That's one advantage to having vivid dreams and nightmares. I don't flash back to them in a negative way. They're only frightening while I'm having them, or just after I've woken up (before I'm fully aware of my surroundings).

And no one has ever worried about me being unstable. As I say, during the day, there really is no problem. I'm cool, calm and collected, even in stressful situations. I've never been unstable at all, so no one has to worry about it. The problems I've had with other people result from when I'm having the nightmares. Boyfriends and roommates have always felt helpless, since there's nothing they can do about them. And, sometimes, it causes sleep-deprivation for them, too -- and people who are used to getting normal amounts of sleep can be particularly cranky when they don't get their 8 hours. :)

I'm sure there are probably people who do flash-back to their nightmares and are prone to unstable behavior. I suspect their nightmares are due to post-traumatic-stress-disorder or a history of physical/emotional/sexual abuse. My history doesn't include anything like that, thankfully.

Regan Leigh
10-18-2009, 08:51 AM
Research Carl Jung and his dream theories. Here is a link (http://psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/dream_interpretation_carl_gustav_jung) that summarizes (not sure how well or accurately) but if this interests you, then I'd suggest digging for more from better resources.

Angelique
10-18-2009, 08:52 AM
No to both questions. During the day, I'm perfectly normal. :)

I sometimes think about my nightmares, often searching for something to write about. That's one advantage to having vivid dreams and nightmares. I don't flash back to them in a negative way. They're only frightening while I'm having them, or just after I've woken up (before I'm fully aware of my surroundings).

And no one has ever worried about me being unstable. As I say, during the day, there really is no problem. I'm cool, calm and collected, even in stressful situations. I've never been unstable at all, so no one has to worry about it. The problems I've had with other people result from when I'm having the nightmares. Boyfriends and roommates have always felt helpless, since there's nothing they can do about them. And, sometimes, it causes sleep-deprivation for them, too -- and people who are used to getting normal amounts of sleep can be particularly cranky when they don't get their 8 hours. :)

I'm sure there are probably people who do flash-back to their nightmares and are prone to unstable behavior. I suspect their nightmares are due to post-traumatic-stress-disorder or a history of physical/emotional/sexual abuse. My history doesn't include anything like that, thankfully.

Thank you for taking the time to answer again, and I might have an answer to your question. :)

A friend of mine works in a hospital, and she was telling me today about a man that came in once because his nightmares had gotten out of control. He claimed to be very stable during the day, and she said from the looks of him, he was telling the truth. The doctor believed that his nightmares were a result of his ability to stay calm while awake. The doctor said that because he didn't allow himself to emotionally react to things while awake, his mind found a way to vent while he was sleeping.

And that might be the reason for your nightmare.

For me, the only time my nightmares become vivid is when my hypoglycemia isn't in check.

Regan Leigh
10-18-2009, 08:57 AM
Oh, and there is a sleep disorder where the brain isn't regulating the normal sleep paralysis. Don't think that's a great term for it, but basically normal sleep includes your body staying still no matter what activity you're doing in your dream. If the brain doesn't kick that in, you're left smothering your spouse with a pillow or attacking the curtains because in your dream you're fighting a monster or something. :) That's how people can sometimes claim innocence when they've killed someone while sleeping.

Angelique
10-18-2009, 09:22 AM
Oh, and there is a sleep disorder where the brain isn't regulating the normal sleep paralysis. Don't think that's a great term for it, but basically normal sleep includes your body staying still no matter what activity you're doing in your dream. If the brain doesn't kick that in, you're left smothering your spouse with a pillow or attacking the curtains because in your dream you're fighting a monster or something. :) That's how people can sometimes claim innocence when they've killed someone while sleeping.

I knew I had heard something about that happening before. And I've actually studied Jung before, but not his theories on the unconscious mind.

Smish
10-18-2009, 10:01 AM
Thank you for taking the time to answer again, and I might have an answer to your question. :)

A friend of mine works in a hospital, and she was telling me today about a man that came in once because his nightmares had gotten out of control. He claimed to be very stable during the day, and she said from the looks of him, he was telling the truth. The doctor believed that his nightmares were a result of his ability to stay calm while awake. The doctor said that because he didn't allow himself to emotionally react to things while awake, his mind found a way to vent while he was sleeping.

And that might be the reason for your nightmare.

For me, the only time my nightmares become vivid is when my hypoglycemia isn't in check.

That's not my situation, since I've had them my entire life, from before I was even in school. No one who knows me would say I'm emotion-less. I'm not unstable, but if I'm angry, I'll discuss my feelings. And if I'm sad or frustrated, I'll cry.

I think mine is more to do with a) an overactive imagination, and b) my personality. I work better under pressure and I love challenging myself. I've always held leadership roles; I was always the straight A student; I chose a high-stress career. In other words, I seek out challenging situations that are accompanied with a fair amount of stress.

And also, the fact that the women in my family all have vivid nightmares leads me to suspect there's something in my DNA; we must have different sleep patterns or something than the average person. :)

The source of nightmares is going to be different for everyone, I think. Luckily, mine aren't so bad anymore. My life is far less chaotic than it used to be.

Angelique
10-18-2009, 11:00 AM
That's not my situation, since I've had them my entire life, from before I was even in school. No one who knows me would say I'm emotion-less. I'm not unstable, but if I'm angry, I'll discuss my feelings. And if I'm sad or frustrated, I'll cry.

I think mine is more to do with a) an overactive imagination, and b) my personality. I work better under pressure and I love challenging myself. I've always held leadership roles; I was always the straight A student; I chose a high-stress career. In other words, I seek out challenging situations that are accompanied with a fair amount of stress.

And also, the fact that the women in my family all have vivid nightmares leads me to suspect there's something in my DNA; we must have different sleep patterns or something than the average person. :)

The source of nightmares is going to be different for everyone, I think. Luckily, mine aren't so bad anymore. My life is far less chaotic than it used to be.

I've read that heredity does have something to do with it. Night-terrors have been know to run in families. But don't think I was implying that you're heartless or anything! The word "emotionless" was used carelessly there. I think what I meant was logical. People with type A personalities tend to reason through their emotions, which is good except for in times of high anxiety. In those cases, people who rely mostly on logic don't have the time to sort through their emotions, and therefore do it subconsciously. That's what I meant.

And I am doing this for a story. It's kind of a nightmare on elm street type of thing, but different. And so I'm looking for as much information as I can get on dreams. I already have a rough outline of my main character, but I'm wanting to know how people will perceive her. That's why I'm asking so many questions.

Rarri
10-18-2009, 01:56 PM
Angelique, this may not be exactly what you're looking for, but there's a couple of books that give a good insight into the science (and other aspects) of sleep, which can give a different perspective etc on dreams and nightmares.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Head-Trip-Fantastic-Through-Hours/dp/1851686517/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255859692&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Counting-Sheep-Science-Pleasures-Dreams/dp/0006551726/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255859763&sr=1-1

Libbie
10-18-2009, 08:42 PM
Are you still looking? My husband has night terrors and sleep paralysis often. He's not an "expert," I guess, but he could describe to you what it's like.

Angelique
10-18-2009, 09:39 PM
Are you still looking? My husband has night terrors and sleep paralysis often. He's not an "expert," I guess, but he could describe to you what it's like.

That'd be great, if he doesn't mind!

Smish
10-18-2009, 10:38 PM
I've read that heredity does have something to do with it. Night-terrors have been know to run in families. But don't think I was implying that you're heartless or anything! The word "emotionless" was used carelessly there. I think what I meant was logical. People with type A personalities tend to reason through their emotions, which is good except for in times of high anxiety. In those cases, people who rely mostly on logic don't have the time to sort through their emotions, and therefore do it subconsciously. That's what I meant.

And I am doing this for a story. It's kind of a nightmare on elm street type of thing, but different. And so I'm looking for as much information as I can get on dreams. I already have a rough outline of my main character, but I'm wanting to know how people will perceive her. That's why I'm asking so many questions.

:)

Good luck with your story! I won't be able to read it, because it'll give me nightmares. :D

gypsyscarlett
10-18-2009, 10:46 PM
I also have sleep paralysis. So I'll try to help, too.

I've had it ever since I was a kid. To this day, I have them several times a week. They occur either as I'm falling asleep, or I wake up paralyzed. It's a totally freaky sensation. Can't move at all. Feels like you can't breathe. Often, there's also a very heavy pressure on your chest as though someone is sitting on top of you. (Fuseli's painting, The Nightmare depict this)


Since you mentioned your novel has some similarities to Nightmare on Elm Street, I thought you might also want to know that sleep paralysis is linked to Etheric Projections (OBEs) and lucid dreaming.

cptwentworth
10-18-2009, 10:53 PM
I have sleep paralysis, though it's not as frequent as it used to be. I also have a couple nightmares per night. I remember them, though I rarely remember the regular dreams. Interesting subjects.

gypsyscarlett
10-18-2009, 11:01 PM
I have sleep paralysis, though it's not as frequent as it used to be. I also have a couple nightmares per night. I remember them, though I rarely remember the regular dreams. Interesting subjects.

I practice lucid dreaming, so that might be why my sleep paralysis has actually increased through the years.

Angelique
10-18-2009, 11:09 PM
I also have sleep paralysis. So I'll try to help, too.

I've had it ever since I was a kid. To this day, I have them several times a week. They occur either as I'm falling asleep, or I wake up paralyzed. It's a totally freaky sensation. Can't move at all. Feels like you can't breathe. Often, there's also a very heavy pressure on your chest as though someone is sitting on top of you. (Fuseli's painting, The Nightmare depict this)


Since you mentioned your novel has some similarities to Nightmare on Elm Street, I thought you might also want to know that sleep paralysis is linked to Etheric Projections (OBEs) and lucid dreaming.


I practice lucid dreaming, so that might be why my sleep paralysis has actually increased through the years.

This is some good stuff, I'll have to research it.
Since you practice lucid dreaming, would you explain the process to me. And maybe some of the dreams you had because of it--if you don't mind sharing.

gypsyscarlett
10-19-2009, 12:10 AM
There are different techniques.
Two very popular ones are Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILD) and Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILD)

In DILD, you want to realize you are dreaming. So as you fall asleep, you say a mantra in your head over and over again. Something simple like, "I am dreaming". You can add breathing techniques to this. For example, as you inhale, think, "I". Hold breath "Am". Exhale as you think "dreaming." The hope is that once you are dreaming, at some point, you'll think the mantra and realize, "Hey. I really am dreaming now." That awareness is the first step toward lucidness. ( being aware that you're dreaming in the back of your mind doesn't make it a lucid dream)

In WILD, you want to keep your mind awake while your body falls asleep. Choose a comfortable position because one of the main things is not to move. Ignore any itch you might have. To keep the mind awake, focus on things. Some people meditate, or go throught the alphabet naming their favorite movies, songs, books, etc. At some point, you'll really feel like you want to move, and you'll feel your breath slowing. That means you're close. Dream images start appearing.

So basically, in DILD, you become aware that you're dreaming once you are. In WILD, you knowingly enter the dream.

WILD's tend to be much more difficult to attain, but WAY more lucid.

I'd share some of my dreams with you, but a lot of my stories deal with lucid dreaming or OBEs in some fashion, so I need to keep those for myself. ;)

Here's a forum you might want to check out: http://www.dreamviews.com/community/index.php

Libbie
10-19-2009, 02:23 AM
That'd be great, if he doesn't mind!

Shoot me whatever questions you have, I'll ask him, and tell you what he says. He's too shy to answer unknown people's emails directly. :)

jodiodi
10-19-2009, 06:22 AM
I've had vivid dreams all my life. I recall in nursing school being taught that people must be at a certain level of sleep/conciousness in order to remember their dreams; you only remember the ones you reach some level of wakefulness during.

I used to have dreams about work; there were patients I hadn't seen all shift and I couldn't get to everyone. Or, some of the office work I've done.

I also dream about traveling. Lots of bridges and many times, the bridges either end halfway over the water or, more commonly, the roads disappear into water. When I was flying into Norfolk one day, I happened to look down and saw the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel; the road just disappeared into the water. It was so much like my nightmares. Then, I got lost driving one night and wound up going through that tunnel. I was actually crying and shaking, especially when I realized I had to turn around on the other side and go back through it to get where I needed to be.

I often dream about family members, reunions, holidays and get-togethers. I'm always happy until I remember all those relatives are dead. Then I wake up sad.

I've had lots of experiences where I KNEW someone was in the room with me and I was terrified, but couldn't move. Sometimes I would feel them touch me, move my limbs, but couldn't turn over to see them.

I've always had vivid dreams, in technicolor with surroundsound. I can taste, feel, hear, see and smell everything in the dreams. They're often hard to recognize as dreams because they seem so real and sometimes, I dream I've awakened and done something. Those are the ones where I'm uncertain, when I awaken, whether or not it was a dream or real.

Salis
10-19-2009, 06:26 AM
People often leave their bodies while they're sleeping and travel in their dream bodies. The dream body (what ancient Egyptians called Ba) is much more sensitive than the physical body. That's why things in nightmares are always way more terrifying than anything in real life. All the senses are heightened.



This is demonstrably false, as one of the most reliable ways to tell if you are dreaming is to do things to your dream body--like stick a pencil through your hand.

Cyia
10-19-2009, 07:34 AM
FWIW.


Thanks guys, I both of you could help me tremendously. I'll start off with with a few questions and then come back for more.

1. Have there been reports of people severely harming themselves in their sleep? How often does this happen? What causes it? How is it treated?

Yes. There's a significant chemical difference in the brain during sleep. One of the effects of this is that most muscle movements don't correspond to the environment of the dream itself (i.e. literally running while being chased) When that chemical change doesn't occur correctly, the person can act out the dream as though it were actually occurring at the time. (The instances I can remember were of a man who broke his dresser because he thought he was bull riding, and a man who injured his wife after a Crocodile Hunter marathon when he pinned her like he'd seen the animal wranglers do in the show.)

2. What is believed to be the reason you shouldn't wake someone from a night-terror? I've read that it's because they will feel as though they are being attacked, is that correct? Moreover, why doesn't hearing their name wake them? Why are they so deep in sleep that they can't be woken?

The short answer, you can throw them into shock. How would you feel if you were at work like normal and suddenly your entire reality shifted in front of your face? Things like calling the person's name can become integrated into the dream itself rather than pulling the person out of the dream.

3. I have suffered from insomnia on and off, all my life, but not because of dreams. I was wondering if the symptoms of insomnia due to nightmares is different than insomnia caused by other things? How is it different?

Insomnia has many causes from diet to stress to illness.

4. Why are 90% of dreams forgotten? What are the given scientific reasons, and the mystical reasons?

The physical reasons are that the parts of the brain used while dreaming aren't the same as those used for conscious thought. The mystical reasons change with the culture involved.

5. What are the most common images in nightmares: places, things, people?

It depends on the dreamer.

6. Most of us have heard of mythical beings said to roam through our dreams, like Freddy Krueger and Morpheus(Greek God). What are some other legends of dream-monsters, or just legends of dreams in general?

Look up the legend of the Dream Catcher (those string sculpture things). Their purpose is to catch the nightmares in a snare so the evil spirits behind them can't affect the sleeper.

7. How does one feel when constantly plagued by nightmares? Is it hard to distinguish reality from dreams at times? Is it hard to relate to people?

If the nightmares are ongoing, the person may suffer from chronic fatigue or exhaustion. That can make reality fuzzy, but it's more a side effect. The person can also be irritable from lack of sleep. Some people maintain the feeling of fear from the nightmare without knowing what they're afraid of or why.

8. For someone who does experience nightmares often, are the nightmares often repeats? If so, then does it get easier to remember the dream after having it repeated several times?

I've had a few repeated dreams, and there is a feeling of deja vu, but it usually manifests after waking.

9. Is it frightening or embarrassing for someone who has night-terrors/nightmares often, to talk about what happens in their dreams? Why or why not?

That would depend on the person and how they feel about them. What's embarrassing to one person may not be to another.

10. What about sleepwalking? Why does it happen? Who does it? What does it feel like? How is the problem solved? Can people actually murder someone in there sleep and not know it?

I have an older cousin who was a sleep walker and grew out of it. And yes, someone could kill someone in their sleep and not know it - or black out after it happened and not know it. When the person is asleep, if they're in full motion, they are not consciously aware of what they're doing. They can engage in behaviors they'd find deplorable while awake.

Darzian
10-19-2009, 07:53 AM
I don't have much to add but there is something that is (hopefully) contributive:

I have mildly unpleasant dreams at times as well as totally bizzare ones. The crazy ones are only remembered as 'crazy' (ie. I can't recall the actual dream). But, when the dreams repeats, I recall remembering that I have had this dream before, in the dream. So, I'm technically aware, sometime during the dream, that I've been through this before. Sometimes it's a continuation dream or sometimes it's the same thing over and over. But, as I said, while I recall this much, I can't recall even a shred of the actual dream itself.

Cyia
10-19-2009, 07:57 AM
Incidentally, there was a sleep study a few years ago where the people involved wore visors in their sleep with a light positioned in front of each eye (closed eyes, lights through eyelids). In their dreams, most of the participants registered the lights for what they were and were then able to alter their dreams. They could fly or swim underwater. One went on a Taco Bell binge because she was on a diet. In that case, they were able to bridge the conscious and subconscious by giving the participants an anchor.

Libbie
10-19-2009, 08:46 AM
This is demonstrably false, as one of the most reliable ways to tell if you are dreaming is to do things to your dream body--like stick a pencil through your hand.

Also, the ba is more accurately described as the conscious mind or the sense of logic. The best example of a translation I've ever read is "the ba is the voice in your head." The voice that tells you you're being stupid, or causes you anxiety by always saying, "What if...?" The ba was actually associated with the earthly/waking world and human thought, while the ka could be fairly described as the "spirit" or "soul" -- the part of human life that went on to the afterlife and survived death. Although, to be fair, there really isn't a concept in western culture that correlates precisely to the ba or the ka.

I only know this because I just finished a huge Egyptian novel and I did a truly ridiculous amount of research on bas and kas.

But yeah, also, stab a pencil through thy hand. Works for me.

Salis
10-19-2009, 09:40 AM
Also, the ba is more accurately described as the conscious mind or the sense of logic. The best example of a translation I've ever read is "the ba is the voice in your head." The voice that tells you you're being stupid, or causes you anxiety by always saying, "What if...?" The ba was actually associated with the earthly/waking world and human thought, while the ka could be fairly described as the "spirit" or "soul" -- the part of human life that went on to the afterlife and survived death. Although, to be fair, there really isn't a concept in western culture that correlates precisely to the ba or the ka.

I only know this because I just finished a huge Egyptian novel and I did a truly ridiculous amount of research on bas and kas.

But yeah, also, stab a pencil through thy hand. Works for me.

I stretched that one. What that method actually does (and exactly what you said) is expose the fact that dreams have no sense of logic or rationality. It's a classic way to provoke lucid dreaming: you get into the habit of doing something really simple that provokes basic laws of physics in your waking hours. So if you stab yourself in your waking hours with a pencil every few hours, whatever, nothing interesting happens. If you do it while you think you're awake but actually dreaming (which is the basic state of dreams), it doesn't behave right. The pencil will go right through (typically), and you'll realize you're dreaming.

Technically, I suppose it's possible that dreams can be as sensationally real as the real world, since your brain creates stimuli. My hunch (and what I've experienced personally) though is that dream stimuli are a little "fuzzy", they just don't have the immediacy of the nerves on your hand screaming out in pain. It's really just a condemnation of how much of a doof our brain is that it believes so easily.

This is also why I'm not a fan of using dreams as a fuel for creativity or writing: your waking brain can come up with anything your sleeping brain can, only with the benefit of logic and rationality actually making the things you come up with qualitatively good.

gypsyscarlett
10-19-2009, 12:00 PM
Also, the ba is more accurately described as the conscious mind or the sense of logic. The best example of a translation I've ever read is "the ba is the voice in your head." The voice that tells you you're being stupid, or causes you anxiety by always saying, "What if...?" The ba was actually associated with the earthly/waking world and human thought, while the ka could be fairly described as the "spirit" or "soul" -- the part of human life that went on to the afterlife and survived death. Although, to be fair, there really isn't a concept in western culture that correlates precisely to the ba or the ka.

I only know this because I just finished a huge Egyptian novel and I did a truly ridiculous amount of research on bas and kas.

But yeah, also, stab a pencil through thy hand. Works for me.


Both were actually considered part of the human soul. Along with the Ren, Sheut, and Ib.(though I've seen different sources use different terms at times)

The ba was depicted as a bird with a human head. It was considered part of a person before birth and after death. It's our personality, including our conscious thoughts (as you noted).

The ka is the life force of a person. It's also been called the double.

I found this article quite good: http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/research/renotes/rn-14txt.htm

And this one:
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro04/web1/asinger.html

For those interested,here are some links regarding the Ba and projecting out of the body:

http://www.kheper.net/topics/astral/astral_body.htm

http://www.saltcube.com/out-of-body/chat-forum/viewTopic.jsp?t=7730

gypsyscarlett
10-19-2009, 12:46 PM
I've had lots of experiences where I KNEW someone was in the room with me and I was terrified, but couldn't move. Sometimes I would feel them touch me, move my limbs, but couldn't turn over to see them.


I've always had vivid dreams, in technicolor with surroundsound. I can taste, feel, hear, see and smell everything in the dreams. They're often hard to recognize as dreams because they seem so real and sometimes, I dream I've awakened and done something. Those are the ones where I'm uncertain, when I awaken, whether or not it was a dream or real.

Thanks for sharing that. I found your post very interesting to read. Those dreams sound extremely close to being true lucid dreams. The only thing that sounds missing is realizing you're dreaming. If you can do that, you can start controlling things and having fun.

Red_Dahlia
10-19-2009, 11:52 PM
I practice lucid dreaming, so that might be why my sleep paralysis has actually increased through the years.

I've got a quick question for you about lucid dreams, if you don't mind. I've always been curious about the process and wanted to try it, except that I have 2 friends who've told me that lucid dreams are horrible. According to them, as soon as they realize they're in a dream, the landscape changes and it turns into a nightmare they can't escape. One of them was telling me about how she always fought to escape by "tearing a whole through the fabric of her dream" but she couldn't ever manage it. I always thought being in a lucid dream meant having the ability to control what happens... Are their dreams normal for lucid dreamers, or are they using the technique incorrectly or something?

lucidzfl
10-20-2009, 12:34 AM
This just pisses me off. You "searched the web" and couldn't find anything? What internet are you searching on, the speak and and spell version? I'm sorry but nothing irks me more than people who "looked all over" and can't find anything.... Then come to a forum and have a bunch of other people give them answers or point to research. Its lazy.

In fact, the only reason I'm even responding is to prove you didn't do one second of research.

FWIW I found these answers in under 5 minutes.



Thanks guys, I think both of you could help me tremendously. I'll start off with with a few questions and then come back for more.

1. Have there been reports of people severely harming themselves in their sleep? How often does this happen? What causes it? How is it treated?


(There are so many freaking responses to this, question one just PROVES you didn't even google the damn question...)
http://www.lawofficer.com/news-and-articles/columns/Kulbarsh/sleepwalking.html
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/how-is-sleepwalking-treated
(What Medications Are Used to Treat Sleepwalking?
ProSom
Klonopin
Trazodone (Desyrel))

etc etc etc



2. What is believed to be the reason you shouldn't wake someone from a night-terror? I've read that it's because they will feel as though they are being attacked, is that correct? Moreover, why doesn't hearing their name wake them? Why are they so deep in sleep that they can't be woken?


"it is probably best that you don't wake them. Waking a child who is having a night terror is only likely to make the child agitated and scared because of your own reaction to their night terror. They won't remember the episode anyway. The best thing to do is to make sure they are safe, comfort them if you can (although your child may not be fully conscious, your child can still hear your voice which will be soothing to him), and then help them return to sleep when it is over."

http://hubpages.com/hub/Should-you-wake-up-a-child-whos-having-a-nightmare-or-just-let-him-sleep-it-out_1




3. I have suffered from insomnia on and off, all my life, but not because of dreams. I was wondering if the symptoms of insomnia due to nightmares is different than insomnia caused by other things? How is it different?


You really couldn't bother to even read the wikipedia for insomnia? REALLY?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia




4. Why are 90% of dreams forgotten? What are the given scientific reasons, and the mystical reasons?


"One dream researcher suggests that it's similar to when you are doing something that doesn't take much concentration, such as driving on an open road, so you are not paying attention to what you are doing."

http://psych.ucsc.edu/dreams/FAQ/index.html#recall




5. What are the most common images in nightmares: places, things, people?

1. Theme: Being pursued
2. Theme: Being attacked
3. Theme: Falling
4. Theme: Paralysis
5. Theme: Being unprepared for an examination or speech
6. Theme: Being naked in public

http://www.lucidity.com/EWLD10.html


I'm stopping here. Hopefully you get the point.

I hope we can do all your research for you in the future as well!

Angelique
10-20-2009, 03:51 AM
This just pisses me off. You "searched the web" and couldn't find anything? What internet are you searching on, the speak and and spell version? I'm sorry but nothing irks me more than people who "looked all over" and can't find anything.... Then come to a forum and have a bunch of other people give them answers or point to research. Its lazy.

In fact, the only reason I'm even responding is to prove you didn't do one second of research.

FWIW I found these answers in under 5 minutes.




(There are so many freaking responses to this, question one just PROVES you didn't even google the damn question...)
http://www.lawofficer.com/news-and-articles/columns/Kulbarsh/sleepwalking.html
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/how-is-sleepwalking-treated
(What Medications Are Used to Treat Sleepwalking?
ProSom
Klonopin
Trazodone (Desyrel))

etc etc etc



"it is probably best that you don't wake them. Waking a child who is having a night terror is only likely to make the child agitated and scared because of your own reaction to their night terror. They won't remember the episode anyway. The best thing to do is to make sure they are safe, comfort them if you can (although your child may not be fully conscious, your child can still hear your voice which will be soothing to him), and then help them return to sleep when it is over."

http://hubpages.com/hub/Should-you-wake-up-a-child-whos-having-a-nightmare-or-just-let-him-sleep-it-out_1




You really couldn't bother to even read the wikipedia for insomnia? REALLY?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia




"One dream researcher suggests that it's similar to when you are doing something that doesn't take much concentration, such as driving on an open road, so you are not paying attention to what you are doing."

http://psych.ucsc.edu/dreams/FAQ/index.html#recall




I'm stopping here. Hopefully you get the point.

I hope we can do all your research for you in the future as well!


You know what irks me? Rude people. If you have a problem with me, just ignore my question. I didn't come to personally and ask for a reply, or to do my research for me. I asked someone who actually knows what they are talking about to give me a little clarity. Not somebody as clueless as I am to search the web.

And to address your claim of laziness. I have been researching dreams for two weeks, and I can show you twenty web pages that contradict everything the websites you mention say. The reason I posted here was to find detailed, firsthand answers. Not unspecific generalizations from people who may or may not know what they're talking about.

So in the future, why don't you just skip my questions so that we don't have this problem.

Charissa
10-20-2009, 05:46 AM
I really need to know as much as I can about dreams, nightmares, and night-terrors. There are so many websites out there full of information, but none of them really have the information I'm looking for. So, if any of you are dream experts and are willing to answer my questions, please let me know.

A dream is simply a form of manipulation that your mind plays on itself.
Your sub-concious will often create a little 'video' that reflects your feelings, emotions or your experiences for that day/week/whatever. And depending on how creative your subconcious mind is during that dream, depends on how bizare your dream is.

For instance:
During the holidays I played Crash Team Racing on the PlayStation chronically. This pretty much fried my brain and after a week I'd have dreams of riding go-carts. Not very creative and not very depthful.

However:
During summer we used to swim alot in the pool on our school breaks (we're homeschooled)... and I dreamt our whole family was swimming in this deep clear lagoon and it was sunset so everything was purple pink and gold, and the coral shot up towards the surface of the water like towers... And if you swam past this one point (the out-of-bounds-point) then killer whales would come and try attack you. And pretty much the whole dream was us swimming away from killer whales and hiding in the coral and such and such... And then I was alone, and a killer whale was coming towards me... and then I woke up.

And that dream reflected my fear of the deep end in the swimming pool.
Sure... I could swim where ever I wanted to when others where around, but I had this massive fear of the deep end when I was alone in the pool. I used to think that if I went in the deep end a shark/whale/killer whale would come out of the little hole where the filter is and kill me.

Yep.
Thats my understanding of it anyway.
So in other words, your dream does not 'tell the future' or have some hidden meaning. It's just a manipulation of what you already know/think/feel/whatever

gypsyscarlett
10-20-2009, 08:33 AM
You know what irks me? Rude people. If you have a problem with me, just ignore my question. I didn't come to personally and ask for a reply, or to do my research for me. I asked someone who actually knows what they are talking about to give me a little clarity. Not somebody as clueless as I am to search the web.

And to address your claim of laziness. I have been researching dreams for two weeks, and I can show you twenty web pages that contradict everything the websites you mention say. The reason I posted here was to find detailed, firsthand answers. Not unspecific generalizations from people who may or may not know what they're talking about.

So in the future, why don't you just skip my questions so that we don't have this problem.

Angelique, I'm glad you asked. I've really enjoyed reading through this thread.


I've got a quick question for you about lucid dreams, if you don't mind. I've always been curious about the process and wanted to try it, except that I have 2 friends who've told me that lucid dreams are horrible. According to them, as soon as they realize they're in a dream, the landscape changes and it turns into a nightmare they can't escape. One of them was telling me about how she always fought to escape by "tearing a whole through the fabric of her dream" but she couldn't ever manage it. I always thought being in a lucid dream meant having the ability to control what happens... Are their dreams normal for lucid dreamers, or are they using the technique incorrectly or something?

I don't think technique has anything to do with whether someone has a bad lucid dream or not. From a psychological viewpoint the frightening images could be caused by stress or things from their subconscious that they're not willing to face in real life. From a shamanistic viewpoint, frightening beings could be so-called guardians of the gate. Beings they need to confront. And then the "monster" ends up being a Spiritual guide or Helper.

Most of my lucid dreams are really wonderful. As for the frightening ones-in those cases, I try to stay calm and face the thing. But yeah, other times I've been so scared I've woken myself up.

As for controling lucid dreams- it depends. Not all lucid dreams have the same...uh...lucidity. I've noticed the more lucid I am, and the more my senses are working- the more I can control the dream.

In general, when it comes to controlling lucid dreams, it is much harder to stay in a dream, than it is to wake up.

ReneeB
10-21-2009, 09:39 AM
Hi, Angelique. I've lurked around here for a while, but your question brought me out of the woodwork. ;) I studied Psychology in college and recently did some research on dreaming for a WIP; hopefully, what I know might be helpful to you.


As Cyia noted, there's a lot of crazy chemical changes in your brain during sleep. Some systems shift into high gear, like your brain's emotional centers, while others become less active. Among the latter are those that regulate your ability to keep track of time/place or think critically.

These changes in activity answer a few of your questions. Most sensory input will be blocked during sleep, so you may not respond to your name being called. Likewise, systems that consolidate your recent memories will have clocked out, causing you to quickly forget your dreams. (This is why you are more likely to remember your dreams if you are woken in the midst of them, rather than after a full night's sleep.)

Typically, our brains also repress certain parts of our motor system to keep us from acting out our dreams. The most we do is twitch our muscles and eyes -- hence, "Rapid Eye Movement" sleep (REM). But there are exceptions. Sleep behaviors like walking or teeth grinding are called "parasomnias." They usually occur during deep sleep, when our motor systems aren't as inhibited.

For an example of a disorder that occurs with more active rest, look up "REM sleep behavior disorder." It might give you ideas as to what people are capable of doing in their sleep, as well as how it's treated. Also, you might want to look into sleep stages. Night terrors (symptoms of increased heart and breathing rate, high blood pressure, low dream recall) are usually associated with deep sleep. The relatively brief bursts of REM sleep -- which are the true "dreaming" stages -- are related to nightmares. Some of the most common aspects of these dreams are fighting and running away.

Finally, lack of sleep can result in weight loss, irritability, poor regulation of body temperature, and greater chance of infection. One might also experience "microsleeps," where you nod off for seconds at a time and don’t even realize that it’s happened.


. . . And that's probably more than you needed to know. :tongue Take what I've said with a grain of salt, of course. There is a lot of back and forth on the subject. . . Actually, in one part of my WIP notes I scribbled, "Is any of this evidence NOT conflicting?" For reference, much of the information above came from "Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep." Though it has a some Psych jargon, I highly recommend it.

Hope that helps!

Angelique
10-21-2009, 10:44 AM
Hi, Angelique. I've lurked around here for a while, but your question brought me out of the woodwork. ;) I studied Psychology in college and recently did some research on dreaming for a WIP; hopefully, what I know might be helpful to you.


As Cyia noted, there's a lot of crazy chemical changes in your brain during sleep. Some systems shift into high gear, like your brain's emotional centers, while others become less active. Among the latter are those that regulate your ability to keep track of time/place or think critically.

These changes in activity answer a few of your questions. Most sensory input will be blocked during sleep, so you may not respond to your name being called. Likewise, systems that consolidate your recent memories will have clocked out, causing you to quickly forget your dreams. (This is why you are more likely to remember your dreams if you are woken in the midst of them, rather than after a full night's sleep.)

Typically, our brains also repress certain parts of our motor system to keep us from acting out our dreams. The most we do is twitch our muscles and eyes -- hence, "Rapid Eye Movement" sleep (REM). But there are exceptions. Sleep behaviors like walking or teeth grinding are called "parasomnias." They usually occur during deep sleep, when our motor systems aren't as inhibited.

For an example of a disorder that occurs with more active rest, look up "REM sleep behavior disorder." It might give you ideas as to what people are capable of doing in their sleep, as well as how it's treated. Also, you might want to look into sleep stages. Night terrors (symptoms of increased heart and breathing rate, high blood pressure, low dream recall) are usually associated with deep sleep. The relatively brief bursts of REM sleep -- which are the true "dreaming" stages -- are related to nightmares. Some of the most common aspects of these dreams are fighting and running away.

Finally, lack of sleep can result in weight loss, irritability, poor regulation of body temperature, and greater chance of infection. One might also experience "microsleeps," where you nod off for seconds at a time and donít even realize that itís happened.


. . . And that's probably more than you needed to know. :tongue Take what I've said with a grain of salt, of course. There is a lot of back and forth on the subject. . . Actually, in one part of my WIP notes I scribbled, "Is any of this evidence NOT conflicting?" For reference, much of the information above came from "Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep." Though it has a some Psych jargon, I highly recommend it.

Hope that helps!

Thank you so much for stopping by and putting so much effort into your reply. I've been studying the science of sleep myself, it seems the most straightforward study of dreams, but like you said it's so contradictory. But the information you put in here answered a few of my questions.