There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to recharge you after a long day. A place to escape the everyday worries and dive into the kingdom of dreams. However, nightly rest can sometimes become your enemy rather than your friend. That is frequently the case when people experience nightmares. Even one occurrence can shake your night enough to deprive you of those sweet resting hours and ruin the next day.

One bad dream, however, does not mean that you’re having nightmares. We all experience unpleasant dreams from time to time, and it is expected to some degree – there’s no escaping negative emotions in life, so why should it be possible to avoid them in the dream world?

Things take a bad turn when you begin having these bad dreams more frequently.

If you’re waking up from a disturbing dream in the middle of the night regularly, experiencing fear and anxiety, chances are that you are indeed suffering from nightmares. Physiological symptoms include increased heart rate and sweating.

As is usually the case, the reasons behind people having nightmares are not well understood. Even typical dreams are enough to spark debates over their nature and origin. Although, nightmares have been linked with several other phenomena, including:

  • Stress
  • Mental Health conditions
  • Withdrawal from drugs or medication
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Substance abuse

Among other things, nightmares can severely mess with your sleep cycle, resulting in sleep deprivation. When you’re not getting enough sleep, other symptoms will inevitably pop up, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

People who experience nightmares daily can also develop a fear of going to bed, hoping to avoid disturbing dreams. However, this makes the situation worse, for insomnia will result in nightmares being even more vivid and terrifying.

What can be done?

Although there are many different treatments for having nightmares, let’s focus on the one that can give control over your nights back to you – lucid dreaming.

When you learn to dream consciously, you become the master of your dream world. And yes, this does include nightmares.

Even though it can be harder to focus and change the surroundings of a disturbing dream than of a normal one, nothing is impossible with enough practice. You can modify the scary experience into pretty much anything in a lucid dream.

However, if you feel up for the task, you can implement your lucid dreaming skills into exploring and finding out the true meaning behind the horrid entities that bug you. All you have to do is ask. Scary as it might be, once you realize to be dreaming, you can assure yourself that nothing in the dream can actually harm you.

Use this to your advantage – analyze your monsters to find out what they represent.

If we were to assume that dreams often reflect our inner selves, it makes sense that the negative aspects of our daily lives paint our nights in terrifying colours. Especially if we choose to ignore those issues. In a way, nightmares can tell us what we don’t wish to hear or know, and it takes courage to face our inner demons. Lucid dreaming is the perfect tool for this – use it.