Surprising Facts About Nightmares You Didn’t Know

Nightmares are considered to be dreams that induce extreme negative emotions that usually manifest in deep sleep during late nights.

The world of dreams is a fascinating one. However, not every time do your dreams take you to a happy magical place where you wake up feeling good. Sometimes you wake up with your heart racing and in a pool of sweat. Sometimes the brain cells are on fire producing vivid dreams that are outright scary. Nightmares usually take place during the REM stage or the rapid eye movement stage of sleep. Nightmares like any other dream are surprising and mysterious phenomena. Here are some fascinating facts about nightmares you didn’t know.

It’s Not Always About Fear

As it turns out, nightmares don’t always occur out of fear. There are many other emotions that could induce nightmares. For example, sadness, guilt, confusion and disgust could cause nightmares. These negative emotions linger around longer, sometimes even longer than fear, and can give you nightmares. Nightmares could also produce these same emotions and tend to stay with you longer.

Your Brain Stays Up

A nightmare occurs in the REM stage of your sleep cycle which is the third stage. REM or rapid eye movement occurs almost every 90 minutes into your sleep period and during this period your brain is highly active. However, even though the brain is super active during this stage, our motor activities are inhibited which makes us feel paralyzed and helpless at not being able to scream. Even though our senses are heightened during nightmares, the inhibited motor skills makes it difficult to do for us to engage with our senses.

Nightmares Could Make You Feel Better

That’s right! Nightmares also have an upside. Most of the times, nightmares are a product of your worries and stress when you are awake. While dreaming, the brain feeds on these abstract fears and uses them in the dream narrative. However, on waking up you realise that it was nothing but a bad dream. Since its easier for our brain to process and file concrete memories better, abstract anxieties in our subconscious minds become a thing of the past and not of the present. This provides us an emotional release which in turn helps us in distancing ourselves from the anxieties, stress and the fears. Therefore, it turns out that not all nightmares are bad and could make you feel better.

Back to top button