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Usually when you end up drifting off to sleep, you fall into a deep sleep and begin to experience a so called
dream. However, most children, and even some adults, experience some even more terrifying so called
dreams. These dreams are called nightmares. Nightmares have been occurring in peoples sleep for
hundreds of years. People have been interested in them for centuries and they have quite an interesting
past to them.
People used to believe that the dream anxiety attack was caused by a demon pressing up against a
persons chest during their sleep. They were even considered as a form of black magic, evil affiliation, and
even sometimes possession.
The sleep cycle comes in a multi-stage cycle. All in all there are five cycles. The first four of the stages is
where there is non-rapid eye movement (NREM). As the fifth stage occurs, that is where rapid eyes
moment (REM) happens. Nightmares almost always occur in the second half of a persons sleep and it is
always followed with an awakening of the individual even if the person doesnt remember waking up
during the night. Nine times out of ten, when peoples brain cant handle what is going on during the rapid
eye movement stage, they wake up very panic ally and are also very aware of their surroundings.
Nightmares are mostly referred to as being a younger persons trouble but you will find that a lot of adults
have the problem of nightmares also. The childrens nightmare is very different than the adults because
the adults nightmare is based on the persons fears such as being chased or attacked. The childrens
nightmare is more of a fantasy nightmare. Anyone that has a high fever before they go to bed is more
likely to suffer from a nightmare. Rapid eye movement will usually wake a person up if they can sense that
something bad is going to happen. Most of the time when one has a nightmare, will wake up right before
some really bad will happen. the most popular nightmare is when you are actually falling from something
that is very high up in the air. It always ends by you waking up right before you are about to hit the ground.
It is been proved that no matter how many nightmares that one person will have, not one single nightmare
will be exactly the same as any of the others. You could end up having a nightmare that is occurring in the
same lace as another but there will never be the same exact nightmare more that once. That is very hard
to believe considering all of the nightmares that you will come across in your lifetime.
In reading these articles, I have learned a lot about the subject of nightmares. I had never known before
that you will never encounter the same nightmare more than once. I also didnt know about the rapid eye
movement and the non-rapid eye movement stages. I now know that whenever you wake up sometimes
and you have slept for a really long amount of time and youre still tired, thats because you were waken
up during one of the other sleep cycles instead of waking up during the first stage.

MLA Citation:
"Nightmares." 123HelpMe.com. 07 Dec 2015


Nightmare is defined as a terrifying dream which provokes negative feelings. Night terror is usually a part
of nightmare. Night terror is an episode of the night dream, which sleeper does not remember. He or she
usually remembers a negative feeling caused by nightmare. In contrast to night terror, night mare can be
recalled after awakening. Statistics proves that a considerable part of people sees dreams and nightmares.
There are several possible reasons of nightmares.
Modern psychology gives different approaches to nightmares. The study of nightmares became especially
intensive after Freud made the study of dreams and nightmares an important part of his psychoanalytical
approach. Jung developed and expanded Freudian study of dreams. He implemented the notion of
shadow into the teaching about nightmares. Different types of nightmares may give information about
the problems of an individual.
Nightmare is usually defined as a dream during the rapid eye movement which provokes intense negative
feeling, such as panic, fear, terror, anxiety, etc. Nightmares usually make the sleeper awake.
Statistics shows that major part of people sees dreams and nightmares. Results of a general population
study of 1,049 persons with insomnia revealed that 18.3 percent had nightmares. Nightmares affect 20 to
39 percent of children between five and 12 years of age (Ohayon MM, Morselli, 1997, p 342).
Nightmare are usually vivid and create an impression that all the events happen in reality. Night terror is a
part of nightmare. Usually it is an episode of frightening dream, which sleeper does not remember. He or
she usually remembers a feeling caused by nightmare. In contrast to night terror, night mare can be
recalled after awakening. There are several possible reasons which cause nightmares. They may be caused
by different sleeping disorders, diminished daytime performance, fever and some other illnesses. Children
see nightmare oftener than adults. Recurrent nightmares may be a symptom of post-traumatic stress
In psychology there are different approaches to nightmares. Some scholars believe that nightmare have no
function. Others believe that thee reflect actual fears and attitudes of the sleeper. In this case nightmares
appear as a continuation of the conscious process which occurs during the day. Latest research proves that
dreams have an important function. Evidence suggests that dreaming, like most other physiologic events,
is important for learning and memory processing, gives cognitive feedback about a persons mental
functioning and helps a person adapt to emotional and physical stress (Moffitt, 1993, p. 118).
Freud, became the first psychologist who paid much attention to dreams. In his famous book On Dreams
he writes: It is commonly said that sleep is disturbed by dreams; strangely enough, we are led to a
contrary view and must regard dreams as the guardians of sleep (Freud, 2006, p. 165). He even tried to
make the study of dreams a separate science. Freud stressed an importance of unconscious processes for
the personality development. Freud and Jung, as his successor were sure that unconscious motivates
human behavior to great extend.
The discovery of unconscious was made by Freud and became the essence of his developmental theory. He
stated that our unconscious process had been directed by different images from conscious laws. According
to Freud, unconscious moves had a great if not dominant influence on our personality and created conflict
with social norms and authority figures. Discovering this unconscious moves Freud made the center of his
treatment system called psychoanalyses. According to him an extent, to which the person is able to
understand the drives and motives of his or her subconscious determines the level of personality
development. Dreams for him become one of the means to understand true drives and motifs of our
unconsciousness. Freudian view of personality structure is based on his observations obtained during his
work with mental patients. He divides the personality into three structures. These structures are: the ego,
the id and the superego. Freud states that the id is a part of personality structure, which consists of
instincts. This part of personality is completely unconscious and has no direct contact with reality. Children
right after birth have an Id as a main driving force and all their actions are directed by mere instincts. Id is
responsible for an unconscious part, which we seldom notice during our everyday life. Contact with reality
gives push to appearance of another personality structure called the ego. Underlying emotions, feelings

and beliefs are seldom able at the conscious level. In reality these feelings and emotions determine our
everyday life. So, it appears that unconscious part, which determines our life, stays out of our realization.
The ego becomes the bridge which unites the id and reality. It has an important function of dealing with
the reality needs. It possesses and executive function as it helps to make decisions. Reasoning is that
mechanism of the ego that helps to make decisions. These two structures possess no morality so they do
not differentiate good or bad, right or wrong. These functions belong to the third part of the personality.
Subconscious is hard to reach and that is the reason Freud used dreams as one of the main ways to deal
with subconscious. According to Freud our dreams and especially nightmare reflects our subconscious
processes. Through nightmare people get an opportunity to create a link with their subconscious and thus
realize the reason of their problems.
Ernest Rossi, a modern psychologist, suggested another important function of dreams. He states that
dreams help to integrate separated psychological structure into one balanced personality. Jung expanded
Freudian teaching of dreams and added his own vision to the teaching of dreams as a part of subconscious
process. Jung believed that dreams in general and nightmares in particular become the projections of our
personality traits which we regress. This personality traits and sub personalities appear in our dreams in a
form of devils, monsters, natural disasters, wild animals, etc. Jung used the term shadow in order to
describe these regressed parts of personality. The symbols of the process of individuation that appear in
dreams are images of an archetypal nature which depict the centralizing process or the production of a
new centre of personality I call this centre the self, which should be understood as the totality of the
psyche. The self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious
and unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the centre of consciousness (Jung, 1974,
p. 115). According to him nightmares have a positive function since they try to inform our conscious part
about the existence of shadow. The dreamis an autonomous and meaningful product of psychic activity,
susceptible, like all other psychic functions, of a systematic analysis Dreaming has meaning, like
everything else we do (Jung, 1974, p. 3).
The themes of nightmares are quite universal. This proves one more time Jungian idea about the existence
of Archetypes, or universal images common for all people. The most common themes of nightmare include
the chase, falling dream, failing an important business, embarrassments of being nude in public, riding the
car, which goes out of control, being stuck in threatening situation, injury, situation of being trapped.
Each of these dreams may have a symbolic interpretation and show the sphere of life or part of
personality, where the problem exists in real life.
The chase of attack usually represents a fearful aspect of our shadow. The pursuer represents the denied
part of our personality. The falling dream indicates that the sleeper may experience uncertainty lack of
information about something.
The dream when the sleeper finds himself in the car without a control indicates that he can not control his
life and his own thoughts and desires. Failing an important exam or being late for an important meeting
becomes a signal that sleeper is not satisfied with his performance in some area of life. In the dream where
the person is stuck and can not move the sleeper can get information that he is probably stuck in some
area of his life Dreams, which include the feeling of embarrassment because of nudity, show the parts of
our personality or sphere of life, where we are not satisfied with ourselves. What is notable, if the nudity is
not noticed by the other characters of the dream, this may indicate that our discontent has not ground and
other people do not notice our failures. Dreams, where there is a threat to sleepers life, show that there
are parts of sleepers personality, which are neglected. The parts of the body, injured in dream may show
the parts, which are neglected. Nightmares when sleeper finds himself trapped or locked somewhere
indicate some stagnation when the sleeper does not see any perspective and sense to perform actions.
Tsunami or flooding show the fear to become driven by feelings. The person rejects his or her feelings
being afraid to loose control. Dreams where crying babies or small animals appear may become a sign of
need for care and intimacy with other people.
Nightmares have complex function. There is not agreement about their meaning yet but with the
development of psychoanalyses the interpretation of dreams and nightmares became an important part of
psychology. The study of nightmares and work with them may give ideas for the overcome many important
psychological problems and help to develop ones personality.