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Anyone know what causes nightmares?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I haven't had a nightmare since I was-oh, about 5. The past 2 nights I have had 2 really horrible nightmares-to the point where I wake up shaking and sweating. The first night, I was practically on top of Travis I was so scared. I ended up getting up and closing every door. I couldn't fall back to sleep for a while. I can never remember what they are when I wake up the next morning.

Anyone know what could be causing these sudden nightmares?
post #2 of 21
Stress can do it.
post #3 of 21
Stress, anything that has heavily been weighing on your mind lately, giving your imagination too much to work with, bad environment (I dreamed that nurses were coming to take more blood while I was in the hospital ), any medications you've started lately.
Medications in particular can cause some very odd dreams - even simple cold medicine.
post #4 of 21
like they said stress, would be the main factor.
or hvae you started taking any new type of meds?

I know the ones the doctor gave me, have been giving me some twisted dreams.
post #5 of 21
i have nightmares but mine are caused by my past. I dont usually remember them i just wake up scared and cant go back to sleep.
post #6 of 21
I have always found that when I am really exhausted I am more likely to have nightmares and usually if I think about them afterwards I can associate them with either something I've heard or seen.

The last one I had was a few weeks ago and it was that a huge spider was loose in my house...I had been watching a program about golden wolf tarantulas in The Amazon and it had carried on from there.

There are medications for those people who really have a problem with them.
post #7 of 21
wedding planning...
post #8 of 21
As far as I know, which is only as much as I've been taught in college--I myself have never taken part in sleep studies--dreaming is still not understood very well. I've read multiple theories, but they're all just theories.

My guesses, of course, are similar to what's already been posted; stress, stuff on your mind, chemicals, even sickness.
post #9 of 21
I have nightmares all the time. I'm always stressed out, though. I also have a lot of things from my past show up in my nightmares. If you find a way to stop them, please share!
post #10 of 21
I had nightmares and night terrors during my violently abusive childhood. I quit sleeping when I was about four. I also had asthma attacks during the terrors and tried to scream to wake myself up but couldn't get the breath to do it.

So I'd have to agree with stress being a possible cause for nightmares.

You can learn to take control and manage them, though. There's lots of web info on lucid dreaming where you learn to realize you are dreaming, and you take control of the dream. My oldest sister (who is more of my mom than my mother) taught me how to change the endings of the nightmares. When they didn't bother me any more, they went away.

Also don't wear socks and keep your feet free and cool at night. I don't know why but it helps. Also stepping up exercise will help the stress go out a different way. I hope it gets better for you.
post #11 of 21
A lot of things can trigger nightmares. Like mentioned before..stress, environment, medication. I even found out taking different vitamins can cause them. I started taking potassium pills because I have a problem with leg cramps. After I started taking them, I started having very vivid, real dreams. Not all were nightmares per say, but most were the kind that would set my mood for the day if you know what I mean. They didn't scare me, but they disturbed me.

Is there anything going on in your life that is upsetting you or stressing you out?
post #12 of 21
Some medications can do it too. As can consuming alcohol or othe stimulant before bedtime.

One of my doctors gave me some Amitriptyline to take before bed because I was waking up with horrendous pain in the night. I took it for 3 nights and stopped. I couldn't believe the night terrors that I was having. Such vivid dreams like being set on fire... it was horrible. I stopped taking the medication and the night terrors stopped.

Have you been taking a new medication?
post #13 of 21
I'm sorry that you're having nightmares.

Quote:
The last one I had was a few weeks ago and it was that a huge spider was loose in my house...I had been watching a program about golden wolf tarantulas in The Amazon and it had carried on from there.
You should have known better than to watch those nature programs-- I had a really bad one about pirahnas one time
post #14 of 21
I had horrible nightmares when I was pregnant. So it can be hormonal as well.
post #15 of 21
Have you eaten anything that you don't normally eat? Or maybe spicy food? That can sometimes cause nightmares.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
I had nightmares and night terrors during my violently abusive childhood. I quit sleeping when I was about four. I also had asthma attacks during the terrors and tried to scream to wake myself up but couldn't get the breath to do it.

So I'd have to agree with stress being a possible cause for nightmares.

You can learn to take control and manage them, though. There's lots of web info on lucid dreaming where you learn to realize you are dreaming, and you take control of the dream. My oldest sister (who is more of my mom than my mother) taught me how to change the endings of the nightmares. When they didn't bother me any more, they went away.

Also don't wear socks and keep your feet free and cool at night. I don't know why but it helps. Also stepping up exercise will help the stress go out a different way. I hope it gets better for you.
I am so sorry that you had an abusive childhood.

Bad dreams for me have been set off by hormones at that time of month.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
wedding planning...
Well said

Seriously though- i've had some pretty nasty nightmares before when i was not getting enough rest and was really stressed out. Sometimes it'd be from something i'd have happened to me the day of or something i'd seen on tv. Sometimes it was things from my past or things i was worried about.

I did notice though- when i get more rest and i try to keep my stress levels down -that does help. I also agree with everyone else- depending on what medicines you might be taking -those can cause them too.

If it becomes a big problem- you might want to make an appointment with a sleep specialist.
post #18 of 21
I always use to have bad nightmares due to bad memories, but the good Dr put me on something called Celexa for depression, and it also removes the bad dreams! If I forget to take my meds, I know it that night!! That was the main reason he wanted to put me on that one... if you're having bad dreams your sleep isn't of a very good quality. So if you dont have nightmares you'll sleep better and feel better the next day....
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catkiki View Post
Have you eaten anything that you don't normally eat? Or maybe spicy food? That can sometimes cause nightmares.
Spicy food before bed is more likely to cause horrible heartburn.


I don't believe I have nightmares anymore? But that may depend on what everyone considers a nightmare. I always thought that it was a dream that scared you and you woke up frightened. Disturbing is a whole different thing all together.

I had one the other night. My father, in the past, wasn't very nice to cats. I had a dream that I went to visit him, he was outside, I went in the house and when I came back out he was stuffing kittens into a plastic trash bag. The mother cat was a little ways away trying to pick up a remaining kitten and run off with it. Weird and unsettling dream, no idea what caused it - maybe from reading some of the more sad and upsetting stories on here.
post #20 of 21
That can be very scary & annoying!
Stress can cause nightmares, actually lots of stuff can actually...but the more important question is how can you stop having nightmares?
Research lucid dreaming. I can shape my bad dreams, redirect them, or simply wake up. I don't have to take any meds, eat certain foods, do rituals, or do anything special at all, just be me. My nights are very peaceful
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
I haven't eatne anything different, no new meds, and I'm not heavily wedding planning still. I am a little stressed at work but I have been more stressed before.

I do sleep without socks. I'm weird about that. But that is quite interesting.

I think I just need to chill. I saw someone mentioned exercise to relieve stress so I may get into running every night again.

Thanks for all your advice!
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