Do You Still Have Nightmares?

I, for one, do, and I’m a 20-year-old male. Usually on the order of a few a month. I typically can’t remember them in the morning, but just last night I had two, both of which actually startled me out of sleep with the oft-portrayed gasp. That prompted me to start this thread.

The first involved being in some sort of a one-story building with many rooms, maybe like a doctor’s office. There was a large room and many smaller ones. I was one of many mild-mannered citizens minding his/her own business in the large waiting room when suddenly several disheveled, disgruntled men come in with guns a-blazing. They demanded we empty our pockets/purses/etc. and dump everything on the floor. Then just to make sure we weren’t still trying to sequester anything away, they began to set explosives all throughout the building and detonate them at random, with guards at all the exit. The pandemonium from one explosion would only send the crowd stampeding towards another area, where there was of course a high likelihood of another explosive detonating.

The second started off outdoors. This dream was somewhat like Stephen King’s The Mist. Off in the far distance was what looked like a very large tornado bearing down on the community in which I found myself. It was moving really slowly, though, and so it seemed nothing more than a strange oddity. Don’t ask why there weren’t any scientific investigations of this thing; I couldn’t tell you. So since it didn’t seem to be a danger, I went out with some friends to some kind of shopping mall.
While there, this “tornado” came closer and closer, until eventually the wind forced people to take shelter. Coming along with this “tornado” were very large, lumpy, gray bubbles. When the bubbles popped, creatures like wraiths and ghouls emerged. I took shelter in a subterranean parking garage with many other people scared witless.
Then somehow, I made it back home unharmed and proceed to rush throughout the house to see where everyone was. I remember going downstairs and finding a cell phone lying on the ground, still turned on. A voice was projecting from the speaker. I dashed for the phone and remember hearing someone ask repeatedly if anyone was there, was anyone alive to receive the caller? The phone was positioned near an open door leading to my garage.
As I bent down to pick up the phone, I looked out the door and through the garage to the my driveway. There, floating down the driveway towards the garage door - and thus towards me - was a wraith with a rake that had been snapped such that there was a wicked, jagged edge. The sight of the wraith with the makeshift spear, on top of the horror of people dropping like flies to wraiths around the shopping mall, on top of the desperation of rushing home to find the place deserted, woke me with my heart pounding.
So, anyone willing to own up to still having nightmares?

Yes, and I’m 43. My husband will shake me awake if he hears me making that very unhappy moaning sound in my sleep.

About once a month, though it’s unpredictable. I recently had one that was too awful for me to describe here. I woke up feeling nauseated and that ill feeling stayed with me all day. That often happens to me-- a bad dream bothers me all day the next day. Just another reason that I hate sleep.

Yes, but not with great frequency. (I am 31.) Maybe a few times a year? More when I am pregnant, that seems to bring out the crazy in my dreams. I make a distinction between a ‘bad’ dream and a nightmare, though. I have bad dreams where a loved one dies or something, but when the dream is over, it is over. Nightmares are the heart-pounding ones that stay with you disturbingly when you are awake and make you not want to go back to sleep.

I dream a lot and remember a lot of my dreams, like at least 1 and usually 2-3 every night, so it is not surprising that they are not all sunshine and roses, but over all my dreams are mundane or pleasant. Once in a while I even have a real lucid dream, but those are very infrequent.

Very rarely. For a while I had gone through some tough times medically and I was having night terrors (OK, I may be using the term wrong. I would wake up terrified, but not remember what I was dreaming or why I was scared.)

I have weird, vivid dreams, but rarely have a nightmare.

My sisters (53 and 57) and I (50) were just talking about this. My oldest sister described dreams I have all the time – trying to dial the phone but you keep mis-dialing the number or you pick up the receiver and there are weird voices on the line, the standard dream about forgetting you were enrolled in a class and now you have to take the final exam. She categorized those as nightmares.

My middle sister has what I would call nightmares – dreams involving gory dismemberment, etc. I don’t have those kinds of nightmares, thank Og.

As far as my own dreams go, for one to qualify as a nightmare, it has to cause heart-pounding terror. I have those, and often the terror is caused by things that are in no way scary or threatening IRL. I don’t have them often. Maybe one or two a year.

Frequently. Where did you get the idea that people outgrow them?

I don’t have scary nightmares anymore, and it’s easily been at least fifteen years since I did, but I do have very unpleasant dreams on rare occasions.
Most of those very unpleasant dreams are flashbacks to my days waiting tables.
I call them nightmares, but they aren’t really.

Sort of - it’s not unusual for me have fairly vivid dreams involving zombies and other monsters, but I find them entertaining, and I rather enjoy them. How weird is that?

What Velma said. I haven’t had a “wake up with heart pounding” dream in a long time, but I do have dreams about rather unpleasant things. Most recently for example, I dreamed that Christopher Meloni was fired from Law & Order: SVU, and his character replaced by a twenty-something studmuffin who becomes Olivia Benson’s love interest.

Oh, yes, depending on your definition of “nightmare”

I’m a lucid dreamer, so any dream I can’t “steer” (it isn’t exactly control – I am aware I’m dreaming, and can usually “aim” it, but I can’t decide to turn a dream about evil vampires into pure “fuzzy Lab puppies playing with cuddly tiger-striped kittens”) so I tend to freak out, and wake up in a cold sweat with a wake-the-dead shriek, if the kittens appear as full grown fuzzy purring White Tigers or adorable purple Dick-Van-Dykish-Dragons in my kitchen singing the chimney-sweep song from Disney’s Mary Poppins.

I’m 44 as of last June. The purring tigers and the freaky Dick Van Dike/Dragon thing are not a theme, but merely the most recent example of a “nightmare” about which I freaked out.

I have very, very disturbing dreams probably at least once a month, and sometimes more often. They aren’t like horror, but they are bad enough that I have to get up and go read or something because I am scared to go back to sleep.

Oh, yeah - not too often, but when I do they’re bad. More likely if I’ve read or watched something scary, so I tend not to. (When I gave in and saw The Ring it was horrible. I know there’s a major danger to reading horror books, but sometimes they’re so good I can’t resist. Duma Key turned out to be safe but if I’d stopped at the wrong time it wouldn’t have been. I don’t seek out horror fiction for that reason, specifically.)

About once every three months or so Himself will have a bad one and not really altogether “wake up” - he makes these incredibly horrible whimpering screamy moans that are absolutely indescribable and make me want to pee myself. Sometimes he whisper/screams my name and I think it’s because he knows I can wake him up. I try to wake him when he does this but it’s really hard sometimes - he just can’t be roused.

I call those “anxiety dreams” and I get those, too. Often I dream that I have come to some event incredibly inappropriately dressed, like I’ve worn a bathing suit and it’s Opening Night at the Vienna Opera. Or of course there’s the “oh shit I forgot I’m in this class and it’s the final”. And the one where your teeth crumble out.

I’ve only had a few really heart-pounding nightmares in my life, but I often have unpleasant and very vaguely creepy dreams. A few days ago I dreamt that the Peacock family from the X-Files episode “Home” was chasing me.


I have nightmares all the time.

There’s a lot of zombies involved.

I don’t remember ever having outright scary dreams, where something was chasing or attacking me. I don’t usually watch or read horror fiction so maybe that helps. I haven’t woken with my heart pounding in years.

I do sometimes have anxiety dreams, usually the classics like forgetting about a test (it’s been many years since I was in school, why do I keep having those?) or not being able to find the place I’m supposed to be. I also frequently dream that I’m pregnant (again, why? My youngest child is 8.) Those should be a kind of nightmare but it’s never upsetting in the dreams.

I have that one regularly. Once, I dreamed that I was a little boy who was being chased by Jeffrey Dahmer and I was hiding somewhere, trying to call me the adult woman, to save me the little boy, but I couldn’t dial the number, and Dahmer was about to find me. Argh.

Last night, I had a dream that my husband and I were getting divorced. There was no reason for it that I can remember-- the content of the dream was just the feelings of being so upset, sad, disappointed, and feeling totally screwed. Nice. Thanks, unconscious mind!

Yes, every so often. A plain old bad dream is more common–that is, unpleasant but not terrifying. I’m still having dreams about college–that it’s halfway through the semester and I haven’t gone to my history class once, that sort of thing.

I rarely have dreams I remember anymore. It just doesn’t happen. I rarely have long periods of deep sleep, either. I’m sure that’s why I don’t dream.