Do You Still Have Nightmares?

Occasionally. The last one I remember, still quite vividly, involved me and my wife in a plane that quite suddenly started going down in exactly the sort of way you’d expect if you lost a wing or vertical stabilizer or something. Sharp nose down, falling suddenly; we were even weightless. I woke up rather suddenly, so I’m not sure what would have happened when we actually hit the ground, but it was disconcerting. It didn’t help that we were getting on a plane the next day to fly from London to Reykjavic.

(Two days later, in Reykjavic, the day before we were due to fly to Boston, I had another plane crash dream. This one I wasn’t on the plane; I was at the airport.)

When I was four or five I realised I was having a nightmare as it was happening and woke myself up. Since then the only nightmare I’ve had was an episode of sleep paralysis a year ago involving a face-eating rat demon, and even that wasn’t particularly scary since I’d been reading about it and just thought “cool, so this is what everyone was talking about” (I was suffering from sleep paralysis a lot at the time, but it was always the can’t-get-out-of-bed kind, not the face-eating-demons kind). I’ve heard that nightmares are your brain’s way of preparing you for real-life situations, which is a little worrying since I seriously never have nightmares, not even the lame kind where you’re naked in public or something. Perhaps I can blame this for my general incompetence.

The frequency usually declines in adulthood. To some extent it seems to coincide with both stress and fearfulness in general.

I’ll say that they are fairly rare for me now ( but I still remember a couple from when I was young ) and I don’t think I have been startled awake since I was in my teens. Generally when I get them these days they are more often what I’d call disturbing - less actively frightening than vaguely menacing. At times I seem to be able to recognize them as dreams and subtly steer them to less disturbing areas - I presume this occurs when I’m on the threshhold of consciousness.

Only once as an adult have I woken myself out of a nightmare, with the previously mentioned gasp from the OP. I often (on the order of every couple of weeks) have nightmares that cause me to twitch and flail and moan in my sleep, but if I’m not woken up by someone else they generally pass without me remembering them very clearly.

If I do get woken up, usually because my twitching, etc. has woken up the husband or boyfriend, it generally takes me several minutes to calm down to the point where I realise that I’m actually awake.

I’m 41, never been pregnant, and I have those dreams. Once I had a dream where I was pregnant and it hurt. I could barely breathe because the baby was pressing on my insides so hard. It was pretty terrifying. Then I woke up and found the blasted dog was sleeping on my stomach and chest. :rolleyes:

I learned to recognize dreams as internal messages to myself. If a dream turns violent that means I’m about to get a migraine headache. If a dream becomes claustrophobic it means I’m having trouble breathing. Either way, I recognize that I’m dreaming and wake up.

The only non-medical nightmare I had as an adult was the result of watching an episode of ER where a pregnancy goes very wrong. It was way too realistic and I woke up sweating from a very stressful dream. I wouldn’t watch the program for years after that.

I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do, about half the time they involve someone chasing me or the end of the world or something. and I also still have vivid memories of the worst dream I ever had, which was at age 13.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a nightmare–but I’ve had semi-realistic bad dreams about things like parking tickets and failure to renew my lease. Generally, at some point I wake up enough to realize the extreme unlikelihood of events transpiring in the manner they took place in the dream.

(For example, without a valid passport, they don’t let you board the plane, nevermind get off a plane and wander around a foreign country for 3 weeks sans passport).

I’m not normally a vivid dreamer, but I had terrible dreams when I was on anti-depressants. It got so bad that I decided that a good night’s sleep might be better than feeling perkier throughout the day. Throughout my life most of my bad dreams end in jumping or falling, and realizing I’m never going to hit bottom. When I was on medication, I had these dreams at least once a week, and other vivid, unpleasant dreams a few more times a week.

You know how you generally wake up right before you die in dreams? My mother has dreams where she dies, and the dream continues. She had one where she was tied up and being sawed into pieces, and kept dreaming. Yuck. I’m really glad I didn’t inherit a tendency towards that kind of dream.

I have bad dreams every now and then, but on chemo and other major medications, I have blockbuster, 47 plot line, no holds barred nightmares that absolutely wear me out. And our cockatiel has night terrors. Apparently, the only kind of bird that does.:rolleyes:

I have nightmares whenever I hurt really bad. I will dream somebody is breaking my legs or such other nice stuff. Last week I dreamt part of my jaw came off and I couldn’t get medical help. The dream is still in the back of my mind.

I have terrifying full-scale nightmares, probably 2-3 times a week, but sometimes several times in one night. I can only sometimes remember them, and those that I do remember don’t seem objectively all that scary, but I wake up with a gasp, heart pounding, drenched in sweat, and often with a lasting sense of terrible danger that makes falling back asleep difficult. Sometimes I even wake up by sitting bolt upright or leaping out of bed.

It sucks. I used to think I’d grow out of them too, but I’m almost 30 and if anything they’ve only gotten worse.

Sure. I’m 42 and still have them regularly.

I sometimes have what I would characterize as “bad dreams” rather than “nightmares”- probably a couple of times a month. The last two I remember were 1) I was driving my car, and someone was in the backseat controlling the car’s movements. It became obvious that he was trying to kill me, so I just let go of the wheel and gave up. I woke up before I crashed. I was feeling very overwhelmed and out of control at work at the time and that dream probably manifested how helpless I felt.

  1. My dog got hit by a car right in front of me. I literally woke up screaming, and scared the hell out of my husband. The two cats sleeping on top of me catapulted themselves off of me and under the bed. The poor dog came running into the room, shaking and scared to death, but determined to protect me from whatever made me scream.

I’m 22 and I had one yesterday night–that a demon was pursuing a friend’s family and trying to lure one of the kids away (I was on the scene for this somehow, I’m not sure). It wasn’t terrifying, just… weird.

Maybe I’m alone in this but I get a real rush after waking up from a terrifying dream.
The moment I wake up and realize it was a dream I get the “whoa, now that was intense” feeling. In the same way people are entertained by scary movies when they jump out of their seats. But you get to be right there in the movie.

I don’t anymore. When I was younger I had them constantly, probably because I was very sensitive and got upset or scared at just about anything. Once I got over this phase, my dreams became very humdrum.

Yes, very frequently.

Male, 38.

I’ve been a lucid dreamer since I was in my teens and have developed the ability to rewind a dream if I don’t like where it’s headed. This doesn’t always work, though.

I still have a nightmare about once a year. Most recent one was Friday; I was being chased by an angry dog roughly the size of Clifford. Woke up at around 4:00 and realized I had to take a leak. When I returned to bed, I tried going back to sleep for some 50 minutes then decided the hell with it. The previous nightmare ended with me in the coils of a boa constrictor; couldn’t go back to sleep after that one, either.

I’ve been having some rather unpleasant dreams lately as well, not at nightmare level. These involve my 83-year-old Dad and his driving ability.

When I’m really stressed about something, or short on sleep for several days, I’ll start having bad, baaaaad nightmares and/or sleep walking.

Which is annoying, since I’m sleeping. How stupid is my body to punish me for doing the one thing I really need at that point?

Hey brain! If you played some reels of, oh… Kate Beckinsale in her tight ‘Underworld’ getup instead of replaying ‘I have no mouth and I must scream’ with me on center stage(screaming), I might try to sleep more… Just a thought.

And god I wish I had never read that book. :stuck_out_tongue: