Chronic 'nightmares' - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-16-2015, 04:17 AM
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Chronic 'nightmares'

I used to have pretty horrible, reoccurring nightmares almost nightly as a child but I kind of grew out of it around puberty. Recently though, I have been having horrible nightmares again 3 and 4 times a week that I wake up from confused, panicked, crying... They aren't the same ones over and over like when I was a kid though, they are all different, extremely vivid/realistic and all equally disturbing/distressing. Some are flashbacks to some horrible things that happened when I was younger, some are about my bird being killed in horrible ways or my husband being hurt or hurting me and some are just straight up scary 'entities', being shoved off buildings, held against my will and generally horrible and disturbing stuff.

This has been going on for a few months now and it's really bothering me since I don't understand WHY it's happening now. I don't take any medications at all, I haven't been feeling 'off', I haven't changed my diet or eating habits recently... I have actually been LESS stressed lately than in recent years. I've also been in an overall good state of mind, feeling healthy, productive and overall happy. Any thoughts on why an adult in a good place in life would start having chronic nightmares?

Last edited by Kiwibird08; 11-16-2015 at 04:20 AM.
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#2 Old 11-16-2015, 05:26 AM
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Do you tend to find that you are thinking about the nightmare before you go to sleep.

I had a weird nightmare once, but didn't think much of it. The next night I found myself in bed thinking "I hope I don't have that nightmare again"

Low and behold, I had another one.

Over the next week I was having one every night, each night hoping I wouldnt.

***This is not the answer. The next night I had a few drinks - I fell into bed to be honest. No nightmare.

The next night I was thinking "I hope I don't have that nightmare" - yep you guessed it - I had one.

Obviously I was not going to drink every night to prevent myself having nightmares, but I thought surely there must be a reason why I'm not having them when I drink.

I stopped having nightmares by falling to sleep listening to music. I guess for me it was going to bed with it on my mind that was causing them.

Maybe you could try and do something like that? Read a book, fall asleep watching telly or something?

Its just an idea, maybe you'll find luck?
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#3 Old 11-16-2015, 06:31 AM
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there are some long Youtube videos of waves, or rain, etc...maybe that would help you sleep.

Maybe, if your life is going ok, you are less repressed, which might mean that feelings from deeper parts of you are able to rise up into your dreams...? That's just a theory...
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#4 Old 11-16-2015, 06:33 AM
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It's funny....I've had what you might consider nightmares since I was little and they never stopped. They don't bother me even while I am being eaten alive or exploding or falling off cliffs or whatever, though since I can feel pain in my dreams I guess it sucks a little. I guess I am just used to it?

Anyways listening to something while going to sleep could help, and I wanted to mention sleepphones. I use them almost every night.
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#5 Old 11-16-2015, 08:54 AM
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I don't have any input to why you have started having nightmares, but I do have a suggestion for how to deal with them. I used to have horrible nightmares fairly regularly, and this worked for me.

After I went to bed, I used to visualize that i was standing in a big cavern with a deep rift running down the middle. A duplicate me would be standing across that rift. I would. I would shout to my duplicate self: "I can control my dreams. You can control your dreams." I would shout that to myself over and over again as I fell asleep, and it would echo through the cavern as I drifted off.

I found that, when a nightmare started, my dreaming self would recognize that and change the dream into a more pleasant one.

It's had a long lasting effect. The first few years, I had to do a "refresher", doing my visualization again periodically over a period of days/weeks, but now I don't have nightmares like that anymore.

I don't know where my cavern visualization originally came from - it's something that just came into my mind when I was training myself to wake up at a certain time in the morning. (A friend in college never had to set her alarm; she just told herself when to wake up as she drifted to sleep. I was curious whether I could do that too.)

Anyway, try to let your mind come up with a visua;ization that works for you, and use it to tell yourself that you can control your dreams.
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#6 Old 11-16-2015, 01:04 PM
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Have you started any new medications? Or melatonin supplements? Could you be pregnant? Are you eating enough?
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#7 Old 11-16-2015, 01:40 PM
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Are you perhaps peri-menopausal?? I never used to remember dreams except on very rare occasions (used to say I just didn't dream, but that's not at all true).... The last few years, I've been dreaming regularly & VERY vividly. **shrug** Can't hurt to try to narrow it down.... LOL

Best of luck.... and sweet dreams!!
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#8 Old 11-17-2015, 01:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I have not started any new supplements, I track my daily caloric/nutritional intake so I am eating enough/getting adequate nutrition, I have been on the mostly raw diet for about a year and a half now (so no major dietary changes recently), I am not pregnant (regular periods) and definitely not peri-menopausal (I'm only 26). There really seems to be no trigger I can identify. We have one of those 'sound machines' we never use, but I'm going to start using it and see if that helps. I'll also give pre-sleep visualizations a try. My husband says I've been rolling around/tearing off the blankets/making noises and I've woken up sobbing a couple times. I'm really hoping the other unpleasant thing I used to get a child (sleep paralysis) doesn't start back up again because that was always more terrifying than the nightmares. I'm just baffled as to why this is happening now

Maybe, if your life is going ok, you are less repressed, which might mean that feelings from deeper parts of you are able to rise up into your dreams...? That's just a theory...
I certainly hope not. There are couple events in my life I want to remain in the past and thought patterns I've worked very hard to not let affect me. I don't want those things coming up uncontrolled in my dreams
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#9 Old 11-19-2015, 06:27 PM
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Consider seeing a doctor.
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#10 Old 11-19-2015, 07:54 PM
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You might find it helpful to see a therapist.


Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
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#11 Old 11-20-2015, 05:03 AM
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I appreciate the suggestions, but I can think of few things I would personally find less helpful than divulging sensitive personal information about my life to a total stranger I have to pay to listen to and care about my problems. I know therapists help some people, but I am just not of the personality type or mindset where it would be useful for me.

I did read something very interesting about not being able to recall dreams being a symptom of B6 deficiency. I would also be relatively sure before switching to a high raw diet I was likely slightly deficient in b vitamins and apparently when your deficient in b vitamins they can take a while to build back up in your body. I almost wonder if I was still having nightmares all that time, just not as vivid of ones and wasn't remembering them? And now that it's been almost a year and a half since being on a mostly raw diet (which seems to be very agreeable with my body) and building back up my b vitamin stores slowly (I have only been supplementing b12 though and getting my other b vitamins through food) if that's whats triggered me to start having more intense nightmares I remember?

I am going to get out that sleep noise machine thing from storage and review the instructions over the weekend. I know it has something about different noises affecting different brain waves and some setting that gradually slows the noises down while you're falling asleep. I haven't used it in years and have forgotten how exactly it's suppose to work but do want to see if it could be of some help. I hope so!
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#12 Old 11-21-2015, 01:30 AM
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Sorry about the nightmares, Kiwi.

If you don't want to talk to someone about your personal life/feelings, maybe you can try writing some of it down, like journaling? You can even shred/burn it when you're done. Sometimes just getting it out there, in whatever form, can be helpful.


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#13 Old 11-30-2015, 12:18 PM
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I will only tell you what works for me. I suffer nightmares and have off and on as an adult. I did as a child. At times they were so bad I injured myself and had episodes of sleepwalking and others things besides walking.

anyway. This is what I have found works for me. I listen to a book on tape. (on cd uploaded on either either my mac or my phone, usually I'm using it on my phone through headphones, but either way works) I usually listen to horror. This has absolutely no impact on giving me nightmares. I read horror. And when I read it's usually something I've not read before. That has no impact either. But the books I listen to are ones I've listed to LITERALLY hundreds of times before. They are not new. They are comfortable. I can pick this story up at any point and go with it. I think this works for me for several reasons. It is comforting and also gives my mind a story to sort of follow. Rather than go full-on nightmare, it just stays in the familiar and ends up bored (because of course we've been listening to this story for more than a year now, seriously) so it goes off and works on the other business of the day. If that makes any sense.

For when I am really tense I have a weird little program on my phone that is brain something. Binaural Beats. its weird. Its different beats in the different sides of the earphones to bring your brainwaves into a certain pattern, for relaxation say, or deeper sleep, as opposed to REM sleep. let me look at the app.... is what it says. Brain Wave - 32 advanced binaural programs, but i think there is a smaller program. I use that one periodically when I think I want a deeper state of relaxation and I think that might help me.

But anyway. That is what works for me. And I usually, used to, have really terrifying nightmares. This seems to tame them. give my dreams a structure and let my mind work out the day better.

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#14 Old 12-02-2015, 07:19 PM
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Beautiful Joe described a technique known as lucid dreaming, which is effective. There are books about it.

Especially since you had sleep paralysis as a child, again, you may find it helpful to see a doctor now. Perhaps there is something physical going on.

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