Nightmares, Repetitive and Precognitive Dreams – What Can We Learn from Them?
- Created on Friday, 27 April 2012 09:46
- Written by Maria Tadd
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Children have night terrors. Teens and adults can have nightmares that often can be caused by stress. In a dream study, 83.7% of adult study participants reported having nightmares sometime between their teenage years and the present and some had repetitive nightmares. When I was sixteen, I had such a disturbing dream that I feared going to sleep and would lie awake for hours night after night anticipating a repeat of the horrors. It got so bad, I was prescribed sleeping pills. If only I had known about dream interpretation, or if back then seeing a shrink hadn’t been so stigmatized, I would have been able to identify and come to terms with the issues that were causing my nightmares.
Just a few weeks ago, a neighbor, a retired professor from UNC, told me that he had nightmares every night during the time his son moved back in with him and his wife and was in in-home hospice. His son had been a drug-addict, had spent time in prison and his friends who visited him while he was being cared for by his parents, lived on the margin. This coupled with trying to mend their estranged relationship caused my neighbor extreme anxiety which played out every night. During the many months they cared for their son, they healed the wounds of their past and the nightmares stopped after their son died.
Some common nightmares include being trapped or chased, being in school and suddenly finding out that there is a test for which you are unprepared, teeth falling out, not being able to find the classroom in which there is an exam or getting lost and not being able to return to the point of origin in the dream. Some quick interpretations: Being chased by an unknown person: This might mean that there is some part of yourself that you are avoiding or do not want to face. When you face yourself, admit your shortcomings and your insecurities and then take steps to learn what the lesson is. This kind of dream will probably stop and might return if another lesson needs to be learned.
Being trapped or unable to move: This may mean that the dreamer in his waking state thinks he is stuck. He may have limited choices or no choice. The dreamer’s use of imagination may be limited. He may be paralyzed mentally by negative thinking, doubt, or hesitation. The lesson here may be to step out of the fear that is preventing him from making better choices, learn to take risks, and choose wisely.
Being unprepared for a test: “School” in a dream can symbolize the way a dreamer learns about herself. In our everyday life experiences, we have many opportunities each day to learn about ourselves. In essence, life is an on-going “classroom”. When one dreams of being unprepared for a test, it may mean that the dreamer may have lessons in life that keep being presented, but she may not be learning them. Perhaps the dreamer lacks self confidence and is afraid to ask for a raise. Perhaps she has a great idea that will improve the work environment but fears that her boss won’t listen or may even mock her.
Teeth Falling Out: “Food” in a dream can mean knowledge. Since we use our teeth to chew and digest our food, we can say that we need our teeth to digest/assimilate knowledge. If our teeth fall out it may mean that the old way of receiving knowledge is outdated and that it is time take in knowledge in a new way.
Being Lost: To dream of getting lost may mean that the dreamer is unsure of herself. Not sure if she is going in the right direction in life. And she has a fear that she isn’t going to be able to find her way, to find the “right” path. Often dreams about being lost are associated with anxiety.
With practice you will learn to transform nightmares into opportunities to face fear and replace it with understanding. When you learn to interpret dreams and use the messages to make changes in yourself, you can mark the progress of your expanding consciousness by seeing how quickly your dreams change in response. They are a very accurate gauge.
NOTE: there are many more common dreams and nightmares. Here is a source for other common dreams and their interpretations; http://www.nowpublic.com/health/top-10-common-dreams-and-their-meanings.
Repetitive dreams occur for the same reasons nightmares occur ― the subconscious mind of the dreamer tries to relate a significant message. The dream may repeat itself as a rerun of the former versions or there might be a change in the scene or a new cast of characters might appear while the message or theme remains the same. Like nightmares, repetitive dreams are those that stimulate the dreamer to keep seeking the meaning of the dream until they finally find some answers. Once the dreamer gets the message and takes appropriate action in response to the dream, the repetitive dreams will stop.
Oddly, my mother and I discovered that we had the same repetitive dream – we both would get lost and wouldn’t be able to return to the point of origin in the dream. So if we started out in a house or hotel or wherever, we could never find our way back. Quite frankly, I’m not sure that either one of us ever figured out what the message was. For me, it seemed like the dream was an expression of my anxiety.
It is important to note, that some repetitive dreams can warn the dreamer of a serious illness. These types of dreams have been well documented. So for example, if you have a dream about a tumor on your neck or in your breast, and the dream sort of haunts you and won’t go away and if the tumor looks bigger with each new night time “examination”, it would behoove you to seek medical attention.
Dreams can give us a window into the probable future. Unlike our physical body which is bound by the laws of physics and the dimensions of time and space, the subconscious mind has no restrictions, no physical limitations. When you have had a precognitive dream and then experience the event you dreamed about previously, it seems familiar because indeed you have already seen it in your dreams. This is known as déjà vu.
People who have had precognitive dreams report that they can distinguish these dreams from others, as precognitive dreams are more vivid/real and feel different. While I was a junior in college, I dreamed about my father’s death six weeks to the hour before he died. I actually had come home at week 6 for the weekend, wanting my father to read a paper I had written for one of my International Studies classes – I wanted his feedback. I casually shared my dream with him as it had been on my mind 24/7 and clearly had been troubling me. He assured me that he was OK. However, strangely during the weekend, he showed me some items from his past, things I had never seen before. I was ready to go back to college on Sunday, but my mother had read the obituaries and saw that someone I had dated in high school had been killed in Vietnam and his funeral was the next day. I stayed an extra night. My father died early Monday morning. Had I gone back to college on Sunday, I would not have been by his side. I worried about his death for six weeks and I have to say that on some level I may have been somewhat prepared for it. It was still extremely difficult to have lost him so suddenly, but perhaps the shock was ever so slightly softened.
Sharing your dreams with others can help you understand them. Sometimes, just talking about your dreams stimulates your own thinking process and can help you figure out a problem you’ve been pondering. Consulting a good dream dictionary can also be quite helpful when interpreting your dreams.