Why do people have nightmares?

Nightmares are the bad dreams that disturb us and awake us from the sleep. Nightmares can vary from the person to person but the most common one is that a person feels chased by the other. Different emotions develop during the nightmares some feel sad other can feel anger or depressed but generally people feel anxiety and fear.

There are many reasons why people have nightmares. It can be due to traumatic events in life for e.g. death of a close friend or relative, a severe accident or other shocking event. It also happens because of certain medications or illness and also the withdrawal of some medicines. Nightmares can happen because of stress, tension. Other causes of nightmares are sleep disorders, excessive consumption of alcohol. In children nightmares are more common than the adults. It occurs in the age of three or four and seven or eight. No need to worry for the nightmares in the children because it is just a phase of their growth and in this way they are learning to deal with their fears and problems. They dream mostly about the animals. There are some people who experience nightmares totally unrelated to their lives which show that these people have a good creative mind.

Nightmares are different from night terrors. Night terrors occur in the NREM stage of sleep. It Results in screaming and thrashing about in bed while nightmares occur in REM stage of sleep. It results in the fear and anxiety but not in screaming and other symptoms as in night terrors. Moreover nightmares are rarely remembered. Nightmare acts as a “psyche relief” as all the fear and feelings from our subconscious mind is expelled out in the form of nightmares.

Depending on the cause of nightmare we can prevent it like if it is due to some medication then consultation is required with the doctor. No treatment is required in the case of children. What you can do is to talk with them about their bad dreams and make them sure that it was only a dream nothing like that will happen in the reality. This will surely help them.


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  1. i think this is good information because i have lots of bad nightmares all the time so i know how it feels. but great information!!!! thanks.

  2. I found your answer very helpful thank you so much

  3. it is good to know caused nightmares are sometimes in controllable.
    it serves to the youths as a good information in pschology

  4. hehehehehehehe WOW!!!!! :DD

  5. Hmmm i dnt think im going to have nightmares

  6. i am 14 years old an i have bad dreams every night about me dieing an more things i fall out of bed i run out of my house one night my dad seriously hade to chace me down the street because i was dreaming…i always dream about one thing everynight its the same dream but when i woke up from the dream i hade befor i go to sleep again an it goes back to the same dream just a differnt place…

  7. i am a teenager or basically almost there whatever but i have nightmares and other awkward dreams i cant explain and i want to understand but i dont wanna think or dream about nightmares or interesting dreams or thoughts

  8. Im an 11 year old girl and i am always having nightmares, i dont know why and it all scares me, i used to have them and then they stopped because my mom talked to me and stopped it., but scince i moved to st edmunds, its just got worse, this information hasnt quite helped me because i still have them, i am a child and i think its either down to stress, or the area i live in. its a bad area you see, every bang you hear is most likely a gun shot. well thats what it has became in my head. every corner i turn there is someone watching me in my head. but it isnt. i called off seeing my friend becaause i had a nightmare about me getting killed in her house, it just doesnt make sense, soo what can i do any advice, i cant cope with this a lot.

  9. Im 19 years old, i see that creative people are more prone to have nightmares about things that have nothing to do with their lives, you see im an actor, and writer of music and scripts. Ive had nightmares for the past month or so, maybe longer i cant remember. I wake up always feeling a huge sickness to my stomach, its never pleasant. I either wake up feeling like i have killed someone or they have killed me. I looked in to past life regression, and i wonder could i possibly be dreaming dreams of a past life? someone who im not but the reincarnation of that person. Im going to be doing a past life regression hypnosis here soon, never been under hypnosis but i want to see if it helps. and they say this could help or open doors to something i dont want to toil with….

  10. i’m kenxley jeryax…16 years old boy
    i had a nightmare last night..
    my dream is all about a vampire who stares at me.. and when he turned side view
    i was terrified ..
    i want to move but i can’t move
    ,i want to shout but i can’t shout.
    i am forcing myself to do it..
    until i was awaken by myself..
    i found out that my mouth was opened wider..

  11. i have been haveing alot of night mares but they have stopped my mom said if i tell her my bad dreams that i will not have that dream any more and it works so maybe you should try it

  12. I’m 16 years old girl from North Carolina I have just moved to a new location. Every night I go to sleep and have the same dream of my ex bf killing me I can feel everything and when i wake up my nose bleeds like it actual happened I am 2 hours away from him now but when I’m asleep I feel like he’s with me every secound of the night intil I wake up crying! Is this normal!!

  13. All bad dreams are caused by heart palpitation.The most common symptoms resulting from heart palpitation are tachycardia and bradycardia so the most common bad dreams has dreamed of falling and being attacked

  14. Wow I didn’t know so much about nightmares and now I do! Thanks to everyone who wrote it! (George!)

  15. hello,
    i am a 16 year old girl. i see a counsler. i have nightmares but more night terrors alot. one night i was with my boyfriend and i by accident fell asleep and i punched him in the face, because of my nightmare… whenever i go to see a friend i never sleep over because i always have nightmares at their house. i need help. i need to understand.

  16. i am 7 yrs.old and my baddream was that vampires took over earth and blended in with their surroundings. when i saw one it chased me until it flew over my head.then it ran up andit bit my neck.then a horde of vampires killed me.to my older brother ceirek’s voice. he asked “why did you jerk?” i said i had an epicly horroble night mare.

  17. hi. i am 11years old and my bad dream was i was in a resturant like always nobody beileves me is because i was possesed ,cut a snake in both of my wrists and in a bath room stall and i walked behind him with a knife my hand and stabbed him 3x.i went out and paid the bill i saw a police officer i ran to him and said i didn’t do it. then as i ran out the door he walked in the bath room and he ran out of the bath room and said “nobody goes any where we need detectives to ceck your i.ds when i woke up and said in that dream i must of been an adult becuasei paid for the bill.

  18. i am a 19 year old female and when i was younger i used to have many happy (positive) dreams, and ocasionally one or two night mares (rarely), then in my early adolescence i completely stopped having dreams or nightmares altogether.. i wonder why? and now that i am 19 i began to get nightmares only, and i don’t have any positive dreams anymore, just have lots of night mares almost every single night.. does any one know why this could be?

  19. I’m 28 and having started having terrible nightmares all from my youth, they fell so real… I have softly ask my mum if I had any trouble when I was young. She just gives the old….boys r boys..
    But these nightmares are serious, people get hurt, me included.
    I have no memory from 7-11…. Really…. More q’s..

    Any help….

  20. why thank you i now know what wakes me up at night……beside my good friend louis tomlinson snoring. we have a bromance you know. australia’s nice in case you were wondering although i had a nightmare about it last night. i dreamed Louis drowned while surfing. i just dont know what i would do without him i mean who else would i share a microwave with.

  21. All nightmares or night terrors are caused by palpitations.There are three main types of nightmares(death dreams or being chased dreams ,flying dreams or falling dreams and Incubus or sleep paralysis) that are caused by three main scary symptoms {the scary sensations of palpitation make you feel as if you are going to die at any moment[1],the scary sinking feeling in heart of palpitation and scary fainting (syncope) }. They are all different in certain ways. All three types of nightmares has symptom of a scary heart palpitations-sensations. Scary Incubus or scary sleep paralysis or scary fainting (syncope) has symptoms of scary lightheaded and dizzy , a loss of strength and a loss of consciousness, perspiration, vision problems, difficulty hearing, ringing in your ears, pressurein your chest[2] and others do not.

  22. i hate my ghetto school!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Hi, I’m 14. I’ve been having bad dreams for a while now. I need help. Its hard to sleep. I don’t know why this is happening to me. Does anyone know how to fix this? I can’t talk to my parents about some of this. What do I do?

  24. I had another bad dream last night. Zombies were ripping me apart before I woke up. I know none of it is real but it is still scary. I couldn’t sleep after the dream. I wake up tired all the time. I want help.

  25. If someone has a sudden boost in artistic ability when they start to have bad dreams are they connected?

  26. Hi I’m 14 years old and my girlfriend has been having nightmares of her dead aunt everynight. Her aunt was very close to her and everynight my girlfriend Jessi has dreams of being on this game show and the only way to win is kill her aunt. She wakes up in tears she screams in her sleep and I sit there wanting to help her in anyway but don’t know what to do.

  27. The theory that nightmares could be some kind of outlet for stress and anxiety intrigues me somewhat.
    As far as I can possibly tell sending the heart into a sort of ‘spasm,’ if you will, and scaring the dreamer half-to-death makes little sense to me, and if anything makes people more anxious and stressed.

    One thing I have noticed (this is a bit of a no-brainer), from stories of others and my personal experiances, is that people’s worst and/or most basic fears appear to be incorporated into thier nightmares. For example, I often end up in a high location or experiance a falling sensation and/or are surrounded by darkness, not quite pitch black, just enough to be able to see parts of objects, ect.
    Considering both of these things are something I can’t deal with in real life it makes sense ir should be in a nightmare and/or night terror of mine.

  28. My father has suffered from dreams problem since 2000. He also taken medication of depression regularly but it has no significant advantage for dreams. Dreams that comes daily about her forefathers, kill bu someone etc.Plz help me how to sort out this problem.

  29. My boyfriend has been having some pretty violent nightmares about me lately, and its kind of scaring me. He would never do anything to ever hurt me but his nightmares are getting out of hand, he says he read somewhere that if someone is having these type of dreams you wont have them when you fall asleep with the person you really care about. I don’t know where he read it but i don’t really think its true. Can someone please help me out here? He started getting them last month and i thought it was because of stress but now i can see its not from stress. FYI he isnt trying to get in my pants so please dont type it. i really do need someone to help me with this

  30. I’m 29 and suffer with nightmares and other things, but first the nightmares: I’m constantly having different nightmares but it’s always in the same place (the house I grew up in) I find this strange because my childhood was a normal one with no major issues or anything like that so it just baffles me that it’s always the same house yet all the other dreams I have are in different places.

    Now for the other urrrmm not really sure how to describe it but here goes…. I often wake up unable to move at all it’s like my mind is awake but my body is not. During this time I start to see images and hear terrifying things i.e footsteps up the stairs, doors flying open, someone whispering in my ear, breath on my neck, hand holding mine etc but the worst one was something sitting on my chest (I think it was a gnome) I was definitely awake I kept telling myself it’s not real and closed my eyes, tried to struggle and move so I could wake up my body. The gnome like thing fell off my chest and then crawled back on I kept my eyes closed kept trying to struggle but all I felt when I was trying was a kind of tingling sensation in my arms, legs back, chest well pretty much all over really. I gave up in the end and I suddenly snapped out of it and was fine didn’t feel any tingling, nothing. This was truly terrifying and keeps happening. Can someone help please?

  31. This was very nice cause i habe nightmares al the time thanks it was verry helpful now i can assure my self hat its just a dream

  32. i have always nightmares… but i think it is normal 2 all people if 2 much thinking.stress.scared,sad,tired and tention.. i advice 2 all.. b4 sleep must pray 2 our god father and jesus christ.. i want 2 share my dreams.. almost same 2 all.. but 2 all of worse is i thought i wake up already but not really.. if i discover again,i still im inside my nightmare..i try 2 move my body 2 wake up but very hard.. and im crying 2 much in my dreams and every i feel very hard 2 wake up…. if i really feel scared maybe i cant wake up anymore and fell tired 2 fight my nughtmare i pray in inside my mind then authomatically,i wake up..! sometyms i give up 2 figt 2 wake up but my lord is always there 4 u..even in inside in our dreams..

  33. All nightmares or bad dreams are caused by palpitations . Antidepressants, antibiotics and blood-pressure drugs can cause nightmares because blood pressure medications and diuretics can cause syncope. In addition, some antidepressants and antipsychotic medications can cause syncope. Women have worse nightmares than men because palpitations are a common symptom in all age groups, more commonly inwomen than men. Women are more likely than men to experience heart palpitations when suffering from a stroke. Women have a huge amount of nightmares during pregnancy because women experience more palpitations in pregnancy . Physical factors that contribute to bad dreams include fever as also sleep because fever causes an increase in the heart rate,

  34. 1Pet 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    The terrors seen to many including scientists that the terrors are an unexplainable, yet science, not understanding what it cannot see seeks to provide answers to these matters in the physical realm. Yet the truth is that it touches into the spiritual and though it affects the body and mind functionality, it does not find it’s source there. The enemy of souls seeks to instill at night while men sleep seeds of deception, that when they take root, they will affect beliefs, incline to sin, subvert faith in Christ, or overthrow faith in the Bible. There may be occasions where you will find yourself awake, but your eyes are still closed after these terrors, you may sometimes hear various voices at one ear that are planting doubts and fears and strange beliefs to try and convince you of a belief or feeling or mindset that did not originate in you, but chauvin enemy of God will seek to establish you in to bring ruin and ultimate alienation and from God. It is this hatred that Satan has for God which crucified the Savior, His Son, and to hurt the God of love who cannot die, Satan seeks to separate that which is dear to God in eternal separation. There is a much greater battle beyond the veil, let it be pulled back, and men would see clearly the satanic designs to overthrow God’s perfect kingdom by stealing the hearts and minds of His creation that He loves. This is where freewill comes into play. Email me at Christian_isr@live.com to talk more with me for healthy discussion. Pray to God through Jesus who died in your place and has been risen from the dead and from the punishment and curse of sin to deliver us from all evil, and God who can be trusted to keep your heart, will and will help you and comfort in due season- draw nearer to Him, because the days are evil.

  35. im 13 years old and the few times ive gone to sleep ive had really graphic scary nightmares and its really scaring me. All of them have been different but they’ve been really vulgar and now im scared to go to sleep but the thing is that I have no idea why im having these nightmares. I usually get them when I have seen a scary movie but I haven’t and I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary and no bad incidents have happened so im very confused and now I don’t think ill be able to go back to sleep unless im to tired to fight it. can someone please help and answer my question?

  36. I’m 12 and I had a nightmare that someone came up to my door try to open it but it was lock and they didn’t shut off the power yet then after my mom got up I woke up my heart was pounding and my hand was in a position like I was holding an egg and my other hand was laying on my chest and I was starring in my dinning room and now I’m afraid when I here foot steps comeing up the step and weird noises comeing from downstairs.

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