What triggers nightmares?

I was wondering about this. Cause when I was a kid I used to have nightmares ALL THE TIME, almost everyday. Now I basically never have them, maybe once a year if even that. Why? I kind of miss them as weird as it may sound 😂


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  • - Stress/anxiety. I know when I'm feeling particularly anxious before bed, I usually have pretty terrifying nightmares.
    - Symptoms associated with illness , such as fevers.
    - Reading/watching scary books or movies before sleep.
    - Some medications (I think usually beta blockers and certain antidepressants).
    - Drugs/alcohol.
    - Mental/physical trauma. PTSD also can cause nightmares.
    - Irregular sleeping patterns. It can also cause sleep paralysis too.

    I think that's about it.

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What Guys Said 14

  • Triggers can come from anywhere, a real life bad experience that takes the form of a bad dream, or it could also come from watching a horror movie, say if you have watched a gory, scary horror movie like "The GRUDGE"before you went to sleep then because of the hangover of the movie you may get nightmares.

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  • I think nightmares are caused by something real and perceived in your life especially as a child your fears looking back may seem totally irrational but at the time they are very real to the child.
    I wasn't that bad for childhood nightmares only every now again but a few years ago I was on medication and one of the side effects was nightmares they freaked me out. As for you missing them, no definitely not for me they were bad enough at the time, I wouldn't want them back.

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  • Start off with a fun fact - when people have really really exceptionally vivid dreams that they more often than not remember - it's because they aren't reaching REM sleep. REM sleep occurs when we have at least a 4 hour straight block of sleep. As for what affects the contents of our dreams/nightmares that's a bit trickier. And I think there's a lot more room for interpretation.

    My interpretation is that it's a combination of things. One part being your overall general attitude that particular day whether it's happy sad angry etc. Another part will be what you experienced that day. And lastly what if any event you were fixated on in your mind. I think a combination of all those things is what creates our dreams

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  • *high five* you are in the club. between this and lucid dreaming you must be damn bored of real life lol. Well when everything was new you had nightmares because your body wanted you to be on edge as a natural response. Now that you have become complacent your body has not been shocked by anything. Thats my rationale.

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  • I know what you mean, when I was a kid, I also had lots of nightmares, but now... almost never... once a year at most, really weird, they were like my own horror movies :P

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  • I'm the same. Used to be I could barely sleep at times because of nightmares. Now I maybe have one once a year. And even then it's less scary as it is weird.

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  • There can be many things including emotional abuse, neurological issues, physiological problems like fevers or infections, or just random occurrences in humans.

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  • Suppressed emotions, l think.

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  • I think it's emotions you've recently gone through... dreams are the way your body (mind) deals with them :D

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  • anxiety for me. everytime i'm really worried about something big coming up i have bad nightmares and apparently talk in my sleep...

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  • Dreams and nightmares r the ways the brain sends messages to you about how it doesn't approve of your lifestyle and wants you to change

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    • Yeah that's not actually it

    • Show All
    • Thats still one opinion. Show me what and how he came up with that conclusion and i'll lend him more credibility.

    • @PANDAmonium I'm not gonna search for the video but from studies conducted at some prestigious university, he concluded that the brain sends u messages in the forms of dreams, about ur fears perhaps, or if you're doing something wrong. U don't have to believe me, but that's why they called this thing I've shared as an opinion

  • I don't know.. I have zombie nightmares.. Mayb i should stop watching the walking dead

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  • 👻😈🕷🐍 BOO. Did it work are you scared?

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  • sleep with your eyes open @missnowhere
    i.ytimg.com/vi/BbliqHJkvN4/maxresdefault.jpg

    i miss sexual activities in my dreams.

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What Girls Said 12

  • As a kid lol, my mom always said bad dreams came from consuming sugary foods/drinks at night right before bed. She also said that talking about my dreams at night would repeat the dream but as a nightmare. So far, lol both conclusions were right

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  • Dreams are ideas or concepts that our conscience cang process, or file away. Do we have dreams about them. Kids have more vivid dreams more often bc there brain is growing, they dream more. And there's a lot around them that they don't understand or have trouble processing. It's like a computer rebooting, and auto saving all the open documents

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  • I've had nightmares most nights all my life and the fact you miss them means they werent very scary. I wake up crying 6/10 times or more when I have nighmares

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  • things that scary you? I always dream of dying but i don't know! I don't see it as nightmare!

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  • Fear/ anxiety
    Phobia, when I had cemetery Phobia I would literally dream about cemeteries, death and zombies every night
    Depression, I used to have dark nightmares and suicide nightmare
    Stress for example exam period..

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  • Same here... I haven't had any nightmares for more than half a year...
    Allegedly, if you eat lots of food right before you sleep, you will probably have nightmares... maybe that's the trigger.

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  • It's a fascinating topic. Sometimes it has to do with the chemistry in your brain, an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters for example. That's why taking some drugs can actually give you nightmares. Then there's this whole cognitive and psyche aspect of it which is much more complex. A lot of psychologists have said its repressed thoughts or memories or feelings.

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  • Stress, anxiety or something scary you might've seen or heard.

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  • To be honest, I'd like to know because as far as I can remember I have never had a nightmare or bad dream. I'm actually curious as to what it feels like 😂

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  • You probably can't remember them

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  • Bad eating habits
    Stress
    Sickness

    I never heard of someone who actually misses nightmares

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  • Kids have more nightmares than adults usually. I do still get a lot of nightmares, but I think that's because I've got ptsd and that does give you nightmares.

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