Nightmares Translated

Most of us nod off as our sleeping brain uses this time to make sense of our day-to-day experiences. We continue to fall deeper and deeper into a slumber as our dream world unfolds, putting us face-to-face with our unconscious fears and desires. This could manifest into a cycle of bad dreams from seeing zombies to being cheated on.

So, what is the meaning behind these nightmares?

In the video, “The 10 Most Common Nightmares and Their Meanings!,” Matthew Santoro explains bad dreams can reveal a lot about our life. Nightmares affect as many as 80 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives, making them extremely common. The American Sleep Association explains some of these cases can be caused by medication use; extreme levels of anxiety in everyday life; or if someone in our family has a similar problem with nightmares, which can increase the likelihood of a sleeping disorder.

Santoro notes a common nightmare we all get is being naked in front of people. This dream is often accompanied by an audience of fully clothed people. Dreaming of being naked in front of people can represent a fear of revealing something to others; a secret we’re worried people have or soon will discover; a loss of identity; or feeling ashamed or misjudged about something we took or said.

Other dreams take us to a more supernatural world where ghosts, zombies and the undead surface. For example, seeing a ghost in our dream doesn’t mean impending doom. The dead can symbolize regret, thoughts we find upsetting or a repressed memory trying to break through. A ghost can also signify a task or goal we’re having trouble achieving.

Being lost trapped or buried in a dream may mean we are faced with real life insecurities. Indecisiveness can be met with dreams. If you also are trapped, this can indicate you are stuck, perhaps in a relationship, job or a school program you regret taking.

Dreams of falling are among the most common. But how or where you are falling can drastically change the dream’s meaning. For example, if you are falling from the sky this can indicate fear of losing control of some elements of your life or an insecurity that things are not going to stay the way you like them. Falling into a bottomless pit can indicate something that is overwhelming in your life such as a major work project, or concern about an exam or waiting for major health news.

Some of us, whether we’re in a relationship or not, will dream about being cheated on. This doesn’t necessarily mean our partner did so in real life, or even that we’re worried they will. Often, this means we’re worried about the stability of our relationship, or maybe even our career. We dream a person closest to us betrayed us emotionally, because of a lack of trust in ourselves or our decisions.

Understanding the symbolism behind our nightmares can help us better cope with fears and desires in real life.

Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Have you ever returned from a night out and wondered why you can’t seem to fall asleep? Drinking before going to bed can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. The food website Spoon University tells you why:

1. Not all of the alcohol has been metabolized in your body. It typically takes about an hour for the alcohol to be completely digested. If you go to bed immediately after you stop drinking, the alcohol is most likely still in your system and hasn’t been fully digested yet. The alcohol in your system wants you to keep partying, but your body wants to sleep.

2. Drinking before bed reduces REM sleep. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and rob you of much needed sleep. It’s important to get a restful night’s sleep, and alcohol limits your ability to do that. Disruptions in REM sleep may also cause you to be less productive the next day, so if you plan on tackling a bunch of tasks the morning after a night out, think again.

3. More likely to sleep walk. It’s okay to sleep walk occasionally. However, sleepwalking on a regular basis can be problematic and somewhat dangerous. Think of all of the dangerous things in your home that you could encounter while sleepwalking.

4. More likely to sleep talk. Similar to sleepwalking, sleep talking is another effect of consuming alcohol before you go to bed. While it isn’t necessarily dangerous, talking in your sleep can cause you to say things that you might not have wanted to share with the world.

5. More likely to have problems with your memory. If you consume an excess amount of alcohol before you go to bed, you can also have problems with your long-term memory. Alcohol makes you forget things that happened throughout the night, but it can also lead to long-term memory issues.

6. Alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol causes your body to lose extra fluid through sweat too, making you dehydrated. This can lead to other negative side effects like feeling light-headed and lethargic. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes you to wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom. Or you may wake up in the morning and realize you didn’t quite make it to the bathroom (whoops), leading alcohol to negatively affect your kidneys in the long run.

7. You spend more time awake. Alcohol can prevent you from having a restful night’s sleep. You spend the night tossing and turning, without really getting the sleep you need. Alcohol messes with your brain and therefore can keep you awake all night , preventing you from getting a full night’s sleep.

8. You have fewer dreams. Alcohol prevents you from entering into a deep sleep, which is when most dreams are formulated. So don’t bank on any great dreams.

9. You have an elevated heart rate. Alcohol makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues. Therefore, in order to maintain blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. An increased heart rate is what happens when you exercise, and you wouldn’t be asleep for that.