Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nightmare Remedies?

So, this is a little bit of an odd post, and not running related, but I thought it was worth a shot.

I'm someone that has always had an overactive imagination, which has heavily played into my sleep experience for as long as I can remember. While I occasionally get the fun, exciting vivid dream, I often have weird dreams and, sometimes, really horrible nightmares.

The last 4 nights have featured stress dreams (where bad things happen and I can't stop them and, subseqently become really stressed) but last night I had actual nightmares, featuring my realization that my dad had died (which, of course, he hasn't), going to turn in my thesis and realizing that it was full of mistakes and was completely undone (its turned in and already graded) and that I was trying to drive a car across the san francisco bay on the water with my mom and a huge wave came over and destroyed our car, and, probably, us as well.

The death one was the most disturbing and I forced myself awake after that one and went downstairs to hug my dad and make sure he was okay. Still having trouble shaking the memory of that dream moment when I realized he had been dead in my dream for some time. It was a really horrible moment.

So, after these ramblings, my question is, does anyone else struggle with this? And are there any home remedies or such that anyone has found effective to limit bad dreams?

Any suggestions would have the thanks of an exhausted and frustrated runner!


Gretchen said...

I definitely experience this, although when I am stressed, the thing that bothers me more is the fact that I often can't fall asleep in the first place. The one about your thesis is similar to one recurring stress dream I have. Although I have been out of school for years, I will dream that finals are coming up and I realize there is a class I haven't been attending all semester, now I have to take the final and I am totally unprepared and going into it with an F. I always wake up totally relieved that it is a dream. I also dream that I am running around the track and it's covered in molasses and all my steps are a massive struggle. Weird.
But anyway, I'm sorry I have no cure. The best thing I can offer is to find the source of your stress and work on calming it. Hopefully then the dreams will naturally go away.

Backofpack said...

I have nightmares too - since I the boys were born, my nightmares usually feature something terrible involving them. An earthquake where a building collapses and one of them is inside, that kind of thing. I occasionally will have a dream where Eric does something that makes me mad, then I waked up just ticked at him. I have to work really hard to let go of it and realize it was just a dream!

I don't have any cures either - except no caffiene close to bed, reduce stress, try not to think of those worrisome things before falling asleep.

Bob Gentile said...

ahhh the friggin Nightmares, well as you can tell I have an overactive imagination as well and have had my share of nightmares...

I am a very light sleeper and sometimes it can take a while to just fall asleep that's how I became KING of Power Naps--lol

but Exercise has always helped my nightmares & Michelle gives good advice on No Caffeine & just relax as best you can, maybe some de-caf herbal tea...

How are you with watching the Local NEWS, I can't watch that crap.. I never watch it and when I do, it sometimes causes some nightmares...FORGET about Horror Films--YIKES

The mind is powerful, FEED it with as much GOOD positive stuff as you can :-)

Addy said...

Thanks guys for such lengthy and nice responses!

gretchen- you having school stress dreams years out of school is not what I want to hear ;). I was hoping they'd go away once I left the classroom (though, I guess as a teacher that'll never happen :P). That running one is similar to ones I have where I'm stuck in slow motion. No actual molasses, but I sure move like it!

Michelle- Those nightmares sound horrible. I used to have one as a child about our front porch collapsing on my parents- similar to the one you have about your kids. It's always funny to have one where someone does something frustrating, and, try as you might, you still end up slightly irked at them. A boy in the preschool I worked in was once really mad as his mom the entire day because he dreamed she wouldn't let him have a toy car that he wanted. Ah...the power of dreams! Thanks for the suggestions though.

Bob- I really need to learn how to take power naps! I ended up taking ones that last hours and end up messing up my sleep schedule, which just doesn't work at all. I think it's an aquired skill. The tea is a good suggestion, to help with relaxing! I actually rarely watch news or much tv at all, nowadays. When I used to watch alias I had a number of nightmares where people I loved were murdered, so I've sort of cut that out :P.

Well, we'll see how tonight goes! I had more nightmares during my nap today, but hopefully now they'll all be out of my system.

Thanks guys

Sensationally Red said...

Seems like the more I train, the less I dream...and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.