Why Do Adults Have Nightmares?

@wolfie34 (26793)
United Kingdom
April 11, 2007 4:48am CST
Forgive me for being a little slow here, but I thought only children got nightmares or bad dreams. However when I suffered with depression back in 2003 I started having nightmares, a 32 year old MAN having nightmares seemed real odd. The anti-depressants actually made the nightmares worse, I sometimes wondered if they triggered the nightmares. However in this last week I have had 2 nightmares, this morning I woke up in a sweat and it was 7am I managed to go back to sleep but it's really knocked me for six. I can't understand why suddenly out of the blue I am getting nightmares again. Do you suffer with nightmares, do you know what triggers them and why do adults have nightmares, I thought it was a stage we grew out of?
24 people like this
45 responses
@mummymo (23707)
11 Apr 07
you are not alone honey - many, mant adults have nightmares! I do suffer from them occassionally and it is usually cos I have been stressed, overtired or had something weighing heavily on my mind! Dreams are our brains subconscious way of processing through all the things we have been thinking of during the day and naturally this can also lead to nightmares! Your body has been through shock and it is all still trying to be processed and understood by your brain! I am sure they will fade away again sweets - I know they are not pleasant! xxx
3 people like this
@Wanderlaugh (1624)
• Australia
11 Apr 07
If it's any help, wolfie34, I had about a decade solid of the things, around roughly your age. Turned out to be physical; acidity, sinus, etc. Getting run down seems to have a lot to do with it, so does stress. Nightmares are like feedback. You'll probably remember as a kid that indigestion could set off bad dreams. Adults are more biologically complex, so are their dreams. I do think that since depression is fundamentally physical, they have a lot to do with your level of health. Got over them, as well as a lot of other problems, by drastically improving diet, and working out, after my own depression. Maybe they were a sort of symptom, too. Basically, it's rebuilding after the train wreck. Lay of anything fatty or acidic, take some quality Vitamin B supplements, (useful anyway) and some good fresh veg and reasonable exercise. Mineral supplements also help, particularly potassium, magnesium and calcium, as phosphates. Helps the nervous system, and I found them very good with the depression, too.
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
11 Apr 07
I never taught that only children have nightmares. Yes. i do suffer from them from time to time. i believe that our fears are out in our dreams. and if the fear is a very big one and we do not admit it, or tell anyone about it, it will get out as a nightmare when you sleep. We must be balanced, and our body and mind always wants to get out all of the poison and fears that we have, so alote of times it does happen in the form of dreams and nightmares.
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
11 Apr 07
Wolfie, were you dreaming about me again?? I know i can be a nightmare sometimes. lol Everyone gets nightmares, since we all dream. It can be anything that riggers them. Every day worries can bring on a nightmare. Maybe its because you are upset about not going to get that last job. Even and especially subconscious thoughts can bring on dreams whether they be good or bad. here is an article on nightmares for ya Wolfie. Maybe this will help. it says they are rare in adults but they do happen http://emotional.health.ivillage.com/sleep/nightmaresnightterrors.cfm
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
11 Apr 07
Yes we were looking at the sunset, I love sunsets, but then it fast forwarded onto something unpleasant, like someone had changed the film or something! There are a lot of things going on for me at the moment princess and it could be any of those. I was glad I didn't go for the job now, I have applied for three others since, so fingers crossed x
2 people like this
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I hope you get something you like hon. Huggles.
1 person likes this
@weemam (13377)
11 Apr 07
I have been having them for years my friend , and yes I can tell you what triggers mine , stress mostly and if I am really tired , I have really horrible nightmares, My hubby has to waken me up as usually I am screaming my head of , I dream things like people being skinned , or a giant snake trying to swallow me , really horrible things , It takes my hubby ages to make me understand it was only a dream , sometimes he has to cuddle me for ages before I calm down as I am shaking so much , when we moved into this house I had to explain this to my neighbours in case they though a murder was being committed , Ross sleeps through it all though Bless him lol xx
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
11 Apr 07
Have you been watching too many horror films again my friend, although I can't see Happy Feet giving you that many LOL! Seriously I think it's stress and frustration with me, although I did go back to the gym yesterday, I just did light exercise, maybe that triggered it, there are a lot of contributing factors going on in my life at the moment, so it could be any of those. Good for Ross!
2 people like this
@weemam (13377)
12 Apr 07
I am sure it is stress with you too pal , and happy feet was brilliant , I will watch it again lol xxx
1 person likes this
@rosie_123 (6118)
11 Apr 07
Well - yes - I guess I do sometimes - I think everyone does. I didn't suffer with them much as a child, and I don't get them very often now, but there are always occasions when I get a nasty dream, I think it's only natural, and nothing too much to worry about. Mine are usually about being trapped in a fire which is a big dread of mine, or sometimes being outside in a thunderstorm, whch is my only real phobia, so I guess they are triggered by a weather forecast saying we will have a storm, or maybe reading a news story about a fire. I admit they do make you feel a bit shaky when you first wake up, but poor Eduardo wakes up too, so he generally just gives me a cuddle and I go back to sleep pretty quickly. Hope you get over your latest bout of nightmares soon my dear.
@Bizziebod (3526)
11 Apr 07
I've had nightmares all my life, not on a regular occasion but at least once or twice a year. I've always put it down to food we eat before we go to bed, especially cheese and chocolate are prone to give you nightmares. Horrible dreams are awful, I can still remember some of mine and they can really effect you for days on end. No I don't think it is a stage we grow out of unfortunately, my mother is 72 and she tells me she still gets nightmares too!
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
11 Apr 07
Yes I do wolfie and it mainly happens when you have things on your mind. My Nightmares are about my Childhood but they have calmed recently again so it is not to bad A lot of Adults have Nightmares, some are related to bad experience, some are related to fear that a Person has and some are to bad experience alltogether There is lots of reasons for them.
2 people like this
@nancyrowina (3850)
11 Apr 07
I had some nightmares last year when I was going through a tough time and had to take sleeping pills, apparently it was side effect of those. I was also on anti depressants so it could have been a combination of the two. Adults can have nightmares it's not something you grow out of sadly I wish it were as nightmares are very unpleasant.
@kitkat1 (1227)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
We will never grow out of nightmares. As long as there is stress and problems in life we will be plaqued by them. Have u been under alot of stress is there alot of turmoil in your life right now usually stuff like this is the reason for nightmares when there is and upset in ones life. Hopes this helps you wolfie so u can be on your way to being nightmare free. I know how u feel i have them too and it is one of the most terrible experiences i have ever had to deal with i dont know how a child ever does it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
I think nightmares are a reflection of something that bothers you very much. To the point that when you sleep you still think about them. And maybe there are other reasons too, especially regarding health. Some times, people said nightmares are related to liver and pancreas, something about digestion which trigger nightmares. So Wolfie, it is better to consult a specialist for sure. Hope you'll have your nightmares gone soon! (^^,)
1 person likes this
@bluewings (3857)
14 Apr 07
Oh I too have them once in a while and I have to correct my mood when I wake up or the whole day is ruined.I think we have them when we are too stressed or worried about something.It's my personal observation that if we fear something or try to stay away from something ,then it finds a way to get us in our dreams.It's their den and I can't even fight back,lol.When I understand it's a nightmare I try hard to open my eyes ,but it doesn't always work.The best solution I have for a nightmare if it happens too often is to play some heartwarming music ,spray a nice perfume and think happy thoughts while falling asleep.
1 person likes this
@sharone74 (4839)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Dreams are coughed up by your subconcious mind and they play on the fears that are housed there. Often dreams may be our first indication of a phychological issue or fear that the mind is trying to work out while you are not currently using it.
@kbkbooks (7028)
• Canada
13 Apr 07
I have severe nightmares when my regular meds get out of balance. I usually wake people up with my screaming even I don't fully wake up myself. One night recently I woke my husband about 9 times in the night with screaming and panic. I don't remember any of it. When I do remember it, I try not to go back to sleep.
1 person likes this
@academic2 (7009)
• Uganda
13 Apr 07
Nightmares stem from issues that pre-occupy your mind during the day! if you went through some harrowing thoughts, or you were told some very horrific stories that sterned you well into your mental faculties, then chances are that you may have a nightmare in the night. I have myself watched horror movies and suffered heavy nightmares as a result! Depressions and hysteria can also bring about night mares.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 07
Darling, it is quite common for adults to suffer nightmares, especially if they are suffering emotional trauma such as depression or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). i have nightmares just about every night. It's awful! i definitely understand your pain. There really is not much you can do for them other than wake up. It's your depression that is triggering them. Some people findthat if they go on anti-depressants, their nightmares don't happen as frequrently. Good luck!
@Naomi17 (624)
12 Apr 07
nightmares are just horrible dreams i get them at times and i can wake up shaking and have to cuddle my hubby to feel safe again.
• China
12 Apr 07
I am 23 old now ,I usually had nightmares at young time,It is a fearful animal chase me ceaselessly about the nightmares.sorry,I speak english a little! who can help me? my email is wqq7897284@yahoo.com.cn.chinese shall use QQ,my QQ is 306444054.
1 person likes this
@jncgiza (256)
• United States
12 Apr 07
Everyone and anyone can have a nightmare. It doesnt have to be from depression either, it can be from something that is on your mind. You always dream, you just dont always remember them, you even have nightmares that you dont remember. It is usually do to your state of mind, that causes you to not remember or remember them. So when you were depressed you didnt sleep as sound as you would have normally which would explain why you dont remember have them any other time
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
12 Apr 07
i believe it's simply because adult have more worries.. so .. they tend to have more nightmares...
1 person likes this