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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nightmares and Solutions


Imagine this: You slept after midnight and suddenly woke up at 2 am screaming and shouting. Your sister, who was sleeping beside you, woke up in terror. Perplexed looking at her surroundings she was half-asleep and half-scared trying to dig out the reason behind your scream. You both can hear your hearts pounding aloud in the silence of night along with the sound of second’s-needle in the clock. Meanwhile you saw your mother rushing up in your room all worried. Your sister and your mother looked at you and asked you about what happened?
You tried to remember the reason behind that loud shriek was it a bad dream or was it all for real?
This was my story in January. I was unable to guess the reason behind subsequent nightmares during first half of the month. It had never happened before with me, except for once in November, when I had dreamed of a huge, gigantic frog sitting beside me. I shouted so loud in my sleep that my siblings came running from the other room. I had to summon up my guts to sleep again on that bed. But January had different sort of nightmares- ones that were related to faces of people, for some reason they seemed very scary! I felt insecure and abandoned in my sleep. With these nightmares my nights turned nasty, I was sleep deprived.  Along with me my family was turning insomniac. After three consequent nightmares my mother came up with this suggestion to battle with my bad dreams. She said:


“a) Pray before you sleep; b) Keep a sharp object under your pillow like a knife." (Knife superstition that works most of the times, I have suggested a few friends and they found it useful)
 
My sister objected strongly on the latter one i.e. on keeping a knife. She had doubts that I may end up hurting her in a fit to save myself from  random face in my dream.


So she told my mother and me in a confident voice, that if I scream again, she would throw a bucket of water on me in chilly winter.
I decided to discuss it with my friend Shine. She said that she had read somewhere it might be because of dehydration. Hence she advised me to drink enough water before I sleep.


Nightmares never occurred again after January. It has been three months almost since my last nasty night. I don’t know whether it is my younger sister's warning that has been keeping me in control; or Shine’s advice. Yesterday I found a knife under my mattress too. My mother kept it there without telling me.
What solution works for you to fight with nightmares?

N is for Nightmares on 16 April,
A to Z Challenge

41 comments:

  1. Well, when I have nightmares, it's usually because I have neglected to take one of my medications, although this has lessened with a change of meds. I hug family members afterwards. If they are getting to be a problem, I tell myself before I go to sleep what I would like to have happen in my dreams. Had not heard of the dehydration thing. I will keep that one in mind!

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

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    1. Thanks Luann, for sharing your story! Try the things I have mentioned here! Something out of these may work for you. A hug of family member sounds wonderful to me. It may work to combat nightmares!

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  2. Read urself to sleep. Good for the mind, sleep and others around you as well... :)

    PhenoMenon
    http://throodalookingglass.com/2014/04/nachos/

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    1. PhenoMenon, reading dint solve anything in my case. But it surely helps to catch some sleep! :)

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  3. I too had nightmare, I agree that nightmares can be scarier for people who listen to your screams/songs (you know the story). Water trick worked for me.

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    1. Yeah! As suggested by you. I am still wonder what worked for me.... But I am curious!

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  4. Wow.... this is awesome... much needed for me!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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    1. Thankyou Sri, if you get nightmares, and any of these help you, please do share it here! I want to know what works!!! :)

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  5. just a couple of days ago I was suffering from a bout of nightmares...My mom said to scribble with my fingers the name of Krishna and Ram on my pillow and it wouldn't happen again..And she was right...I don't know how but it helped :)

    N for Nauseated-Random Thoughts Naba

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    1. Naba, that is so right. Even as a kid we used to chant some shlokas dad had taught and nightmares never used to occur. Some years back, no chanting and no shlokas worked, so I had to follow other solutions!

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  6. I wake up screaming almost once a week and each time it is the same dream. I am in a box or closed space and can't find my way out, can't breathe :) Scary stuff. Hate nightmares, prayer before sleeping helps but not enough. Great post.

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    1. Sulekkha ji, frankly I had scarier nightmares and I can related to yours. At some point I had suffered greatly with dream paralysis- when I couldn't breathe too. Try any of the above I have shared. May be something helps. I have heard knife things helps alot. Try it. Also share if it helped you!

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  7. Interesting post Shesha. I find that nightmares are a reaction to something- maybe dehydration like you said, some hidden fear/loss, un-resolved grief, some thing pent up that comes to the fore from within the sub-conscious, when our conscious self is at rest, very interesting actually

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    1. Thankyou Sunila ji. Actually I have been suffering from nightmares all my life. But minus the screaming part. It was something I had experienced first time. Knife thing has worked before too. But I feel it may have something to do with dehydration as well!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your story. To me, a sound sleep might be the solution. Reading and keeping yourself stress free in a happy frame of mind often help.

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    1. Thankyou Jayanta ji! Actually I am leading a very stress-free life right now. I am mostly in happy frame of mind. But nightmares still occurred. Even as a child I had seen them a lot!

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  9. I too have heard that the knife under the mattress thing works. How, why - no idea...I think taking a few minutes to just calm oneself down, breathe easy and relax (and also pray if one is inclined to do so) before going to sleep helps a lot. For me it does.

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

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    1. True Beloo. I am happy that I found somebody who has heard knife thing. I have done that tried all. Knife seems fool-proof! Though these days I keep myself well-hydrated!

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  10. That's interesting. I can't remember having any nightmares, really. I usually have very silly nonsensical dreams that wander from one "story" to another.
    Thanks for visiting my blog!
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

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    1. Hehehe! yes! there are those sorts of dreams too... Touchwood you are blessed. These weird dreams are always amazing to share with your family members! :D I feel lite after reading your comment Wendy! :)

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  11. Praying before you sleep is definitely a solution and the dehydration thing also has a role to play . Do drink plenty of water and pray God , it will give you a sense of security . Knife thing I can't say much .
    Sometimes when we are too stressed out and numerous thoughts runs in our mind this happens . It's good that you shared it :)

    Even I get nightmares when I am too much worried about things and these days I am mostly dreaming about the stories I am going to write for A-Z Challenge ;)

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    1. Hahaha! Sushree I don't get sleep because of A-Z thing! Lol I am glad atleast you are able to mend a story for A-Zchallenge in your dreams :) Saves brain from stressing!

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  12. Interesting...I have never tried to fight them. After my mom died every single time I closed my eyes I relived the moment I found her dead, seen her zipped up in the bag, and in her casket being lowered into the ground. The lid slammed shut and I was pushed in on top of her. Scared the living be Jesus out of me and I didn't sleep properly for months on end after her death. I didn't eat. I was a mess. Then the nightmare slowly went away...only had it around the anniversary of her death...and now 20 years on not at all. Most of the time my dreams make no sense at all.

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    1. Kathy, you have had really painful nights. Good that they have passed and never occurred again. I wish no one goes through this sort of pain. God bless you.
      I have many dreams like you have mentioned- weird, reoccurring, nonsensical, funny and what not! But they are always better than these horrible nightmares.

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  13. Interesting approach to the topic. Your style made me read it with some relish and I must say you are a good writer.

    I don't believe in gods, but I agree that prayers help because prayer is a psychological exercise for tranquilising the mind. The rational solution is to tranquilise the mind by analysing your problem and arriving at solutions before going to sleep.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sir! Sometimes even prayers don't help us. And sometimes we fail to analyze or locate the problem behind these nightmares. I had none. But I am happy that for other people prayers do wonder. I agree with your reason behind prayers. They tranquillize our minds by psychologically helping us out! (I do believe in God, but i am open to scientific narration too.) :)

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  14. Once I had a terrible nightmare where I shrieked and jumped off the bed. Guess, it got to do with worries that gnaws upon us and the knife thing is worrisome. Quite a few times, I jumped off the bed. Interesting perspective.

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    1. Hey Vishal, Gosh! Probably there is some worry behind these bad dreams. Though as a child when nightmares used to occur to me I dint even know the spelling of worry. But yes as adults there may be some fear, or some anxiety, or some insecurity in us that causes these nightmares. It has to do something with psychology!
      If you haven't tried Knife thing, just try it once. Not a sharp knife by any blunt harmless one under your pillow or mattress! It has helped many of my friends.
      Do share it here if there is any positive/none outcome!

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  15. Keeping a knife? That's something new I have heard. But yes, I have seen my mom asking my sister to keep a photograph of a God she believes in. It works for her. I generally try and avoid watching horror shows at night coz then I wake up with screams too..

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    1. Jyotsna Avoiding horror shows at night is a great idea. Even I don't watch them. There was a time when I dint use to get scared of them. But I realized they instill the wrong idea in our mind that may cause nightmares or uncalled horror in our minds.
      God's photograph sounds good!

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  16. I think I may try the knife under the mattress. My husband has more nightmares than I do. I will also try to get both of us to drink water close to bed time. It is very frightening to be awakened by someone screaming bloody murder in their sleep.

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    1. Yes Kristin, please try these. Any of these solutions may strike. Sound sleep is very important to us just like eating and drinking. I wish you both get rid of those nightmares!

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  17. Never got any nightmares but I don't sleep well, tossing and turning for an hour before I start to doze off. But drinking water will only lead to bathroom trips in the night! ;)

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    1. Aditi- if nightmares are due to dehydration then probably no bathroom trips in the night. If you are tossing and turning for an hour before sleep either you are over-exhausted or you need to do some physical exercise to get that sleep! But anyway an hour thing seems normal to me. It happens...

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  18. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I fall asleep in one position and wake up refreshed 6 hours later - almost to the minute. Don't have nightmares, rarely dream and always sleep solid. I know I am blessed and feel sorry for people who do not have good nights

    Carol @ Battered Hope

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    1. Touch-wood Carol :) Its once again another blessing to you. I relish my non-nightmarish days- the ones you have mentioned here :)

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  19. I had once four days of continuous nightmares... Used to wake up in a jolt, waking up my husband. Later on I realized it was due to stress . I will try following your advice.

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    1. I hope you don't have to face those horrendous nightmares again!!!

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