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why do we have nightmares and what do they mean

This morning I woke up as I normally do, hitting snooze five times while contemplating the actual necessity of taking a shower when suddenly I remembered what happened to me while I was sleeping. My wife dream-cheated on me. I shot up and glared angrily at this woman who was laying beside me as she slept peacefully in her cut off T-shirt and boxer shorts. How could she do this to me? She rolled over to put her arm around me, opening her eyes just enough to see the look of angst and heartbreak written all over my face as I continued to send piercing glares in her direction. БBabe, whatБs wrong? Are you OK? Б
БUh, no, I am not OK, because you cheated on me last night,Б I said with a serious attitude. It doesnБt take her long to bring me back to reality, reminding me that it was just a dream and how much she loves me. Although I am certainly comforted by this, I will spend the rest of the day haunted by the images of my dream and canБt help but feel a little irritated. I realize it was just a dream but still, it hurt! via Getty I think itБs safe to say most of us have either cheated or been cheated on in our dreams at one time or another.

One friend described to me a dream in which she was the one cheating on her girlfriend and she woke up feeling extremely remorseful and contemplated whether telling her partner was a good idea or not. БI have actually had that dream a few times over the years and I did tell her about it once, but I definitely wouldnБt tell her again, she said. It just didnБt make anyone feel good. Б Another friend told me she has frequent dreams about her partner cheating on her and it sometimes could take her all day to get over it. БIn the dream, itБs so sad to me that she was treating the way she was, she said. Which is usually very flippant, like БYeah, itБs over, bye. ББ In an attempt to find out the meaning behind this popular recurring nightmare, I came across, one of many online dream dictionaries. The site states that dreaming about someone cheating on you may mean you are feeling neglected by your partner at that time in your life, or perhaps you are suffering from insecurities about not feeling adequate enough for your partner.

However, if you are dreaming about cheating on your partner, it could mean Бa simple wish fulfillment or a desire for something new and exciting. The dream is providing an opportunity to safely explore your sexuality. Бб Of course, opinions can vary when it comes to the meaning of dreams. According to dream analyst, dreams are inevitably about you. , Jane discusses how the people in our dreams are simply a symbol and dreaming about a partner cheating on you is a deeper issue within yourself, and has nothing to do with them. It could be that you have been untrue to yourself in some way or that you are in denial about something going on in your own life. She also believes that rather than confronting them about what they did to you in your dream, confronting yourself is a better way to gainб understanding about why those dreams are happening. So the next time you wake up feeling like you want to punch a wall because your significant other has dream-cheated on you, keep in mind that often times the problem doesnБt lie with them, but it resides in you.

Essentially, if you feel you are betraying yourself, says MSN s Kristen Michaels. Or cheating yourself, in any way, you just might be susceptible to a cheating dream. Б Nightmares that occur frequently and keep you from getting restful sleep are considered a sleep disorder. Nightmare disorder is a parasomnia, a category of sleep disorders that involves unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. If you have nightmare disorder, you may fear going to sleep or worry that each night you will have another nightmare. You may also feel anxious and scared when you wake up from a nightmare and be unable to fall back to sleep. Sleep loss can cause you to have even more intense nightmares. As a result, you may experience daytime sleepiness. Nightmares are usually coherent visual dreams that seem real and get more disturbing as they unfold and cause you to wake up.

These most often happen towards the end of your sleep period. These dreams most often involve imminent physical danger. Nightmares may also focus on other distressing themes and provoke negative emotions such as: In most instances after you wake up, you will be able to clearly remember the details of your nightmare. A disturbing dream that does not wake you up is not considered a nightmare. Instead it is simply a bad dream. It is possible to have more than one nightmare, often with similar themes, during a night of sleep. Nightmares tend to happen during REM sleep, the last stage in the sleep cycle. About 20-25 percent of your total sleep time is in REM sleep. The REM stage gets longer during each sleep cycle and your final period in REM may last up to an hour. Because of this, nightmares are most likely to occur in the final third of the night. Nightmares that arise from trauma, such as in people with PTSD, may also occur in earlier sleep stages.

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