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The Nightmares Greenwood Students Have

A+painting+from+the+artist+John+Henry+Fuseli+depicting+a+nightmare.
A painting from the artist John Henry Fuseli depicting a nightmare.

A painting from the artist John Henry Fuseli depicting a nightmare.

John Henry Fuseli

John Henry Fuseli

A painting from the artist John Henry Fuseli depicting a nightmare.

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Everyone has nightmares. Unpleasant and frightening dreams that make our mind race during the night, but why do we have these nightmares and what do they really mean?

Most people have nightmares when they’re scared, stressed, or anxious. These emotions make our mind race during the night, causing us to have nightmares about these things we worry about.

Nightmares can mean other things, though. If you’ve had an experience to cause PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress-Disorder) then you might have recurring nightmares about the thing that caused you to have PTSD. If you were a soldier and came home with PTSD, then you may have nightmares about fighting in the war or other things that could’ve happened.

Most nightmares occur in the middle of the night or in the early morning, that’s when rapid eye movement (REM) sleeping is a lot more common. REM and non-REM sleeping goes through a 100-minute cycle, that’s why most of our dreams and nightmares occur during the early morning and the middle of the night.

A lot of pregnant women often have many nightmares because of the stress of having a child and preparing to take care of a child. Many children also have nightmares and dreams because their minds are so creative and vivid. The earliest a child can start having nightmares and bad dreams are two years old.

Joe Roberts
A girl having a nightmare about a ghost haunting her.

People also have lots of bad dreams after watching a scary movie. When you watch a scary movie you raise that stress and the fear in your brain. Your brain isn’t able to relax so it takes that movie to your dreams. If you’ve watched a scary movie about Chucky you may have a bad dream about lots of dolls trying to kill you.

You may also have dreams about the things you have phobias of. If you have a fear of clowns or a fear of spiders and you see a spider or clown before you go to bed, your stress levels rise and that causes you to have a bad dream about that thing.

The worst dream that I’ve had was a dream about my brother, who was in an accident that left him paralyzed. In this dream, my brother stands up out of his wheelchair and then drops to the ground, while staring me directly in the eyes the whole time. This was a very reoccurring dream because I had so much stress after his accident.

Different dreams can mean different things. If you’ve had a dream about falling to your death from a high building or a high monument then you might be failing something in your life. Many falling dreams also mean you need to rethink a choice and a decision that you’ve made that you may have regretted.

Another dream you may have that indicates something wrong going on in your life is if you’re having a dream about getting chased or followed. If you’ve had a dream like this, it’s nothing to really fear or worry about; it most likely just means that you need to try and escape your fears.

If you get followed by an animal in your dreams it may mean that you’re angry about something. If you get followed by an unknown person, then it may mean you’re afraid of a past event or a childhood trauma, and if you have nightmares about the opposite sex following you, it may mean you’re afraid to love someone or be in a relationship.

If you have dreams about someone breaking into your home, then you may be worried about something new in your life. If you’re uncomfortable about something then you may have dreams about someone breaking into your home.

Billy Hubbard, a freshman at Greenwood, said that the worst dream he has ever had was a dream where he was in a car with a stranger and the stranger was driving chaotically. The unknown person continued talking to Billy but Billy told the stranger to shut up. After telling the stranger to shut up, the stranger chopped Billy’s head off with a machete.

Another freshman at Greenwood, Landon Haynes, had a dream where he was falling from a skyscraper and continued to fall for a long period of time until he was close to hitting the ground and woke up.

These two nightmares are pretty terrifying, but nothing compared to the nightmare freshman Audrey Shreve had. Audrey had a nightmare about her and her friends being killed by strangers. In this dream, Audrey watched her friends being tied up and screamed at. The strangers yelled at Audrey’s friends one by one, starting to get a little more violent after each friend. After this, Audrey woke up and then went back to sleep to see that all of her friends had been killed.

Everyone has nightmares. It just depends on what is going on in your life to determine why you had that certain nightmare. If you’re more stressed out you will probably have more nightmares, so before bed getting a drink of water and calming yourself down about what’s going on in your life might be the best thing you can do to so you won’t have more nightmares.

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The Nightmares Greenwood Students Have