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How to Save Ourselves from Chronic Nightmares

Antonia R.Antonia R.

The latest studies show that 5% of the population suffers from nightmares almost every night without having any kind of trauma or psychological illness.

Professor of clinical psychology at Düsseldorf, Reinhard Pietrowsky, reveals that throughout his practice he has seen many people that suffer from problems during their sleep.

After a period of time, these people develop a fear of sleeping because of their nightmares and severe anxiety, which may worsen if they don't seek out a therapist in time.

Reinhard Pietrowsky actively researched the psychology of nightmares during the mid-90s.

Bad dreams

The expert reached the conclusion that scary dreams only occur in the second half of the night.

Nightmares are a phenomenon that generate many questions, even though mankind has been dealing with them since times long forgotten.

But even today, there are only hypotheses about why nightmares occur.

In ancient times, the word 'nightmare' signified a female ghost that landed on the chests of sleeping people at night, sucked out their air and so caused nightmarish dreams.

Modern-day theories claim that the human mind itself creates images in dreams, provoked by subconscious conflicts that bother us.

Nightmares mainly happen during the phase of REM sleep.


The main stories that keep reoccurring have to do with death, deadly risks, being chased, monsters and villains.

The research of Pietrowsky has showed that people who most often suffer from chronic nightmares are subject to extreme stress at work or with their families.

Certain medications or bodily diseases are other main sources.

According to Pietrowsky, the best therapy for saving ourselves from nightmares is by interpreting them.

He advises, that after you wake, you should write down your dream in detail and by using the images within it, reach the essence of your problems.

Certain symbols can be very precise and indicative, such as spiders, which, according to many researchers, represent a dominating and tyrannical parent.