Jump to content

Menu

Do you wake up when you have bad dreams?


BaseballandHockey
 Share

Nightmares  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. When I have a nightmare, I . . .

    • Wake up right away, even if it's the middle of the night, and remember it vividly
      28
    • Wake up right away, even if it's the middle of the night, and remember it vaguely
      3
    • Wake up in the morning at my regular time, and remember it vividly
      2
    • Wake up in the morning at my regular time, and remember it vaguely
      3
    • Only know about it because someone I sleep tells me I behaved strangely in my sleep
      1
    • Don't have nightmares
      2
    • Other
      7


Recommended Posts

I was talking with a friend of mine about nightmares, and commented about being woken up during them.  My friend told me that she used to have frequent nightmares, but wouldn't wake up during. She just remembered them in the morning.  

It had never occurred to me that that was an option, so I figure I'd ask.  When you or your kids have a nightmare, do you wake up in the night, or remember it in the morning?  How vividly do you remember the nightmare when you wake up?

Edited by BaseballandHockey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Emba said:

I usually wake up and remember it vividly at the time, but when I go to sleep again I might forget, and it’s usually a lot more vague in the morning.

Yeah, that's how I am, and how two of my kids are.  My other kid, who really struggled with nightmares, continued to remember them vividly.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kind of dreams I classify as nightmares wake me up and are vivid. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and remember having "bad dreams." I think, for me, the fear and intensity for bad dreams is different than for a nightmare.

I happen to have some relatively recent examples.

I had a few nights lately where I had what I could class as bad dreams. They all centered around being in a higher risk COVID situation and being the only person at all concerned. I am certain this is because I'm working through a family get together thing coming up where I am the one who is worried about the high risk family members.  They were unpleasant dreams and stuck with me a little bit. But I don't think they were nightmares. 

Maybe a month ago, I had nightmares for a few nights. In one dream I was trying to escape--particularly with/while protecting my kids--from killers. We rounded the corner in my childhood neighborhood and one of the bad guys was standing right there. I woke up immediately in the middle of the night and had to calm myself to go back to sleep. That's, for me, a nightmare instead a bad dream. I don't have a lot of nightmares thankfully. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, sbgrace said:

 

I had a few nights lately where I had what I could class as bad dreams. They all centered around being in a higher risk COVID situation and being the only person at all concerned. I am certain this is because I'm working through a family get together thing coming up where I am the one who is worried about the high risk family members.  They were unpleasant dreams and stuck with me a little bit. But I don't think they were nightmares. 

 

Did you wake up when you had that dream?  Or did you remember it in the morning?

I don't think I've ever had a dream, good or bad, and remembered it, without feeling like I woke up during it.  I've woken up from a dream and it was morning, but my impression was still that I was having the dream right before I woke up.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wake up and often go back into the same dream over and over again. On a bad night, I can wake up 5 to 10 times. Last night's dream was very stressful. Those are the nightmares I usually have. Not gory or traumatic, just very stressful and with a big problem I have to solve. The problem that is in the dream is always devastating to the person it affects and my failure is in not helping them. Sometimes people die, sometimes like with the below example, it something that is very important to someone else.

 

Last night I dreamt that I accidentally put regular gas into dh's old diesel car. I had to call dh to tell him (a big conversation happened) and I woke up.

I went back to sleep.  I was still at the gas station, and was trying to figure out if I should have the car towed home from the gas station, or to a mechanic. But didn't know what mechanic to have it sent to....woke up

I went back to sleep and I was still at the gas station. I remembered that I was supposed to do a few specific errand and take dd to the lake to swim. I was trying to figure out how to get the errands done and get dd to the lake. We were meeting someone there who didn't have a phone to call and tell them what happened (so now someone else was going to be inconvenienced)  I woke up.

I went back to sleep and was still at the gas station. The tow truck driver was there and offered to drain the fuel out, so it wouldn't mix together. He was telling me that regular gas will float on diesel, so If they siphoned from the top, it would get most of the gasoline out. I wasn't sure if that was true or if it mattered, since the diesel would have to be drained anyways. The car was still in the parking spot at the gas pump, so it hadn't been moved yet. I woke up.

......I went through chunks of this dream all night long. All the way to getting back home and getting dd to the lake and the dream taking other twists and turns. The car in some parts is our only car and we are unable to fix it.  I remember 7 different times I woke up.  In the end, the car wasn't repairable. They said it had been driven with the mixed fuel, which I knew I hadn't done. I was angry with the mechanic, because I thought they were trying to trick us into unnecessary repairs. That is when I woke up for the day. 

I have drawn out stressful dreams like this all the time. I usually sleep with a tv show playing on my laptop because when I wake up, I can listen to that story and break the dream cycle. My laptop cord got unplugged and it died in the middle of the  night. That is why I couldn't break the story. 

Edited by Tap
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I voted 'wake up immediately / remember it vaguely' because that was the closest of the available options. If it's a really bad nightmare, I will wake up at the point where the really horrible thing is about to happen — someone is about to die or be horribly injured, the house is burning down, or whatever. And it will be so vivid that sometimes I have to wake myself all the way up and get out of bed because if I just close my eyes again I will go right back into the dream. But then in the morning I will generally just remember it vaguely — like I'll remember some details of what was happening at the point that I woke up, but not much from before that. I don't have a lot of true nightmares, though.

I have a lot more of what I would call anxiety dreams, which are stressful and unpleasant but not really nightmares. They generally involve trying to get somewhere or fix some problem, with obstacle after obstacle getting in my way. So for example I will need to get somewhere to be with a family member who is ill, but the shuttle is late to pick me up so I have to scramble to find a taxi at 4 AM, then the taxi gets lost on the way to the airport so I miss my flight, the next flight isn't for several hours and makes several stops and then I get stranded at one of the layover cities, so I have to rent a car and drive 800 miles, but I get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and there's no spare in the rental car and AAA can't come for 2 hours, and then when I try to call the person I'm desperately tryin to visit, my phone is dead and my spare battery didn't get packed, etc. Those don't generally wake me up in the middle of the might, but they sometimes wake me up in the early morning, and in that case I will remember the dream pretty clearly for a little while, but within a couple of hours I will have forgotten most of it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Yeah, that's how I am, and how two of my kids are.  My other kid, who really struggled with nightmares, continued to remember them vividly.  

Some I do still remember very vividly in the morning, usually the more violently scary ones. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Tap I do infrequently have dreams like that where I go back to sleep and the nightmare continues. Usually it is nightmares that do that, but only two or three times, and sometimes I’m able to make myself lucid dream in the second or third part so that it isn’t as unpleasant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I get woken up by them, I'm usually about to die. I read/heard once if you die in your dream you could actually die, so I'm glad I wake up, lol. I only remember them briefly thankfully, but they're usually pretty intense.

I don't dream much other than that, which can be connected to things not right (visualization, REM, I don't know). I'm clearly not right, lol. My dh says he remembers what he dreams (good and bad).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I wake up right away from a bad dream, but sometimes I don't.  The times I wake up, I'm usually yelling in my sleep about whatever is happening in the dream. 

I am capable of lucid dreaming to a small degree.  When I have nightmares, I sometimes recognize I am having them and try to shout myself awake. I wish my brain would shift and instead of making me yell (and waking up the whole house), I would try to change the outcome of the dream. 

On the flip side, I can sometimes control happy dreams, too. No shouting in those, although I have been told I sometimes laugh in my sleep.

Edited by MissLemon
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing about my dreams that I find is often different from other people, is how visually detailed they are. So many details, that Tolkien could write a Hobbit size novel from just one of them. LOL In the one I talked about above, even 12 hours later I can perfectly describe the gas station and the businesses next door. In my dream we were supposed to go meet someone at one place at the lake, but we changed locations. I can describe both locations, even though in my dream we didn't go to the first place. These aren't places we have been before IRL. Just a shoreline at a lake, but the shoreline was shaped different and the water was different (one had small wind waves, the other was flat like glass). One had lush forest of trees, one had a more sparse tree line but had a longer sandy beach. I can describe the weather and what we were wearing. The smell of the air and the feel of the breeze on my bare skin. The floaty she was on and how the water movement made her slowly turn in the water....... ect. 

I can describe the house we lived at in my dream (never lived there and don't recognize it) and what the neighborhood around the house looked like. 

The time period of my dream was very 1950s-1960s. The car was a 2000 VW TDI Golf so that wasn't what caused the time warp. I think it was because I was helping my 22yo daughter pick hair styles for her Halloween costume which is either going to be a 60s GoGo girl or Samantha from Bewitched. We were on the phone about 10pm, so I am guessing that was the influence.

I really could go on and on about the details and story line. My dreams that reoccur throughout a night,  could easily fill a full move plot line. 

Sometimes I have to wake up, and then go get something to eat, watch a TV show, turn on the lights and put on some essential oils to break a dream cycle and the stress. When the get too stressful I get an adrenaline dump and that takes a while to process out of my body. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankfully I haven’t had any for a while. I thought remembering them was conditional upon waking up, that is, I thought the reason one remembers them is because they became lucid while the “story” was still present in their mind. 

Two of my kids had night terrors for a period of time. They looked like they were awake but they were terrified of something that did not exist. Once my kid was climbing on his headboard, trying to get away from the “crabs” he was “looking” at with wild fear. 🤷🏻‍♀️

My nightmares are more likely to be about betrayal than physical injury. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

If I get woken up by them, I'm usually about to die. I read/heard once if you die in your dream you could actually die, so I'm glad I wake up, lol. I only remember them briefly thankfully, but they're usually pretty intense.

I don't dream much other than that, which can be connected to things not right (visualization, REM, I don't know). I'm clearly not right, lol. My dh says he remembers what he dreams (good and bad).

I think this was a line in a horror movie in the 90's.  I can confirm I died in a repeated nightmare several times as a kid and so far I'm still alive (I think).  I guess I could be in a I see dead people situation and not be aware that I'm dead?

As a little kid I used to dream I fell off the top of a slide to my death.  I always dreamed it as I fell out of bed.  Years later in a different state I was take to the park and the slide from my dream.  Once I worked up the courage to try that slide about 5 times I never had that nightmare again.

Then as a teen I had a nightmare that I was walking out to my small red car and a man came up with a knife, trying to rape me but I fought back and got stabbed to death. I had anxiety about red cars for years afterwards.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember my dreams every night when I wake up in the morning and in great detail.  With nightmares, I wake up in the middle of the night from them and remember them.  I actually can wake myself up from them on purpose if I realize I'm dreaming while doing so.  

Here are some fun tips for if you are ever aware that you are dreaming and want to wake up from it.  1.  find a mirror in the dream, for example in a bathroom, and look at yourself in the mirror.  This gets a different part of your brain working that can wake you up accidentally in an attempt to give your face details as you are looking at it.  2.  Shake your arms, legs, or head around in the dream. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wake up during the bad dream, often multiple times, like a brief commercial break. Sometimes, I suppose it depends on how awake I get, I can sort of direct the dream when I fall back asleep, to make it turn out better. Usually, though, at some point it turns into one of those dreams where everything is moving so, so slowly and you just can't speed up. Ugh.

Usually, but not always, I remember it in the morning. 

I had the same two nightmares over and over for years, starting when I was somewhere around early teens. I had other dreams, but these were recurrent. Finally, in my twenties, there started to be longer intervals between having them, gradually increasing until now I can't remember the last time I had one of those two. 

I also have dreamed of having loose teeth, and them falling out, for as long as I can remember. In the dream, the feeling is so clear, just exactly as it felt as a kid. I would let mine get so loose, they practically fell out. 

Imagine my horror a couple weeks ago when, upon groggily awakening one morning, I felt (what seemed like) a tooth slip out! I cringe every time I think about that feeling. 

It was actually the post to a newly installed implant. 😬

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been a long time since I remember having a nightmare. As a kid I had a recurring nightmare about wolves circling me.  I would remember it in the morning, but don't think I woke up at night.  I rarely remember any dreams.  When I told my mom about she said it was the same nightmare she had as a kid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Did you wake up when you had that dream?  Or did you remember it in the morning?

I don't think I've ever had a dream, good or bad, and remembered it, without feeling like I woke up during it.  I've woken up from a dream and it was morning, but my impression was still that I was having the dream right before I woke up.  

Good question. I think I'm probably waking up naturally while having the "bad" dreams I remember--something outside the dream wakes me or it's morning or whatever now that you ask. While, with a nightmare, it is the dream itself that wakes me.

Your friend's experience, shared by some others obviously, surprises me. I had just assumed nightmares wake everyone at the "just before _______" moments. I wonder, for those people who don't wake, if whatever horrible is happening in the dream actually completes itself in their nightmares--if the "story" come to a close so to speak. 

I've had a very few occasions where I've been able to go back to sleep and re-dream an upsetting nightmare, changing it to a better outcome. But I'm not aware I'm in a nightmare (or bad dream) when I'm originally having them. 

Edited by sbgrace
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm having an actual nightmare, I almost always wake up right away and remember it clearly in the moment and it feels horrifying.  I picked "other" though because so often, once I wake up again the next morning, it doesn't seem quite as scary and my memories of it are much more blurry.

Here's another question:  How often do you have nightmares?   I don't mean something that's just weird or sad, but something that feels really horrifying while you're dreaming it?   I probably have 3 or 4 a year, and I always cry out in my sleep.  (And I always wake up my dh!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sbgrace said:

Good question. I think I'm probably waking up naturally while having the "bad" dreams I remember--something outside the dream wakes me or it's morning or whatever now that you ask. While, with a nightmare, it is the dream itself that wakes me.

Your friend's experience, shared by some others obviously, surprises me. I had just assumed nightmares wake everyone at the "just before _______" moments. I wonder, for those people who don't wake, if whatever horrible is happening in the dream actually completes itself in their nightmares--if the "story" come to a close so to speak. 

I've had a very few occasions where I've been able to go back to sleep and re-dream an upsetting nightmare, changing it to a better outcome. But I'm not aware I'm in a nightmare (or bad dream) when I'm originally having them. 

With me, if I go back to sleep immediately after waking up from a horrifying nightmare, I'll most likely just slip back into the nightmare again. But if I force myself to stay awake for five minutes before going back to sleep (I guess so I'm fully awake?), then I don't return to that nightmare. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, J-rap said:

If I'm having an actual nightmare, I almost always wake up right away and remember it clearly in the moment and it feels horrifying.  I picked "other" though because so often, once I wake up again the next morning, it doesn't seem quite as scary and my memories of it are much more blurry.

Here's another question:  How often do you have nightmares?   I don't mean something that's just weird or sad, but something that feels really horrifying while you're dreaming it?   I probably have 3 or 4 a year, and I always cry out in my sleep.  (And I always wake up my dh!)

I would say most nights. Sometimes a few times a night.  

I didn't know if the waking up part was normal, but I know that part isn't.  

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, J-rap said:

With me, if I go back to sleep immediately after waking up from a horrifying nightmare, I'll most likely just slip back into the nightmare again. But if I force myself to stay awake for five minutes before going back to sleep (I guess so I'm fully awake?), then I don't return to that nightmare. 

You could fall back to sleep less than five minutes after waking up?  I am usually up for a while till my heart stops racing, which takes longer than 5 minutes.   I might have another nightmare that is similar, but it would start from the beginning. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

You could fall back to sleep less than five minutes after waking up?  I am usually up for a while till my heart stops racing, which takes longer than 5 minutes.   I might have another nightmare that is similar, but it would start from the beginning. 

You would think!  Your experience makes more sense to me.  But I seem to always be in such a deep sleep when I'm at the point of having a nightmare, that I can easily fall right back asleep again even if it's horrifying.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I would say most nights. Sometimes a few times a night.  

I didn't know if the waking up part was normal, but I know that part isn't.  

That's a light of nightmares.  😞  Has it always been like that for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

other

 a mix of most of the choices

 Sometimes I wake up and lie there terrified, not sure if it was a dream or real

 other times I wake up and just have the racing heart but don't know why

 some mornings I wake up and have the feeling that I had a nightmare during the night.

 quite often my nightmares end with me falling. sometimes I wake up and my whole body jerks like I have just landed. sometimes I jerk so suddenly that I wake up DH. My mother tells me that when I was 10 months old I fell down 3 steps . Maybe I am recalling that falling feeling?

 I would have a nightmare less than once a fortnight mostly, but sometimes I will have a few in a row then none for a while. I don't watch scary movies or read scary books. a close encounter with a huntsman will trigger nightmares.

 

When I was younger I would talk and yell a lot in my sleep. I think I don't do this so much anymore, thought it could be that DH is use to it and doesn't tell me anymore when I do it..

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, BaseballandHockey said:

No, just since my son died.  I had more nightmares during the last months of his life, than before that, but nowhere near this frequent.  i assume it's my brain processing the loss.  

That makes sense.  It amazes me how our brains naturally do things like this that, in the long run, are probably in our best interest.  I mean, nightmares never feel good, but our brains must know they have to process things somehow.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just remembered that it was in dreams that my dh began to regain memories again after his massive brain injury.  He lost a lot of his memories for several years...  He didn't really lose them, but his brain was just working so hard to make it through each day that memories were temporarily put on hold, and probably some connections were blocked.  Three to four years later, his memories started to return to him but only in his dreams at first, and he would wake up amazed, and then would be able to recollect more things related to that newfound memory.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a vivid and often times lucid dreamer.  I dream in color, and I hear people’s voices.  I can remember dreams I had 20 years ago. Heck, I just remembered one I had when I was 15 so that would be 40 years ago! A disturbing dream can affect my mood all day and sometimes even for days in which case I re dream it night after night.  
 

I also work things out in my dreams.  I have awaken from dreams feeling a big sense of peace usually working out a way to find forgiveness either toward someone who has harmed me or toward myself.  
 

I don’t usually wake up in the middle of the night though.  Not from a dream. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I would say most nights. Sometimes a few times a night.  

I didn't know if the waking up part was normal, but I know that part isn't.  

I didn’t want to assume or presume that but after my mum died when I was a teen I had nightmares for around two years.  At the worst point I actually failed a subject at school because I was secretly reading till 3am because I didn’t want to sleep.  I don’t know if there’s anything counselling can do to help with it because that wasn’t available to me at the time but if there’s help available I think it’s worth seeking.  
 

one thing that helped a little was to visualise myself walking down a path while I was falling asleep and there were multiple paths leading off the path to various thoughts and trying to choose a positive or beautiful one.  That was later on though and I have no idea if it works for everyone.

Edited by Ausmumof3
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I didn’t want to assume or presume that but after my mum died when I was a teen I had nightmares for around two years.  At the worst point I actually failed a subject at school because I was secretly reading till 3am because I didn’t want to sleep.  I don’t know if there’s anything counselling can do to help with it because that wasn’t available to me at the time but if there’s help available I think it’s worth seeking.  
 

one thing that helped a little was to visualise myself walking down a path while I was falling asleep and there were multiple paths leading off the path to various thoughts and trying to choose a positive or beautiful one.  That was later on though and I have no idea if it works for everyone.

I have grief counseling.  My son had pretty intensive counseling, but he still had nightmares about his first parents' deaths, almost six years later.  It is apparently very normal for people to have symptoms that mirror their dead loved ones (e.g. chest pain if your loved one died of a heart attack etc . . . ) so that could be gong on too.  

Maybe I'll try the path thing. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I didn’t want to assume or presume that but after my mum died when I was a teen I had nightmares for around two years.  At the worst point I actually failed a subject at school because I was secretly reading till 3am because I didn’t want to sleep.  I don’t know if there’s anything counselling can do to help with it because that wasn’t available to me at the time but if there’s help available I think it’s worth seeking.  
 

one thing that helped a little was to visualise myself walking down a path while I was falling asleep and there were multiple paths leading off the path to various thoughts and trying to choose a positive or beautiful one.  That was later on though and I have no idea if it works for everyone.

I love the path idea. Sometimes in my lucid dreams it is as if I am behind a video camera and I decide to shoot in another direction because I don’t like the way it is going.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I voted other because I learned at a young age to wake myself from really bad dreams. I had recurring night terrors as a small child and I remember some of them vividly. Somehow I do a thing where I know in my dream if I close my eyes very tightly and concentrate, then when I open them I’m awake. Occasionally I get tricked with a dream within a dream, but that’s rare. I probably developed my little trick around age 7 and still use it today. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh, I am pretty surprised that I am the only one who voted "only know about it because someone I sleep tells me I behaved strangely in my sleep." I didn't realize that was unusual. Maybe what I have falls more under night terrors (screaming but no waking). I did have night terrors as a child and less and less frequently as I got older. There have been a few times I dreamed/screamed since I have been married (31 years), but I don't think I've dreamed/screamed in 10+ years, although, according to dh, I have startled and sat up in bed and he has had to talk me down. I have never remembered a nightmare and wouldn't have known I had them. (My poor family of origin and dh! They are the ones who get to be frightened by my nightmares!)

Funny story, the only time I have woken abruptly was when a car backfired and, in my sleep, I thought it was a gunshot. I woke up on the floor with my husband on top of me. Apparently, I grabbed him and hauled both of us off the bed on my side to protect us! 😄

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...