Dreams and Nightmares


By Induwari Wickramasinghe

Dreaming is common to everyone. We see them at night, and then, once we wake up, we don’t even have the faintest idea of what we saw and what it meant. When we dream, we see all sorts of things that we don’t even think of. Dreams are mostly seen at night, when you are asleep, and they tend to make no sense. Therefore we usually forget what we see in the night. Dreams can come in a variety of forms, good dreams and nightmares. What are they? What do they mean? Why do we have dreams, or nightmares? 

There are three stages of sleep. Your brain goes through these stages, going up, and back, in a cycle. When the brain goes through these stages, it takes a rest at some stages. Sometimes, the brain rests at the highest stage of sleep, and you are not in a deep sleep. This is called the R.E.M stage. The Rapid Eye Movement stage. In this stage, our eyes start moving amazingly fast under our closed eye lids. When the eyes do so, we see all sorts of images. These images can be taken by our memory. The brain mixes up some images we’ve seen, and makes up a dream. 

Some people wake up in the middle of the night, especially children, saying they had a “nightmare”. What is a nightmare? It is a much worse version of a dream. They are scary, and include things we don’t want to see. This also happens in the R.E.M stage. But when you have nightmares, your mind is disturbed and frightened, and your heart beats faster, which causes you to wake up more quickly than you expect to be. 

In nightmares monsters, ghosts, or even a murder, can be witnessed. However, nightmares can be extremely helpful in your day-to-day problems. You would know how to overcome hard challenges you meet in your life, and know solutions to any problem you are sure to meet up with. You could be aware of your surroundings more than other times, and know who to trust and who to not trust. But, a question that many had wanted to know the answer to, is how do we prevent nightmares? 

To prevent nightmares, you can have a daily routine, sleep at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time. Children could cuddle up with a doll, to help them feel more secure and safe. Also, try to avoid having late night snacks, which make your brain more active, and make up dreams or even nightmares. And if you want to prevent nightmares, don’t watch many horror movies or stories at night, right before bed. These steps can help you prevent nightmares. 

Dreaming can be really fun, and some people enjoy dreams and nightmares very much. But it’s better to have a deep sleep, which would help your health immensely, instead of having dreams all the time, which could disturb your sleep, and make an interruption to your health system. But if you do have a dream, or even a nightmare, don’t be scared and feel like you don’t want to live to see them, always remember that they can help you with problems you meet!