Since childhood, we all have been told to get eight hours of sleep for a proper and peaceful sleep. But, if you still feel stress and anxiety during your dreams, you will not get the desired rest, which is essential for a good night's sleep. If you wake up with a heavy breath, soaking in your sweat or crying as you wake up, it denotes that you are not sleeping well.
Usually, we can’t control the situations we are dreaming about. Dreams are said to be a way of how our mind processes emotions, and when we are pressed under colossal stress, unfortunately, our dreams become anxiety dreams. They are something that no one likes to welcome. They often cause stress and disturbance. Anxiety dreams are more unpleasant than nightmares and cause you to wake up in a state of extreme nervousness and panic. As a result, the feelings of fear and anxiety are most likely to prevail in your head during your entire day as well.
Anxiety dreams also result in a constant worry that they might mean something evil and something terrible will be happening. If you speculate that what reasons are behind your disturbing anxiety dreams and whether you can deal with them to get sound sleep, you are exactly where you should be.
What Causes Anxiety Dreams to Occur?
Interestingly, whatever we do while we are awake, our body and brain react to it psychologically. Although sleep is thought of as a time to refresh and energize our bodies, our brains are most active. Whatever we think of throughout the day tends to remain and surpass our minds during our sleep as well. Consequently, if you are tensed or worried about a thing, it will naturally impact the dreams you see without even realizing you feel it.
What happens is that when you are going through extreme pressure and stress to the extent that it affects your dreams, it means you are in a prolonged state of stress and anxiety. Sleep hours are intended to be the hours of physical and mental repair. However, anxiety dreams increase our anxiety levels by preventing our body and mind from restoring and keeping us always in a state of worry.
Common Types of Anxiety Dreams You Might be Experiencing
The dreams we all see often designate our anxiety, and fears but they have a different meaning for the dreamer. Our anxiety dreams have something to tell us. We can find out by paying attention to our dream and seeing whether that particular emotion in our dream is constant with what is happening in our life. Anxiety dreams can help us identify the issue because our subconscious mind searches for it and starts to appear in our dreams, leading to a distressed sleep.
1. Dreams that you’re being chased
Being chased by someone and forgetting how to move forward is a total nightmare. You might also experience your legs freezing or a slow-motion run. You might be chased by some monster or a terrifying creature, which is horrible as you cannot escape. Dreaming such a thing denotes that you feel unsafe. If seen on a deeper level, such dreams might also mean that the anxieties and difficulties in someone else’s life are getting to you.
According to Rev. Connie, f we don't deal with our worries or stressors' and tend to avoid them, they can show up symbolized as our pursuer. As you wake up from such a dream, take a pause and examine what things are making you stress out, invading your sleep and comfort to avoid seeing this kind of dream ahead.
2. Teeth falling
Seeing teeth falling out is quite common, and such dreams have many different interpretations. This type of dream is thought to be caused by psychological stress. Though it results from some anxiety or stress, it also represents the loss of a loved one's home, job, or death. You are also likely to experience such a dream if your stress is regarding some religious issue. If you are suspicious of what will happen in the future or doubtful about some religious beliefs, such emotions might take a visual representation in the form of losing teeth in your dreams.
According to some theories, these dreams are also associated with communication problems, being tensed about self-embarrassment, or feeling helpless.
3. Seeing yourself falling
Seeing a dram where you fall and suddenly wake up with a jerk? They do have a name. They are known as a hypnagogic jerk, and it is often a muscle contraction. Many people experience this whether they have anxiety or not, but you may experience such contractions if you are going through anxiety, depression, and stress.
Seeing such dreams lead to an increase in your heartbeat and waking you up with a sudden jerk. According to psychologist Ian Wallace, these dreams denote that you hold on to some situation very tightly in your awake life. Falling dreams also signify that you are losing control over something. And if you are experiencing such dreams repeatedly, you need to examine how you are doing schoolwork or your relationships. Are you angry with someone? Or are you not performing well at school? These kinds of situations could appear as falling out in your dreams. You need to relax and try to let go of such things.
4. You are drowning
Seeing you drowning also represents a kind of anxiety. It can also denote that you have a panic disorder, which is a form of anxiety disorder. This is due to the reason that the emotion of drowning is the same as a panic attack. Feeling pressure on the chest and breathing difficulty are the same symptoms you experience during a panic attack or drowning.
5. The world is ending
Dreaming about an apocalypse is the opposite of having a peaceful sleep. Such dreams represent that you are dealing with a huge change or a life-transforming event. And you see it as life-ending. Although things are not coming to an end in real, substantial life changes can feel similar to everything ending and restless dreams.
How To Cope With Anxiety Dreams
Keep the room temperature cool.
A cool temperature helps you to get a night of better sleep. As your body prepares itself for sleep, its climate reduces for sleeping, and a cooler room temperature can help it. Or else, you will feel restless and disturbed as your body will try to normalize its temperature; if you want to overcome this thing, taking a shower before sleeping will do something. After getting out, your body's temperature will drop and create a sleepy feeling in you.
Stay away from worrying or disturbing tasks before sleeping.
If the last thing before going to bed is checking your financial status or reading an upsetting message from your partner, you will start to overthink about it the whole night. Indeed, you cannot avoid your stressful activities, but you are aware of the things that cause you anxiety and deal with them during the day. After you are done with such tasks, do something fun and relaxing. Go for a walk or meet your friends. Doing positive things is a great tool in relieving anxiety, which is caused by stressful activities.
Talk to someone
According to psychoanalyst Claudia Luiz, talking about dreams and bringing them on a conscious state helps stop them. When you take the stimuli from an unconscious state to a conscious level, your brain wouldn't now have to process the triggers unconsciously, and it will move to different kinds of dreams.
Exercise will help
No doubt that making yourself physically active will boost your endorphins and will release stress. So, different exercises such as swimming and running allow you to spend time alone with your mind. Think whatever is upsetting you. Also, physical exertion leads to a reduced number of anxiety dreams. Incorporating some aerobics or yoga into your daily routine will help you sleep better and peacefully.
Highlight the problem
Dreams are our unconscious thoughts occurring in our mind, and to find out the reason behind your anxiety and stress dreams, you must examine your life and find out what is causing such a condition and how you can solve it. As soon as you resolve the distressing situation, the dream connected to that feeling eventually stops.
Anxiety dreams represent that you are suffering from stress, and they can be very disturbing. But, try to have a different outlook for these dreams; they might have some advantage. They allow you to identify the stress you are going through. Observing them on a deeper level and making an effort to overcome them can help in disappearing your anxiety dreams. In case you find it challenging to deal with them by yourself, you must consider a therapist.