Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello,

Are we more likely to get bad dreams when we are younger? Is it something to do with the person's knowledge about the dream itself and their belief that it is real, not too sure.

Thanks in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stated a dream thread not too long ago:

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/83722-dreams/

 

I dream regularly and most of them are suspenseful. I don't know if the nature of my dreams have changed much over the decades. I am no expert but I don't get the impression, least not from my own experience, that the nature of ones dreams is tied to age. I think ones life and past relationships play a bigger role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

Are we more likely to get bad dreams when we are younger? Is it something to do with the person's knowledge about the dream itself and their belief that it is real, not too sure.

Thanks in advance

 

I think this is more of a psychology question rather than one involving anatomy, physiology or neuroscience. There is no clear research that ties bad dreams or nightmares to our physiology; however, they do seem to occur more frequently in our youth than as we age. That frequency may have to do more with stress in the dreamer's life than with a dreamer's level of insight or knowledge regarding the nature of dreams. There is plenty of info and some research regarding night terrors, which commonly references the sleep disturbances children experience. Try searching the term and I'm sure you'll find the info you seek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think this is more of a psychology question rather than one involving anatomy, physiology or neuroscience. There is no clear research that ties bad dreams or nightmares to our physiology; however, they do seem to occur more frequently in our youth than as we age. That frequency may have to do more with stress in the dreamer's life than with a dreamer's level of insight or knowledge regarding the nature of dreams. There is plenty of info and some research regarding night terrors, which commonly references the sleep disturbances children experience. Try searching the term and I'm sure you'll find the info you seek.

Adults can also experience night terrors, but it's much less common; I experience night terrors occasionally and have nightmares. Some medical conditions cause adult nightmares such as sleep apnoea or restless leg syndrome and medications like anti-depressants or for blood pressure. I've read that an increase in metabolism can also cause nightmares, especially specific foods. However, it seems the most causes of nightmares are psychological, such as PTSD, anxiety and stress. This article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3896131/ seems to suggest that a high dose of Prazosin is effective for nightmares caused by PTSD. Image Reversal Therapy seems to show some short-term promise in treating patients with PTSD nightmares, however, it I'm not certain of the therapy costs and how much of it would by covered by health funds. Also, studies show that people are more likely to remember negative dreams rather than positive dreams and there is no way of testing dreams other than to ask people.

Edited by Sirona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and there is no way of testing dreams other than to ask people.

We still have a long to way to go, but it's been extending beyond self-report only for some time now (really, in conjunction with self-report in humans, but animals studies obviously cannot use those and progress is still being made there, too):

 

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6132/639

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028113626.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adults can also experience night terrors, but it's much less common; I experience night terrors occasionally and have nightmares. Some medical conditions cause adult nightmares such as sleep apnoea or restless leg syndrome and medications like anti-depressants or for blood pressure. I've read that an increase in metabolism can also cause nightmares, especially specific foods. However, it seems the most causes of nightmares are psychological, such as PTSD, anxiety and stress. This article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3896131/ seems to suggest that a high dose of Prazosin is effective for nightmares caused by PTSD. Image Reversal Therapy seems to show some short-term promise in treating patients with PTSD nightmares, however, it I'm not certain of the therapy costs and how much of it would by covered by health funds. Also, studies show that people are more likely to remember negative dreams rather than positive dreams and there is no way of testing dreams other than to ask people.

 

Thanks for the link to that interesting article. I've now noticed that the night terrors link to a Mayo Clinic reference I provided earlier isn't working properly; my apologies. You are right, adults do indeed experience night terrors (a parasomnia); however, I routinely reference the term as a childhood condition because of the increased frequency at which it occurs in children over adults. That Prazosin study in your link does provide some convincing evidence of a neurological component to nightmares with a distinction (IMO) I will explain further on. I've reviewed a number of sleep studies suggesting a prominent link between parasomnia and stress, which has a neurological component precipitated by a sufferer's mental environment. Indeed, it is the neurological components of stress where pharmacological studies have shown efficacy. I believe what the Prazosin study shows is its efficacy in reducing the stress hormones precipitated by experiences affecting the mental condition of those who suffer abnormal sleep. Essentially, our bad dreams are the effects of the brain chemistry caused by conditions affecting our psychology. As a progenitor of stress, I believe our psychology is where we should initially seek a cause even with reports of food induced parasomnia.

We still have a long to way to go, but it's been extending beyond self-report only for some time now (really, in conjunction with self-report in humans, but animals studies obviously cannot use those and progress is still being made there, too):

 

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6132/639

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028113626.htm

 

Indeed; researchers have managed to map the neural pattern of dreaming rats and then associated that pattern with their maze running activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed; researchers have managed to map the neural pattern of dreaming rats and then associated that pattern with their maze running activity.

The article is four years old; I'd be interested in a further evaluation or update on progress. I am much more interested in neuroscientific approaches as opposed to psychoanalytic ones; although I don't discount the latter entirely. It certainly seems like they're on the right path.

Edited by Sirona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article is four years old; I'd be interested in a further evaluation or update on progress. I am much more interested in neuroscientific approaches as opposed to psychoanalytic ones; although I don't discount the latter entirely. It certainly seems like they're on the right path.

 

I'd be interested as well. Other than Horikawa's works (iNow's link) in humans, there really hasn't been much recent progress published on the subject. If I recieve any, I will surely post it here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, it is worth mentioning that dreams are more likely to occur in colder rooms.

http://www.tydknow.com/did-you-know-that-sleeping-in-a-cold-room-increases-the-chances/

Even though the sleeping brain has less external awareness, it is still probably receiving internal and external environmental cues which may influence the content of dreams. As an example of an internal cue, I had a dream where I was trying to rise through deep water as fast as I could to reach the the surface before I ran out of breath; I woke up, bladder busting for the bathroom. :)

 

 

It’s not unusual to realize upon awakening that elements of our true physical surroundings have been incorporated into our dreams. Though we normally consider sleep to be a time when we are completely cut off from the real world, in fact, there continues to be a flow of input from our sensory systems, which may be fluidly incorporated into a dream. Of course, a strong enough stimulus would lead to an awakening, a fact that most of us take for granted when relying on an alarm clock.

 

Research on external incorporation into dreams has explored the influences of several different sensory systems, including touch, sight, and smell, on our nightly creations. Tactile experiments show that both pressure and temperature can influence the content of a dream. In a study conducted by Nielsen (1993), participants wore a pressure cuff on their leg while sleeping in the laboratory. During REM sleep, experimenters inflated the cuff to produce pressure on the leg and subsequently awoke participants for dream reports. The authors found several examples of leg pressure incorporated into dreams, sometimes in a subtle yet direct fashion (ie, tingling in the leg), and sometimes in a more elaborate fashion (ie, a dream sequence that involved paralysis of the leg, attempts to move the leg resulting in intense discomfort). Thus the physical sensation of pressure on the leg was incorporated in idiosyncratic ways, perhaps depending on the prior narrative of the dream or the quality of sleep.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dream-factory/201409/sensory-incorporation-in-dreams

Hello,

Are we more likely to get bad dreams when we are younger? Is it something to do with the person's knowledge about the dream itself and their belief that it is real, not too sure.

Thanks in advance

When we are younger, we are, relatively, experientially naive about. life and dreams. I think, being naive, things appear more extreme and frightening simply due to lack of experience and familiarity. Also, the lack of experience blurs the distinction between being awake and dreaming.

Edited by StringJunky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, it is worth mentioning that dreams are more likely to occur in colder rooms.

http://www.tydknow.com/did-you-know-that-sleeping-in-a-cold-room-increases-the-chances/

I wonder if this is perhaps because metabolic rate increases when the air temperature is very cold? Previous studies have linked increased metabolic speed to increased chances of having a nightmare because it signals the brain to be more active. I can't find any reliable research that supports your post and link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if this is perhaps because metabolic rate increases when the air temperature is very cold? Previous studies have linked increased metabolic speed to increased chances of having a nightmare because it signals the brain to be more active. I can't find any reliable research that supports your post and link.

If you are cold whilst asleep you are more likely to have it disrupted from repeatedly waking up because of it. This may well cause emotional stress, leading to bad dreams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are cold whilst asleep you are more likely to have it disrupted from repeatedly waking up because of it. This may well cause emotional stress, leading to bad dreams.

 

I agree and, just to clarify, there is no conclusive evidence that we are physiologically predisposed to nightmares; however, there's sufficient evidence (e.g.; Prasozin study) suggesting a strong link between bad dreams and stress related brain chemistry. I think that identifying and eliminating the sources of stress is key to our understanding and treatment of abnormal sleep conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I agree and, just to clarify, there is no conclusive evidence that we are physiologically predisposed to nightmares; however, there's sufficient evidence (e.g.; Prasozin study) suggesting a strong link between bad dreams and stress related brain chemistry. I think that identifying and eliminating the sources of stress is key to our understanding and treatment of abnormal sleep conditions.

Yes, stress can be unusually high or happy spirits as well as the usual negative ones.I've noticed having particularly bad dreams during states of high emotions or happiness. I think it might be one of the brain's ways of adjusting the neurotransmitter levels, associated with stressful mood states to a calmer one, that is not so taxing on the body. The converse will happen as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had several dreams last night. One of the more straight forward ones I already posted in the other Dreams thread. One was a bit scare so I'll share it here:

 

At the start of the dream I was in a Hostel, 3rd floor, with my Father, ex-girlfriend (from 10yrs ago), a co-worker, and another firend. In our dream I understood us to be in the Philipinnes. However I have never been to the Phillipines and the actual location reminded me more of Antique in Guatemala.

 

We all left the Hostel and went walking around a crowded outdoor market at night. There we encourter a couple local market owner who wanted us to purchase storage space on empty shelves in their store (made sense in the dream). We decline but my father and co-worker were rude about about it. I then receive a phone from a man who warned my that my father and co-worker being rude have set off a dangerous chain of events.

 

At this point the dream cut, like a move, to a montage of a few men obsessively working in a small garage. They were building something using molten metal.

 

Back to me walking around the outdoor market. My father, ex, and co-worker go back to the hostel to retrieve something (I don't not recall what). Once they were gone violent small explosions began everywhere. I ducked behind a food stand. The violent explosions turned into nurmerous fireworks and eventually stopped. Smoked filled the air. As the smoke cleared a doze of old fashisioned milkshake waiteress of roller skates emerged.

 

*old fashisioned milkshake waiteress of roller skates - Pink waiteress outfits, white aprons, hair in a bun, excessive amount of makeup.

 

In the dream I understand then to be robots. They were what the men in the garabe had built. They skated around will frozen smailes. They were skating a pattern down every street searching for my father and co-worker. I understand that they would kill them once they located them. So I had to race back to the Hostel to alert them. Once back at the Hostel I noticed a man in the lobby walking in circles. He looked lost. I aproached him but he would not make acknowledge me. So I left him and started up the stairs. Om the first floor I saw a woman walking in circles who would also not acknowledge me. Something had happened to these people but I didn't know what......end of dream. I woke up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was psychically attacked once in Minnesota not long after a ghost encounter that was really insane. Anyways the dream I had scared me so I woke up and figured no biggie and go back to sleep. That happened 10 times and inside the dream a being came to me and told me not to do anything and it was over after that but that psychic vampire or whatever it was was mopping the floor with me and I have pre-cognitive dreaming abilities as well as remote viewing and a few other things I won't bother to mention.

 

Point being I am experienced at dreaming lucidly and if I lay on my back I am guaranteed to lucid dream but I prefer to sleep on my side for more restful sleep since dreaming intensely can deplete a lot of energy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fever dreams? Anyone? The dreams even more vague and illogical than usual? Concerning the most nonsense related topics not making sense (well yeah .. nonsense)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fever dreams? Anyone? The dreams even more vague and illogical than usual? Concerning the most nonsense related topics not making sense (well yeah .. nonsense)?

I think, fever dreams are caused by the body or brain being too hot and it can respond to this environmentally caused stress by eliciting the appropriate dreams to make you move or shake off any covers in an attempt to cool down i.e it's one of the brain's ways of regulating it's nocturnal environment The narratives or order of these dreams - the intrinsic meaning - don't matter as long as they are disturbing enough to wake you up. it's the physical end result that matters; temperature regulation in this case.

Edited by StringJunky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't comment on fever dreams, but do understand weird, strange, often undecipherable ones. That's most of mine, frankly.

 

The conscious brain is IMO under no obligation to realize logic, reason, or even any relevant meaning in the random new connections forming and old connections pruning or the various aspects of neuroplastic memory consolidation that tends to be occurring physiologically while we dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't comment on fever dreams, but do understand weird, strange, often undecipherable ones. That's most of mine, frankly.

 

The conscious brain is IMO under no obligation to realize logic, reason, or even any relevant meaning in the random new connections forming and old connections pruning or the various aspects of neuroplastic memory consolidation that tends to be occurring physiologically while we dream.

I agree, I imagine most of this occurring at night. I think dreaming brain serves several functions just like the wakeful brain does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think dreaming brain serves several functions just like the wakeful brain does.

One of the most interesting to me is how dreams, especially while young, provide us with a safe method of practicing and preparing for potential interactions with unseen others, and possibly prepping for yet to be encountered dangerous scenarios, and all in a way that does no damage or actual harm... A prehistoric virtual reality or low-tech training program, as it were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the most interesting to me is how dreams, especially while young, provide us with a safe method of practicing and preparing for potential interactions with unseen others, and possibly prepping for yet to be encountered dangerous scenarios, and all in a way that does no damage or actual harm... A prehistoric virtual reality or low-tech training program, as it were.

That was originally the first thing I learned,o r surmised somehow, that this was one of the purposes of dreaming; virtual role playing. I think I picked this up when I was doing a lot of lucid dreaming as teenager. No prizes for what my favourite dreaming scenarios were. :)

Edited by StringJunky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I picked this up when I was doing a lot of lucid dreaming as teenager. No prizes for what my favourite dreaming scenarios were. :)

Lol. Likely that all "prizes" were already claimed long ago. Cheers, SJ!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, I imagine most of this occurring at night. I think dreaming brain serves several functions just like the wakeful brain does.

 

The function dreaming serves is a question that has taken me a few decades to answer satisfactorily for myself. I had to dismiss a lot of nonsense, both scientific and non, to arrive at what I now know to be that answer. From my own experiences and those experiences others have shared, I knew that dreams could be profoundly meaningful and equally meaningless. To me, It was an asymmetrical conundrum. So, for me dreaming had to serve some function that transcended and unified the meaningful and nonsensical nature of dreams. As I discovered, the answer to what function dreaming serves resides with the components of sleep and dreaming--as produced by brain function--and where those components arise in brain structure relative to how our brain likely evolved. Essentially, I found that every major development in brain structure--from spinal cord to neocortex--was contiguously compelled by the metabolic needs of antecedent organisms at various stages in their evolution. Primarily, the brain activity in sleep that causes dreaming serves the metabolic needs of our sleeping brain. Without those needs, there would be no dreaming. Lastly, I found that all dreams, even the nonsensical dreams, are meaningful. Dreaming, like conscious brain activity and activations, arise from subcortical neural afferents. This subcortical neural input activates those brain responses associated with sensory perception and processing. The distinction here is that the dreaming brain is perceiving and processing sensory stimuli not directly or entirely generated by our physical senses or sensory environment. Our nonsensical dreams appear that way because our dreaming brain is relying on its cortical store of physical/material references to interpret what is essentially non-physical/material sensory stimuli--in other words, mental stimuli. Therefore, what we recall as dreams are actually how our brain physically/materially references or interprets the various mental influences it perceives amid dreaming.

Edited by DrmDoc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The function dreaming serves is a question that has taken me a few decades to answer satisfactorily for myself. I had to dismiss a lot of nonsense, both scientific and non, to arrive at what I now know to be that answer. From my own experiences and those experiences others have shared, I knew that dreams could be profoundly meaningful and equally meaningless. To me, It was an asymmetrical conundrum. So, for me dreaming had to serve some function that transcended and unified the meaningful and nonsensical nature of dreams. As I discovered, the answer to what function dreaming serves resides with the components of sleep and dreaming--as produced by brain function--and where those components arise in brain structure relative to how our brain likely evolved. Essentially, I found that every major development in brain structure--from spinal cord to neocortex--was contiguously compelled by the metabolic needs of antecedent organisms at various stages in their evolution. Primarily, the brain activity in sleep that causes dreaming serves the metabolic needs of our sleeping brain. Without those needs, there would be no dreaming. Lastly, I found that all dreams, even the nonsensical dreams, are meaningful. Dreaming, like conscious brain activity and activations, arise from subcortical neural afferents. This subcortical neural input activates those brain responses associated with sensory perception and processing. The distinction here is that the dreaming brain is perceiving and processing sensory stimuli not directly or entirely generated by our physical senses or sensory environment. Our nonsensical dreams appear that way because our dreaming brain is relying on its cortical store of physical/material references to interpret what is essentially non-physical/material sensory stimuli--in other words, mental stimuli. Therefore, what we recall as dreams are actually how our brain physically/materially references or interprets the various mental influences it perceives amid dreaming.

My dreams, that I remember, seem to be an allegory to how I've been feeling recently, especially if I'm stuck on something that's important to me. I've also noticed upon waking, but not fully, that some character I know, is explaining things to me in an internal monologue that is very sensible and coherent; it is very real until I fully awaken. I like those periods because it seems to be my brain reconciling the things that are bothering me; lucid dreaming of an almost auditory nature.

 

As I understand it, sensory data streams hit the brain in a pretty asynchronous fashion and the brain orders and edits it all into a contiguous experience that we understand consciously . Perhaps, the garbled dreams are real-time manifestations of these raw data streams?

Edited by StringJunky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.