Recurring dreams are dreams that are experienced again and again over a period of time. These dreams are messages from your subconscious to your conscious mind. They are often an attempt to help you deal with something that is preventing you from being at peace.
In order to stop recurring dreams from returning, it may be necessary to examine the dream and find out what it’s trying to tell you. Sometimes counseling is necessary, but often the solution can be found and resolved without professional help.
If you’re suffering from recurring dreams, the first thing you should do is acquire a dream journal. This journal should be kept with you at all times. The moment you wake, no matter what time of night, you should record as much or as little of your dreams as you remember.
During the day you may find something has triggered a memory of part of a dream. Before it slips away, take out your journal and record the memory. Examining this book and looking for symbols and patterns can help you deal with the cause of the dreams. Once you are conscious of what the dream is trying to tell you, the recurring dreams may stop.
There are different reasons a person may be having recurring dreams. They include:
- Reliving past experiences, particularly nightmarish ones
- Feelings of being unprepared for something
- Facing a challenge you feel unequal to
- Feelings of being unable to control a situation
- Running away from problems
- Precognition, or dreams that warn about some future event
People who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often experience recurring dreams relating to the event or events that triggered the stress, but they aren’t limited to replaying past events. Unresolved stress and medications are other reasons nightmares may plague someone. When the dreams are replays of past events, they tend to diminish in frequency as time goes by.
They mostly affect children, but can occur at any age.
Recurring dreams are frequently nightmares, replaying and changing incidents in our lives or incidents that may come in an attempt to get us to notice and deal with the events and/or the feelings they provoke. Though it is believed that many types of recurring nightmares exist to alert us to stressors and help us to isolate them and deal with them, the nightmares themselves cause plenty of stress on their own. While most dreams occur during “Rapid Eye Movement” or “REM” sleep, nightmares occur during non-REM sleep, and usually soon after falling asleep.
With a traumatic interruption of sleep occurring so early in the night, many are reluctant to fall back asleep for fear the dream will return. One sleepless night can cause a lot of trouble for some people by affecting areas of their lives such as their ability to drive safely, work efficiently, and maintain good health. Maladies such as irregularity, diarrhea, and other gut issues can develop from even one stressful, sleepless night. When the dream occurs again and again, it can have a rather large impact on the dreamer’s quality of life.
Night terrors typically last between 5 and 20 minutes and frequently wake the dreamer, sometimes screaming, often bathed in sweat.
Feelings of Unpreparedness
Most everyone has dreamed of showing up in public only to find they are naked or missing a large portion of their clothing at some point in their lives. It is a common recurring dream that alerts you to your feelings of insecurity regarding an upcoming event. By recognizing this and preparing more thoroughly for the event, these recurring dreams may fade.
Feeling Unequal to a Challenge
Have you ever had a dream in which you have an important test to take but for some reason you can’t take it? Maybe you got lost on the way to the test or you arrived unprepared, but something kept you from taking or finishing the test. Or maybe you forgot you were even taking the course and hadn’t shown up for any classes or taken any notes.
There are different theories about why we dream of being unsuccessful at taking an exam, but theories include the dreamer feeling they are unprepared for something, have forgotten to do something important, or perhaps didn’t follow a path that may have led to success.
Feeling out of Control
Falling dreams often mean that the dreamer is feeling out of control over some area of their lives. They maybe be having this recurring dream because their subconscious wants to bring a situation to the forefront of their mind so it can be dealt with.
Another common recurring dream is one in which the dreamer is running away from something. Often they can’t move very fast because they are running through water, mud, or some other thick substance. They wake in terror before the chaser reaches them, if they’re lucky. This dream can occur when you’re running away from your problems instead of facing them head on. The problems are always there, lurking behind you, ready to chase you down. Until they catch up with you in real life, they may haunt your dream state. When these problems are faced and dealt with, it is likely the dreams of being chased will stop.
Other recurring dreams may be prophetic, warning us to prepare for an event yet to come. Research has shown that precognitive dreams do occur, and by paying attention to them, you can allow good things to happen in your life, or prevent bad things from happening.
A dream psychologist by the name of Dr. Arthur Bernard reported a recurring dream that gave him a tip about an obscure stock. He felt the dream was vivid enough and happened often enough that he should pay attention, so he bought a lot of shares. He made 1.6 million dollars on the deal. Such dreams have also saved lives by warning us of possible future tragedies. If you feel your dreams may be precognitive, pay close attention to them. It just might be the best thing you ever do.