I’m a dream expert and here’s what the 4 most common nightmares mean | The Sun

FALLING to sleep can be difficult enough – without worrying you'll be plagued with nightmares.

They are a common occurrence but can be extremely distressing, causing you to miss out on vital snooze.

It's clear than many Brits are suffering from troubled sleep, with Google searches for 'nightmares' peaking in the early hours of the morning each day this week.

Leading dream expert and bestselling author, Theresa Cheung has revealed four of the most common nightmares, but highlighted that they shouldn't necessarily give you reason to be worried or scared. 

Theresa, who is working with Happy Beds said: "Every single dream is unique and unusual.

"There is no such thing as a ‘usual’ nightmare, even ones with commonly reported nightmare themes.

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"These dreams mean that there are feelings or situations in your current waking life which you are having difficulty fully processing.

"You should not fear nightmares. Think of nightmares as a form of tough love.” 

She added that if you're dreaming of shocking images, it's because your mind knows you are more likely to recall them and ponder their meaning more in comparison to everyday dreams.

Here's the most commonly reported nightmares and what they actually mean.

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1. Murder

This is an extremely distressing dream, and can literally leave you feeling as though you are fighting for your life.

Theresa said: "A dream that involves a murder of some description can mean an unexpected change is being forced onto you."

2. Apocalypse  

Many people may have had these dreams during the coronavirus pandemic, due to the amount of uncertainty around.

Theresa said that if you have a dream that involves the apocalypse it can be a sign that your subconscious feels that everything is shifting in your life and it’s time for a fresh start. 

3. Teeth falling out  

A common misconception and old-wives tale about this dream, is that it means you're pregnant.

But Theresa said there could actually be more than one reason for this.

"It could mean that you’re concerned about ageing or your appearance, or even that you have unexpressed anger inside."

4. Drowning  

Dreams about drowning are very common, Theresa said, and can be disturbing.

"However, they’re usually a sign that you’re feeling emotionally overwhelmed."

Whilst they may not be a cause for immediate concern, there are things you can do to help you avoid them.

Katherine Hall, a psychologist in sleep from Somnus Therapy said there are five things you can do to avoid the dreaded nightmares.

She said being consistent, keeping a regular bed and wake up time is key as this will reduce stress which is linked to disturbed sleep.

The guru said that including a daily relaxation process such as mindfulness can also help, as well as writing your emotions down.

You should also avoid alcohol, she explained: "Alcohol is an REM sleep blocker and causes an overall reduction in REM sleep – also known as dream sleep.

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"When the alcohol starts to wear off it’s not uncommon to experience really vivid dreams or nightmares."

But if the nightmares become frequent and reoccurring you need to seek help in order to discover the underlying issue.

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