In general, recurring dreams indicate the presence of an unresolved and important conflict in an individual’s life, and the theme of the dream provides a stage for this conflict to play out. What differs about recurrent dreams is that they are experienced frequently and repetitively in one individual’s life, where typical dream themes refer to the universal dream themes.
Recurring dreams are quite common and are often triggered by a certain life situation, transitional phase in life or a problem that keeps coming back again and again. Such dreams may be highlighting a personal weakness, fear, or your inability to cope with something in your life past or present. The frequent repetition of such dreams forces you to pay attention and confront the dream. This is corroborated by findings that recurrent dreams are usually accompanied by negative dream content, and that they are associated with lower psychological well-being. One subject in a test reported a recurrent dream of being unable to speak, a common theme that might involve teeth falling out or lips being glued shut. Researchers collected dream reports from medical students on several nights preceding a major exam and found that dreams concerning the exam on the night before, or multiple nights before, predicted proportionally higher scores, even though the dreams generally were negative and ended poorly.
Recurrent dreams are often comprised of typical dream themes. A Tidal Wave dream is a common dream to experience following trauma or abuse, and often becomes a recurrent theme that reflects a person’s struggling with integrating and accepting the trauma. Empirical research has also supported findings that resolution of a recurrent dream is associated with improved well-being. Recurrent dream themes often start at a young age, but can begin at any time, and persist for the rest of one’s life. Dream theorists agree that recurring dreams are connected to unresolved problems in the life of the dreamer.Aside from recurring dreams, another reason those lose sleep is nightmares.
A nightmare is a dream occurring during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that results in feelings of strong terror, fear, distress or extreme anxiety. REM sleep stimulates the brain regions used in learning, which may be important for normal brain development during infancy. REM sleep begins with signals from the pons, an area at the base of the brain. signals from the pons during REM sleep, the cortex, attempting to interpret these signals, creates a “story” out of fragmented brain activity. Nightmares usually begin in childhood before age 10 and are considered normal unless they significantly interfere with sleep, development or psychosocial development.
Some scientists believe dreams are the cortex’s attempt to find meaning in the random signals received during REM sleep. At this point, it may be referred to as Nightmare Disorder or “repeated nightmares.” Repeated nightmares is defined more specifically as a series of nightmares with a recurring theme. Nightmares and recurring dreams both have a central idea that comes from the subconscious mind. It’s really important to analyze your dreams to understand the depth of them.