Almost every dream I have is a nightmare, if I remember the dream. Is there a way to train myself not to do this?
Inspired by this question
, I realized that almost every time I dream, it's a nightmare. They are typically very vivid and not "anxiety" dreams, like taking a test without studying. On the scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is, say, a sex dream and 10 equals me being in a situation where I have experienced hours of physical torture and eventually am eaten alive by rabid animals (and waking up feeling nauseated, heart pounding, sweaty), I'd say the majority of my dreams are in the 6-8 range.
I have also experienced cyclical nightmares every night for up to 10 months. By this I mean I can wake up 6-10 times a night and pick right up in the nightmare where I left off, or experience the same nightmare every single night for almost a year. I mostly dream like this:
- One night per week I'll have a fantastic, amazing, vivid dream that is weird/fun (it's never more frequently than that)
- Two or three nights per week I won't dream at all
- Three nights per week or more, sometimes up to six nights a week, I will dream about unpleasant things like going to jail for something I didn't do, having my teeth disintegrate slowly and painfully while I try to get them fixed, dying from painful and irreparable injuries, trying to run away from something but being pulled back slowly in an unbearably long, thin trail (like the spaghettification effect of a black hole)
Not sure if this matters, but about 3x per week I have to rely on Ambien to sleep at all and have suffered chronic insomnia since I was 11. The Ambien appears 100% unrelated to my dreaming patterns, as I have had happy dreams, no dreams, and nightmares all on Ambien.
Is there some kind of meditation, visualization or medication I could try to break this? I frequently feel physically and mentally exhausted and DO get sleepy, but dread sleeping knowing that I most likely will wake up terrified. I handle the nightmares fine if another person is in the house with me, for some reason.
If I could break cycle, I think I'd be able to feel rested. Has anyone else experienced this and been able to change it?