Dream Interpretation & Nightmares – What’s Keeping You Up At Night?

Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.” —Edgar Cayce

Are nightmares keeping you up at night? 

Nightmares, dream interpretation, Sleepless NightNightmares can actually be “wake-up calls” for us to address something in our lives.

Many times our dreams tell us things we already know but, may be afraid to face. If we persistently ignore a situation that needs our attention in our life our inner guidance or intuition may have to create a powerful dream such as a nightmare to get our attention.

Some solid dream interpretation could get your life back on track.

Years ago I had a dream that was very upsetting.  I actually woke up confused and not sure where I was – that’s how engrossing the nightmare was.

I’ve been analyzing my dreams since I was a teenager and although this one scared me, it was a fascinating insight into what I was feeling in my life.

After I calmed down and had a chance to analyze it I realized the nightmare was telling me that it was time for me to move out of a difficult living situation.

Here’s the nightmare I had:

I had escaped the clutches of a sadomasochist who had been holding me prisoner for years.
I was at a bus terminal and anxious to board the bus. I was giving my contact information to a woman who was going to contact the authorities about the lunatic who had been holding me prisoner but, she was writing really, really slow. I kept saying, “Please hurry please,” while I looked around for him.
I knew he was not far behind so the fact that this woman was taking so long was agonizing for me. I was so afraid that I could feel the fear in my stomach and it actually hurt. I was also aware that I was having a hard time breathing and that I was perspiring like mad.

Suddenly he appeared and took me by the arm and started to escort me out of the bus station. I was frantic to figure out a way to get away from him. I could not go back to living like a trapped animal.

I managed to wriggle out of his hold and ran over to the where the luggage was being put onto the bus. I grabbed hold of some grimy cardboard boxes held together with tape and gave them to the employee who was loading the luggage – apparently they were mine.

My captor came over to me. I could tell by the expression on his face that he was extremely angry.  I knew if I went home with him he would kill me.

Before he got hold of me I pretended that he was there to say goodbye and I kissed him – as if it were all very normal and then boarded the bus. I knew he wouldn’t make a scene in front of all those people. The terror I felt as I looked out of the bus window and saw his face was palpable.

I woke up and my heart was pounding out of my chest.

To understand a dream’s meaning go with the first interpretation that springs to mind.

I knew immediately that I was feeling trapped and even at times imprisoned by my living situation. I kept trying to pretend it was normal, when it really wasn’t.

Review your emotions

I listed the emotions I had felt in the dream such as fear, terror, feeling trapped, frantic and agony. I had felt that I had little control over my life in that dream. The power was all in the hands of my torturer. I realized I’d been having these very same thoughts and emotions all along in my waking life.

Ask for help

Do not discount your dreams. If your dream is telling you that some situation in your life is out of control – seek help. There are times in our lives were we just can’t do it alone. We may need the support of friends and family or even professional counseling or intervention by law enforcement.

Make a plan

When your life is so out of control that your subconscious has to send you messages and warnings in dreams – it is time to make a new plan for your life.

Act on your plan

Create a timetable and list of steps you need to take and find away to relieve the pressure your nightmare is clearly telling you exists. Then – do it.

Have you had a nightmare? Did you understand the message or warning contained within it? What did you do about it?

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P.S. To learn how to hear your inner guidance check out these books here.


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  1. i have a dream that i become an angel and that i was scared of the devils who was running over me and then i met someone who’s an angel too and we both looking and i help hhim

  2. Great list here Angela!

    These days, the biggest one for me is “asking for help” or even more specific really “reaching out” to connect and communicate, and not just over comments or email, but having conversations over Skype etc. It’s part of something I’m starting to do with like minded individuals, including I just formed a mastermind group to support myself and some friends who are looking to form their passion businesses.

    Thanks for the inspirado as usual1
    David Hamilton recently posted…The Process Of Living A Happy DeathMy Profile

    • Hi David,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this article!
      It’s such a pleasure having your visit PbI.
      Wow! A mastermind is a great idea. I have been a member in the past. It’s so wonderful to have a support system.

  3. “When your life is so out of control that your subconscious has to send you messages and warnings in dreams – it is time to make a new plan for your life.”
    So true!!

    It can be easy to just shrug it off as a nightmare hey they happen sometimes – but there’s a major gift if we allow ourselves to really take in its meaning.

  4. I did have a nightmare recently–a very long and complicated version of the standard I’m getting chased by someone who wants to hurt me nightmare.

    More than that, though, your post reminded me of several childhood nightmares. In fact, my very earliest memory is a nightmare. I must have been about two because I was still in my crib. I remember the dream and also waking up and how scared I was. I will tell you that what scares a two year old is not the same as what scares a 60 year old!
    Galen Pearl recently posted…Grateful PraiseMy Profile

    • Hi Galen,
      I hope this post helped you to understand your recent nightmare Galen.
      I had a recurring nightmare when I was a child. It subsided when I was in my twenties.
      I was standing up in the rear passenger part of the car and the car was going down a huge hill near where I lived in Yonkers but, no one was driving the car. I was scared out of my mind! What a nightmare that was.
      True- it takes different things to scare us as adults than it did when we were children.

  5. This is powerful lesson, Angela. True guidance comes to those who can tune into the soundtrack of the subconscious. Often times I will wake up with a sense of nervousness about certain real estate projects. By making conscious this soundtrack, I can understand why I slide from an attitude of WOW (thinking well of myself and appreciating my real estate project), to an attitude of WOE (thinking against myself and fearing the loss of money), in a matter of moments.
    rob white recently posted…Stage 6 of Creation: Maintain What You’ve Gained … Meeting Your Grand Cosmic WizardMy Profile

    • Rob,
      I love that: the soundtrack of the subconscious. Awesome way to describe it.
      Yes, we always know at some level what is good for us even if it appears we have lost our way.
      I also love your Wow/Woe thinking ideas. Wonderful!~

  6. Great post Angela. I too have learned to pay attention to my dreams, some of which have been prescient, some such as your big scary one above telling me to ‘wake up’ and others really cool spiritual ones (my favourite).
    Elle recently posted…Life…A Concept, Philosophy, Or Practice?My Profile

    • Hi Elle,
      I just love dreams. They are a window into our minds and souls.
      The spiritual ones where I have been given a lesson are awesome.
      I know just what you mean.

  7. Wow, that’s a scary one! I’ve had a couple of “terrorized” dreams, but not in many years. Even looking back now I’m not precisely certain what they meant. I did just have a couple of insights though now that I put my mind to it, and if I’m interpreting them correctly they did represent things that needed to be resolved and did come to fruition.
    Julie recently posted…Psychic Experiment #7 | Memoirs and 100 Things About Me and a PrizeMy Profile

    • Hi Julie!
      It was upsetting. When I woke up I was grateful my life wasn’t that bad! lol
      It did get my attention though. I realized I had to take control and change things tho though.

      I don’t think you can interpret your own dreams incorrectly. The meaning you assign to it has to resonate within you.

      For example, I knew this dream related to my living situation and the person I was living with. The relationship felt uncomfortable and I was only staying out of obligation. I was not able to be myself – I felt like a prisoner. I was pretending to love this person when really deep down, I knew the situation was very bad for me.

      Sometimes I mention dreams to my friends and they can come up with other explanations. If what they come up with fees right – then I accept their explanation too. If I’ve buried my head in the sand and am deluding myself about something – even if they are right I won’t “get it” because I’m not ready to.

      We can only get what we can get when we are ready to get it…..

  8. Great advice about learning to interpret.

    My favorite bad dream (is there such a thing?) is sitting at the exam hall and not having enough time to complete the paper/getting lost somewhere and not reaching on time. I tend to remember most of my dreams as soon as I wake up. I love the ones with my Mom in them because they make me wake up really happy. I’ve dreamed of being dead too. The strangest ones are the dreams that come true – in the next few days. Remember I said I “know” what’s going to happen? Feels very eerie.

    My son often asks me why we sometimes get bad dreams even though we pray before we go to bed. :-) He’s hooked to the subconscious mind theory now.
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Collecting SmilesMy Profile

    • Hi Vidya,
      I love that you have dreams about your Mom. When you have really vivid ones about her that impact you strongly – she is there communicating with you through your dream.
      You are so intuitive Vidya!
      I’ve had the one about not having enough time to finish a test too…..that must be a universal symbol of feeling under pressure to live up to societal/other people’s or even our own expectations. Fear of not “measuring up” in some aspect at the time we have the dream perhaps?

      Your son is at that age when all is hormones are in high gear. From when I was a kid through my late thirties I had constant vivid dreams. I think as we get older and our hormonal levels all round including melatonin decline. At this point, we see the number of dreams we have and remember drop off. I don’t remember my dreams every day any more. I used to. But, when I do have one remember it – I pay attention.

  9. Wow! What a scary dream! My nightmares are usually when people or events keep me from getting whatever I need to do done. Which I intepret as stress and a wake up call to slow down. It’s great when you can interpret because it takes the fear away.
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted…Did Getting Mad Find The Sock Any Faster?My Profile

    • Hi Betsy,
      Yes, that’s it! When you can interpret your dreams you “take the fear away.” I knew when I had this dream it wasn’t something to take literally but, that my feeling/emotions were a match in my “real” life to the ones in the dream.



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