What Is The Cause of Nightmares? (And How to Stop Such Dreams)

Posted on by Sen.

Child sleeping

Your dreams are an excellent gauge of the various vibrations present in you and they indicate if you are dominantly in a positive vibration or in a negative vibration.

Your dreams are highly indicative of the various subconscious vibrations (feelings/emotions/thoughts that are present in you that you are not facing up to consciously), and thus can guide you towards bringing awareness to these patterns.

As you become more stable in your “awareness power” you will start becoming more and more conscious of the details of your dreams, especially the details that are significant to guiding you towards understanding a certain pattern in you.

The reason why you have nightmares

If you are prone to having nightmares or bad dreams, the spiritual reason is always the presence of several “strong” fear-based vibrations in you that have not been released from your energy space.

Spiritually speaking, a nightmare is an indication of a strong negative vibration, as compared to a “bad dream” which is relatively less intense. People who consciously release suppressed/unconscious patterns of fear through awareness, over time, notice the lessening of bad dreams and increase in the amount of positive dreams.

When your dreams are dominantly positive it’s a confirmed indication that your vibration is free of negativity to a huge extent.

Allow your fears to come into the light of awareness

The unconscious instinct of the human mind is to “shy away” from looking at images/thoughts that create fear.

However, when you are afraid of something you end up fueling its power because your fear indirectly gives attention to it.

For example, you might fear ghosts (due to some fear based stories you heard in your childhood or after watching some horror movies that paint a completely misplaced picture of reality) and you are unwilling to face up to this fear, even though you are an adult now, because you are still clinging to your past responses. So this fear continues to stay within you because you don’t bring the light of awareness to these images/thought-patterns in your mind.

When you are sleeping, your resistances are down, and the mind can now freely run its stored up contents – so it brings forth all the thoughts, that you fear, in a dramatic mix causing the production of graphic nightmares.

The only way to release a fear is to stay with it consciously. To allow the mind to run its images/thought-patterns, with respect to this fear, while you stay in a space of awareness without shying away from it.

People who misunderstand how realities get created think that staying aware of a fearful thought will cause the manifestation of it, but in truth when you bring a “conscious awareness” to a fear-based thought you are essentially not allowing it to influence your vibration, and thus it does not become a player in attracting your reality.

Fears that you try to run away from are the ones that have the capacity to become a point of attraction, in some way, because, unless a negative vibration is dissolved in the wisdom/intelligence of your awareness, its energy keeps attracting some form of manifestations onto it (Nightmares themselves are just “manifestations”, or creations, of your fear based vibrations).

Stop nightmares by staying aware of your dreams

Whenever you wake-up you will always have some recollection of the dream that your mind played out. The more the depth of your awareness the more vividly you can remember your dreams.

Some people claim to have “dreamless” sleep, it may be a rare possibility that happens when the mind is unusually silent (or is being suppressed in some way into silence), or may be they are just not aware of their dreams due to low level of awareness in them.

Under normal circumstances, the mind is bound to have thoughts and it’s bound to manifest dreams based on the content of its thoughts.

It’s best to stay in the bed for a few minutes and just allow the recollections of your dream to run in the space of your awareness. You will be able to detect emotions/feelings, thoughts and energy movements in your body that are indicative of the “vibration” of your dream.

Stay with your awareness rooted in these movements and you will get a very clear indication of the exact thought pattern in you that instigated that dream.

If it was a nightmare, you will clearly know which particular fear in you manifested into that particular nightmare.

Allow the images/patterns to play out in your mind while staying as a relaxed space of awareness without “distracting” yourself from facing them. It will feel uncomfortable in your body when these low vibration thoughts are playing out in your mind, but don’t let that be the reason for you to fear these thoughts, just stay with your awareness fully allowing these patterns to play out.

The silent intelligence present in this space of open awareness automatically starts bringing a dissolution to the energy of these negative thought patterns though it can take a while (may be a couple of months or so) before these thoughts fully ebb away in intensity, depending on how much momentum they have.

As you stay in the space of awareness there may be insights within you that help you see through the falseness in these fear-based dreams or you might be inspired to read/watch something that guides you towards becoming free of your belief/identification with these patterns.

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  1. Sanjay

    Can you please explain the difference between attention and conscious awareness? Attention (either interest in a thought or turning away from it due to fear) as you mentioned seems to fuel a thought. So when you say don’t give attention to a negative thought, how do we do it? Is conscious awarness the same as not giving attention to a thought?

    1. Sen Post author

      When I use the term “conscious awareness”, it’s to indicate an observation that is not taken in by the mind’s movement but is able to maintain a “space” of detachment not out of fear but out of a natural curiosity to observe the mind. There is a difference between detaching from the mind out of fear (which some spiritual people try to do through suppression techniques), and observing the mind as a space of conscious awareness. Only you can be the judge of whether your “action” is coming from fear or from a place of wisdom. When you sit with yourself you will notice that there is a silent space of awareness that’s in the background of all the mind noise and bodily feelings – when you stay as this space of awareness, you are in a position to allow the mind full freedom of movement while also not being “pulled” into identification with it.

      To give “Attention” to the negativity of the mind is basically an unconscious state of being where one is totally taken in by the mind’s pull. Such an attention actually stems out of your “belief” in the mind’s thoughts, out of your “interest”/identification with the mind’s fears or negativity. When a part of you understand the “dysfunction” of identifying with negativity, there will always be a space in you that’s not totally identified with the mind, and the more you rest in this space the stronger and deeper it grows until you become totally stable in it.

  2. Nikki

    I found this writing insightful when it comes to dream awareness. I’ve learned to pay close attention and even engage in my dreams. I am a vivid dreamer and do take the time to process everything that occurred once I awaken so that I can jot them down and review later. I don’t suffer from nightmare’s though. The primarly themes of my dreams are more related to chasing someone, searching for someone, and sex. I would really enjoy a discussion related to that.

    1. Sen Post author

      It’s important to sense the “intensity” of feelings created by your dreams, in your body – there will always be traces of the feelings created by the dreams even after several minutes of waking up. An intensely bad feeling is an indication of some strong resistance/negative pattern in the mind while mild bad feelings points to some subtle negativity present in your mind. Constant nightmares are usually an indication of strong patterns of fear present in the mind, since you don’t suffer from nightmares it’s an indication that your mind does not hold heavy fear patterns or phobias. “Searching” for someone is usually an indication that you feel “lonely” in your life and your mind is searching for security in a relationship. If these dreams of “chasing or searching” for someone creates subtle bad feelings it means that your mind is only subtly insecure which is fine, but if these dreams create strong feelings it’s an indication that your mind might be feeling very insecure in a relationship or without it – which are bound to manifest externally, in some way, as “needy” behaviors in you. The more “consciously” aware you become of the insecurities in the mind, the faster its dissolution takes place, and you are also less likely you are to exhibit needy behaviors unconsciously in the interim. It’s common to have sexual dreams, but again what’s important is to sense the actual “feeling” that they leave behind in the body – if it’s just a positive feeling of arousal, it’s totally fine, but if it creates feelings of fear, guilt, depression/sadness, craving, irritation or anger in you, it’s indicative of some hang-ups or frustration in you with respect to your sex life, or even a general negativity which has some sexual undertones.

  3. Sanjay

    So if i am interested and want to manifest a postive thought/reality does it mean I have to give it attention (identify with it) versus just being consciously aware of it or can attention be given by being consciously aware at the same timer or are these two contradictory states?

    1. Sen Post author

      Your heart’s desires are positive thoughts, since the vibration of a desire is always rooted in joy – scientifically a positive thought matches the vibration of your life and is taken up by your life stream automatically. In fact, your desires create the movement of your life stream as this human consciousness. Since the movement of your life stream is already in the direction of manifesting your desired reality, there is no need or necessity to give any “forced focus” to thoughts of reality you want to manifest – in fact there is a natural movement in the mind to visualize the realities that it desires, beyond this there is no need to do any “forced visualization” exercises to manifest your reality. In fact, these forced visualizations usually come from a place of fear or neediness, and hence can cause resistance/delay to your manifestation rather than assist it. That’s why the pointer is always to “let go” and stay in a place of non-resistance, because scientifically your life force is already doing the work to manifest your realities (as a movement in totality) and it will inspire the right actions in you at the right time, as and when needed, to bring forth the physical manifestation. Just stay as a space of relaxed awareness and you will notice how life moves your body/mind in the right direction all the time.

  4. Nikki

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and commenting on my response. I stumbled upon your blog and I’m glad I did. I look forward to reading your posts daily now. Again, thank you.

  5. Alliswell

    I recently lost the love of my life. How do I come to terms with his death? It is so hard to stop thinking of him, plans for the future, past memories. What is healthy? How do I apply these principles? There is so much anxiety involved. Allow the thoughts to surface and then what?

    1. Sen Post author

      By the very aspect of the temporary nature of physicality, its natural for a human mind to start seeking the truth of life in order to be free of emotional suffering instigated by certain events of loss. The very nature of “physical” existence is that it’s temporary, and fleeting. Your consciousness, when it’s not awakened, naturally get “attached” to the physical – it gets attached to your body, to your possessions, to your relations and to your “human” identity. A sudden loss of the object of attachment, or the knowledge of an impending loss, can cause this “attached” consciousness to feel terrible suffering because of its strong attachment to the physical – this suffering just can’t be helped when consciousness is totally attached to the physical, or totally identified with the mind, without being connected with its wholeness. Buddha used to call this the “suffering rooted in the cycle of samsara (or physicality)”. As long as you are identified with the mind (which identifies you with physicality), there is no escaping the suffering which is embedded in the transitory nature of physical existence.

      Suffering is said to be the highest spiritual teacher, because its suffering that usually instigates “awakening”. Just like a nightmare effectively wakes you up in the middle of the sleep state, and after you wake up you are no longer in fear of the nightmare because you see that it was just a temporary dream. The suffering you are going through right now is akin to this nightmare, and the call is simply to wake up from mind identification and rest in your true self as this space of awareness. Just stay as a space of relaxed awareness and watch the movement that takes place in your life in this effortless state of being. Yes, it’s true that as you let go into this space of relaxed awareness a lot suppressed emotions and thoughts will come to surface in quite a high momentum for a while, but it’s a temporary phase and this intensity will ebb away within a few months as you stay rooted as a space of awareness. Hopefully, you can sense that though the mind pretends to “know”, or tries to figure out frantically, it really doesn’t know what to do – sometimes when we are totally lost in mind identification we just reach such “dead ends” in life where we run out of strategies and the only thing to do then is to “let go”.

      There is no “then what”, because this question is also coming from the mind and if you give weightage to this question you will just stay stuck in the mind and thus would not be able to let go fully into staying as a space of awareness. You will recognize that “letting go” of being in moved around by the mind is not a state of being “lazy” but rather a highly intelligent state of being, rich in wisdom, because in this place you are privy to the intelligence of the totality and become resistance free to the movement of your life stream which is always taking you towards the manifestation of your desired realities – as you stay in this place of surrender, you will see yourself taking inspired actions, and you will see your reality shifting, the past memories fade away in intensity and new realities start coming into being – as per your heart’s desire, a new relationship comes forth effortlessly through a synchronization of events. Your life stream is already moving towards your desired realities, you just need to let go of the resistances you are creating through mind identification – the pointer is to even let go of the “questions” and doubts of the mind, this is place of total surrender to life.

  6. Deniz

    Hi Sen,
    I only discover your web site yesterday and thinking about it all day and all night.
    I am printing everything it makes it more joyful to read them for me.
    Since I know myself I dream, sometimes I get so tired from my dreams. I get up tired from the dreams. It is great when you are great state of mind but if you are not….it is bad! Until I tell my dreams or write dreams they don’t go away from me. People around me they run away when I start telling them:)
    My dreams can be real as when I am awake sometimes. I can remember every details of the people, places even smells and sounds. The details yo won’t pay attention in your wake life. Almost I am having another life in my dreams. When I was little I could decide what to dream before I went to sleep but not any more. I tell you… It was fun.
    I also always wonder why some people can’t remember any of dreams and some people like can’t get away from them?
    I am looking to hear from you on your own time.
    Thank you for this great web site. xx

    1. Sen Post author

      Deniz, this just points to the fact that your brain has a strong awareness center, also your brain is has less negativity (you may notice that you are not carrying a baggage of negative thoughts or negative energy) and hence has a lot of resource free to have a high awareness. You may also have a very “visual” brain which works easily with images, in that you can hold detailed images in your mind, which causes you to have very “vivid” dreams. Most people can’t remember their dreams because a lot of their barrage of thoughts take over as soon as they wake up, plus they may not have a high awareness. If you feel tired of way the way your brain holds on the dream thought after you wake up, and keep replaying them, you need to reduce the momentum of your brain per se, you may notice that you have a lot of “excited” energy, where you feel hyper a lot of times. The practice of relaxed awareness allows you reduce the momentum of your brain by helping you connected with the calm space of your being – you can read this post practice of relaxed awareness for insight on this.

  7. Deniz

    Hi Sen,
    Thank you for quick replay . You are correct I am a more visual , used have hipper
    Energy but not so much now thanks to Yoga. One of the thing I didn’t tell I can have
    Very disturbing dreams. Than I know my life is gone out of balance again .
    I used to envy people won’t remember their dreams but after your replay I will try your advise
    And enjoy my dreams. Let you know how I get on.
    I have printed some of the post and enjoying reading it on my breakfast table.
    I have to say it is quite accessible information for me
    Because the way you write is very clear , I love it.
    You may notice that English is not my native language So I struggle
    access the information sometimes. I don’t think you write simple the way you put the
    Words together .
    Lookings forward my new journey with your post.
    Many thanks for your time. Xxx

  8. kk

    Hi Sen, I have lot of confusion with respect to my marriage, job etc. Though i take sufficient steps, i am unable to see the result. Whole day, i keep thinking about various issues and posssible solutions and get stressed. But still, i am unable to arrive at a solution. One more thing is that, i dont get any dream. This has been the case for many years. Does this mean anything (no dreams)?

    1. Sen Post author

      kk, don’t be too concerned about it, it could well be that your mind does not remember mostly because it becomes so embroiled in its own thoughts as soon as you wake up. You may want to just relax more, and let go of figuring out your life so much – the more you relax, the more you see events falling in place on their own, all your figuring out eventually cannot solve the issue because the mind can only use its past conditioning and hence does not have the intelligence to bring a real solution.

  9. kk

    Thank you for the reply, Sen. After reading your website, i am trying to calm down. Your messages truly help.

  10. Kris

    I am an avid dreamer. Unfortunately, 90 percent of my dreams are riddled with strife. Just last night, I had four ‘stress’ dreams, bordering on nightmares. (On average, I remember about 4 dreams each morning, and I try to take time to process them before I get out of bed. However, not sure if this is good or bad.)

    For example, one dream last night revolved around me being sick, and I could not dial the doctor’s number no matter how hard I tried. I dialed about 12 different times and it was always the wrong number. That is a common thread. I try and try to get resolution to something, and I just chase it and chase it.

    Another one was I was driving my whole family on this very treacherous road and then all the sudden, it was snowy and we were all hanging on to the cliff by our fingertips, and we were about 10000 feet up. It was terrifying.

    Dreams like this occur every…single…night. Many of my dreams involve death too. I just never have a ‘joyous’ dream. However, I am actually a pretty happy person. (At least I think I am…)

    I know I am a Type A personality and I lead a hectic life. However, I do like my life, a lot. I recognize that transitioning away from these horrible dreams takes an entire shift in thinking. However, do these dreams take away from the restfulness of sleep, or do you get the same rest whether you have great dreams or nightmares? What does it mean that I can remember so many dreams each morning? Am I sleeping too lightly?


    Thanks so much, love your site!

    1. Sen Post author

      Kris, these negative dreams are mostly an indication of the various fears that are present subconsciously in you. As you mentioned you lead a hectic life, which basically means that you don’t have much time to spend with yourself to bring awareness to your mind’s fears/negativity and it just stays subconscious. When you wake up from these dreams, stay in the bed and get a sense of the thought patterns in your mind associated with this dream – get a sense of the fears that your mind may be holding, and see if you are unconsciously trying to avoid facing some of these fears in you. If you can stay in this space of awareness for 10-20 mins, you will be able to get a sense of these fears in your mind thus consciously letting go of them, and also be able to release any stored-up fear energy in you by allowing these feelings in your awareness. As for the question of restful sleep, the way I see it, dreams don’t affect how rested you feel, unless you keep waking up due to the bad dreams.

  11. Sanjay

    Dear Sen

    I am trying to remember my dreams on waking up. Some days I can and other days I can’t. Is this an indication of low level of awareness. Is being able to recollect a dream the only strong indicator of the level of awareness coz sometimes you could not feel good about your level of awareness for not being able to recollect. I know that the intention of your post was not to induce such remorse.


    1. Sen Post author

      Sanjay, several dreams are not considered “personal”, or impactful, enough by your brain to keep a recollection of them, they just stay in the short term memory for a bit and get erased sometimes even before you gain full wakefulness from your sleep. It doesn’t really have anything to do with how aware you are (in terms of alignment and understanding of life), it’s just that some people are enamored by their dreams and their brain thus develops the habit/intention of recollecting most of their dreams – in that sense their brain develops a “high awareness” for dreams.

  12. anca

    Hi Sen,

    Regarding dreams about sex. Do you believe it is also about repressing sex in real life? I mean even if the dream it feels good or you feel the arousal and the feeling it is unfinished (comes like a frustration sometimes). I have a distance relationship, it is fine , I am allowing the feelings of atraction towards others, that it is natural but I don’t feel the urge to do more about it if my loved one is not present. Because I have sexual dreams I thought that maybe I am repressing sex unconsciouslly. It is strage because some of the dreams about sex are ok, they are not nightmares. What is puzzeling me is that I have a bad dream regarding fighting and shouting at somebody, and than the situation changed and everything was calm and ok in the dream. It was disturbing at the beginning. I woke up asking myself why, because in real life, as I become more and more aware of my self, I don’t argue with people, I am not an extrovert person and I don’t see a point in shouting and arguing loud. In general I am quite relaxed. Maybe I am afraid to express my self in this manner not to ruin the calm feelings that I normally have? Could it be fear of expresing anger or fear of the particulary situation that cause fear in dream which it is an unconsciously one? What about repressing and what is the solution to it when lets say someone doesn’t feel the need to have sex everytime he feels atraction or doesn’ t want to argue in a conflict situation?

    1. Sen Post author

      Anca, the feelings that you get from a dream are indicative of what’s going on in you – sometimes we consciously don’t face (or be aware) of certain feelings or thinking patterns and that’s what’s called “subconscious patterns”; dreams can show you the subconscious patterns in you and in that sense can help you become aware of them, and when you become aware of these patterns then its no longer subconscious, it becomes “conscious”. There is no need to interpret the details of the dream, rather all that you need to do is sense the feeling that it leaves – if you suppressing your sexual expression, it’s possible that the feeling you get after a dream related to a sexual experience is one of feeling frustration, however this is not a negative by itself, it’s just indicative that you can exercise the choice of finding more freedom in your sexual expression – you may be frustrated about the lack of sexual connection in your relationship but may be afraid of expressing it to your boyfriend, or even to yourself, out of a fear that he may judge you or it’s possible that you judge yourself for it. Nightmares are indicative of a high fear energy in you, so if you are not having nightmares it means you are not holding on to any strong fear momentum. Your dreams of being “aggressive” towards people, are just indicative of your inner anger, that you usually don’t express, possibly because you want to project a “good girl” image – it can be indicative that you are trying to be too light natured and hence are imbalanced in your dark nature, even sexuality requires an alignment with your dark nature for its wholistic expression. You can read these posts for more info on the integration of dark nature along with light nature, to bring a balance


  13. anca

    Hi, thank you so much. I understand that in order to be balanced the way is to allow inner anger, hate, jealousy or other negative thoughts in the space of consciousness as they come into mind, just to accept that I have them but not to have a emotionally reaction to them. Actually these thoughts came into mind but I feel now that they have no power so I can t express them. It seems to me impossible to be angry and identify myself with anger if I am conscious of it.It is such a difference than it was before. The idea is not to be angry and really manifest it or cover it with good thoughts just to be open and conscious that the negative thought is there – just relax in that calm space and not give it the energy to manifest itself in the interior or exterior space. Regarding positive and beautiful thoughts, do you think it is an imbalance towards light nature to feel sometimes a great joy when I see or do something that for me seems very beautiful and peaceful and feel a deep harmony?

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