By Tom Brown
Night terrors are really terrifying and somehow always seem to come together with personal spiritual struggles in some religious setting and often during crisis. I think the onset could also be of trauma or other personal and household problems.
Some substances make it worse such as alcohol abuse as well as substances as different kinds of chemicals for instance psychiatric medicines. Most dangerous of all seems to me to be simply excessive drinking.
Some problems resulting then are very unhealthy sleeping patterns and social withdrawal often because of misunderstanding, ignorance and superstition. It can even lead to a fear of sleeping or then to falling asleep and then resulting in tiredness and generally poor performance in school and at work. Everything will invariably be worsened by alcohol or other kinds of substance abuse.
In some cults and the occult the practice of these waking dreams are encouraged, indeed could even be induced. This of course adds to a bad name and even more superstition. These sleep experiences are very common and well known they are well-documented natural phenomena and it has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural.
Is there physical evidence? Such as in the films of Nightmare on Elm Street? I do not know of any scientifically documented stories with the existence of this kind of evidence. Are there any objective reliable accounts with physical proof?
If you do have doubts that in the end we are dealing with very ordinary things here, if you are not convinced they are not supernatural and are in fact just natural phenomena one could easily invent some “tests”:
It is suggested you keep honest record we would have to have that for example as confirmation that a vision of the future was genuine, for that you have to write the experiences down and the same for “astral travel”. You could write down the dreams and keep a diary one usually can remember the “events” quite clearly. This is the only way to really confirm or you can tell a friend but that is not so conclusive.
An occurrence as for example something that fell in the dream everything rattling with an earthquake and shattered in your room, such as a glass water next to your bed and on waking up it is still there. It will be. Of things such as meeting someone for example a friend sharing dreams and independently confirmed by both parties. Or you might have access to some “secret information” that cannot be otherwise explained.
One may expect to wake up with physical bodily harm as is typical in horror movies. This would be the most convincing evidence but it could easily be deceptive and fraudulent.
It is a lot easier to confirm and to test it for yourself. All these dreams are glaringly logically flawed and I personally don't need convincing. One shouldn't even have to write down the dreams but I'd say it's still a good idea I don't think it can do harm.
I do admit my reasoning has not been totally objective and that I don't have much knowledge to work from apart from personal experience, but I have tried my best to be unbiased and to treat the subject in a logical and sober manner.
These kinds of waking dreams can be a serious problem especially with younger people. It can cause suffering, great distress and anxiety and can influence almost every aspect of life. It should certainly help to have some understanding and insight. Ignorance could be very dangerous. Please this is not something to be desired.
Even so the actual content of a dream certainly is not meaningless although I firmly believe it belongs in the realm of psychology rather than psychiatry. One shouldn't try to heal the problem with medicine it would just be treating the symptoms and not the cause and could make things worse in the long run.