The only thing that nightmares and sleep paralysis have in common is that they are frightening. All comparisons end there.
Nightmares are thought to be brought on by anxiety in the dreamers waking life. In my research, I have spoken with adolescents and adults who shared with me their nightmares and more often than not they told me about their anxious feelings prior to that night’s sleep. The actual events in the dream did not depict what the anxious feeling was about every time; however they were mostly about school, work, and other life events that may cause stress, but not always.
Sometimes a message is contained within the nightmare but the events in the dream may seem freaky, grotesque, horrific and incredible. The dream may resemble a horror movie in that way.
Here is one nightmare I had that illustrates this.
A young man I work with was the junior…
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