I have seen the question of how to have nightmares coming up a bunch lately. At first, I completely dismissed the question. Since I am a lucid dreamer, I haven’t had to worry about nightmares for quite a long time. On top of that, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to have nightmares on purpose. They are called “nightmares” for a reason and they are typically not enjoyable. Think about it; if they were enjoyable, they wouldn’t be called nightmares.
I kept seeing this question more. I built this website to capture interesting information related to lucid dreaming and started to see conversations bubbling up about it. So, I decided to do a little digging to find out two things:
1) Why anyone would want to know how to have a nightmare.
2) What people are suggesting.
Why Someone Would Want To Know How To Have Nightmares
What I found was pretty interesting. Ironically, I ran into a lot of people who were practicing lucid dreaming who also wanted to know how to have nightmares. It turns out, in most cases, people wanted to have nightmares because they can be a lot of fun if you are a lucid dreamer. After you have practiced and gotten good at lucid dreaming, the dreams that would normally be considered a nightmare by non-lucid dreaming standards are quite enjoyable and exciting for the average lucid dreamer. I personally don’t refer to these as nightmares though. When you can control your dreams, nightmares aren’t so scare, but rather exhilarating; hence the desire to have them.
I did also find at least one person who was trying to have nightmares because they apparently keep having the same one over and over. They were interested in purposefully having the nightmare so they could try to figure out what it’s source was. I’m not sure I will be able to offer help with that in this article, however; I did find some very interesting tips for how to have a nightmare.
Different Ways To Have Nightmares
One of the most popular tips I saw for inducing nightmares revolved around eating. In most cases, specifically eating before going to sleep. It was hard to find a definitive popular opinion on this. Some people said that eating chocolate helped to cause nightmares. A lot of people said that eating spicy foods like pizza or Mexican food would often cause nightmares. There seemed to be some opposing views on whether the food needed to be spicy. Overall, it seemed that the important thing was to eat before going to sleep.
Another popular tip was to watch scary movies. I suspect that the scary movies would have to be those that really make you feel fear or anxiety. So, if you like scary movies, this may or may not work so well for you unless there is an element in the stories that really resonate with your personal fears. I personally like scary movies, but I prefer not to see movies that are just plan gross. I don’t mind blood and gore, but if it is just gross things like people being squished or just not stop stabbing, hacking, and slashing… it’s just not scary… it’s gross.
One interesting tip I found had to do with sleeping on your back. I was a little surprised when I saw mention of this, but they I found a significant number of people who agreed that they also experienced more nightmares when sleeping on their back. I don’t think this happens to me, but then again, I don’t really have nightmares. I will need to see if I have more adventurous type dreams when I sleep on my back. Maybe there is something to that.
Another technique that seems to make sense is to follow almost a similar method of inducing lucid dreams. Instead of focusing on recognizing the dream as you fall asleep, you would instead focus on something scary or something fearful as you fall asleep. I have not personally tried this so I don’t know if this will actually work, but it does makes sense and I would not be surprised at all if it worked.
If you think about what dreams are for, you might be able to understand for yourself how to have nightmares. Dreams are a way for your mind to make sense of your reality. Naturally anything that you are experiencing through your awake time is going to be processed in some way, shape, or form during your dreams. So, if you expose yourself to things that give your mind scary things to think about while you dream, then surely you would have a better chance at having nightmares if you watched scary movies and thought about scary things while you were awake.
So, in short, if you want to know how to have nightmares, try watching scary movies, eat some spicy food just before you go to sleep, think about scary stuff as you fall asleep, and make sure you are laying on your back. I will leave this to you to try. Please feel free to comment back on this post if any of you are successful in inducing nightmares. If you discover anything else that helps, please let everyone else know here.
Good luck and happy nightmares to you!
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