Eli5 What nightmares are?


Eli5 What nightmares are?

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Nightmares are bad dreams – but that’s about as good of an explanation I can give, because we don’t really know what dreams are.

Often times they’re your brain trying to make sense of negative emotions and experiences that we’ve experienced in our lives.

I remember reading about mice being put through mazes and then monitored while they were sleeping and dreaming – scientists saw that the parts of their brains used for navigating the mazes were lighting up over and over while they dreamt.

This was interpreted as their brains using dreams as part of integrating new knowledge of the mazes for future use.

If the same is true of humans, then nightmares may be an unfortunate byproduct of our brains trying to contextualise and resolve troubling issues in our lives in an abstracted way.

I don’t know if this is true but I always assumed nightmares were either your brain trying to prepare you for things that can harm/kill you or its to process negative emotions based on what has happened to you. That’s why some are things chasing you, some are you falling, and some are you replaying a specific event that torments both sleeping and waking hours. But I could be wrong, I’m not a doctor.