When we wake up in the middle of the night and we rush to turn on the light because our hearts won’t stop beating fast, we would probably do anything to shake the memory of our most recent dream out of our minds. Upon describing the dream to our loved ones we would probably call it either a bad dream or a nightmare. According to a study published in the journal Sleep, there is a difference between the two.
Since our dreams are usually involuntary images or situations that occur during our most deep phase of sleep, we can begin to fret if we notice that they contain experiences that frighten us. This could result in a loss of sleep and anxiety. Since no one know why we dream there are no reported ways to stop them from happening. The best way to reign in your dream life is to learn more about astral projection and lucid dreaming, a process by which you can learn how to wake up while you are dreaming and take control of your dream.
The difference between a bad dream and a nightmare, according to the study is the feeling of physical danger. People who report having a bad dream will often report a feeling of guilt, anxiety, sorrow or confusion as it relates to people and situations they experience during their waking life.
Those who report having a nightmare often report being in physical danger where their life is threatened.