People Who Experience Nightmares Are More Creative

By Joseph McLean

Nightmares are scary. Most times, it's not for lack of trying that those experiencing it sometimes fail to wake up. This is because it often takes place deep into sleep with many events and scenarios causing discomfort, although people usually have a knee-jerk reaction as they abruptly wake up. For this reason, many people would rather stay up watching movies, reading, or doing something else all in a bid to stay awake.

While you shouldn't be overly serious with your thoughts, it's not easy to see real images in nightmares and not give them some thought. But recently, there has been research pointing to the fact that people who suffer from nightmares are likely to be more creative. The brain and mind get a form of creative expansion – thanks to being scared into action.

Why Do People Have Nightmares?

While the reality of dreams has been known for quite a while, nightmares often have different interpretations. There are certain factors that lead to them and they definitely serve different purposes. In line with that, there are two positions that have become quite popular. One is that nightmares are experiences influenced by the negative things people go through or encounter during their waking hours. In other words, scary day-to-day experiences can be magnified in nightmares. The other position is that the experiences in nightmares are like simulations and they prepare humans for real-life challenges by creating scenarios that can be repeated from time to time.

Furthermore, nightmares in adults could be spontaneous or as a result of quite a number of factors, disorders and growing experiences. For example, people have nightmares after reading a book on a topic that's quite mind-boggling or being anxious over things like assignment writing. In addition, activities like snacking late at night can make the brain more active with increased metabolism. Medications, drugs and other types of chemicals can also lead to overactive brain cells which can trigger nightmares.

Sleep deprivation is also another factor that can lead to nightmares especially when you don't sleep at the right time or for days at a stretch. Other problems are influenced by psychological issues such as depression, PTSD and sleep disorders like sleep apnea. On the whole, there are more causes that lead to these episodes.

The Creativity Connection

If you're experiencing frequent nightmares, you're one of the 'lucky' few. You're more likely to think outside the box or see things more differently than others but in a more creative light. This means you'd have an advantage in some tasks including writing. Nightmares have been shown to boost creativity in writers, especially if they're going through some kind of block on their imaginations. A spike from a nightmare or two will give them a sense of direction.

Research also suggests that people who have nightmares which help their creative lifestyles also have more positive dreams than the average person who rarely has them. Their dream life is more active, vivid, and often helps them de-stress. What's more, the level of their imagination is not limited to sleep alone. It goes on all through the day, in their waking thoughts and even daydreams.

There are many fascinating facts about dreams that lead to nightmares. This includes the fact that most people who have them are described as empaths. Further, some of their actions are a reflection of those before or around them. For example, they can pick up contagious actions like yawning which has been described as a sign of empathy among humans.


Are Nightmares Worth the Creativity?

There are strong people who don't mind a few hardline dreams once in a while. But no one is going to stick around for something as frequently-occurring as a nightmare. Research also indicates that those who have gone on to seek help for their troublesome dreams had more emotional fortitude. This only grows the more as the nightmares intensify. This sensitivity is heightened when fear and threats are involved and leading to more serious nightmares.

However, you'd think the opposite was fewer nightmares and lower intensity. That's wrong because even higher feelings of excitement can lead to more intense but positive nightmares. Further, research by ukwritings review and academized reviews identifies a link between such sensitivity in the thoughts of a person and nightmares, leading them to have more dreamlike qualities when they are awake. This gives them an edge over others in terms of creativity, artistic expression, and imaginative content.

Another aspect of nightmares boosting creativity has to do with having a psychological build with a very thin boundary. This boundary helps a person experience different happening with the ability to soak in from the action both on the inside and the outside. In other words, a person with such abilities fully participates in the more obvious world we see and also in their nightmares. This leads to little boundaries between the two and having enough to create what they experience in a like for like manner.

Furthermore, research has also shown that there is a link between how college students performed and the frequency of nightmares they have. Students that had arts as majors were found to have more nightmares which stoked their creativity levels, often leaving them performing well on their academics. Thanks to the visual imagery they have of their nightmares when they wake. Such students won't be needing instant assignment help anytime soon.

Take Advantage of Your Nightmares

Dead AvatarWith more studies establishing a link between nightmares and creativity, you should be eager to explore your dreams some more. You can use those mental pictures and surreal imagery to spur you on to greater heights of creativity. What's more, you can use any art form to explore and express the contents of your nightmares. It's a struggle that leaves you with many questions, but you don't have to provide all the answers yourself.


The fact that nightmares could help with creativity is a sign that you shouldn't be afraid anymore. Do your best to use it to your advantage as you explore different ways to bring your creativity to the light.

Joe McLean is a consultant writer, who sometimes helps paper writing services with social media blogs. When he isn’t writing, you can find him hiking in the mountains, doing yoga or playing board games with his friends.

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Related Article: How to Control Your Dreams


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