1. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    How is the best way to wake someone from a nightmare?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Lifeline, Feb 21, 2016.

    So how does one go about waking a sleeper who is in the throes of a real horrible nightmare? Who turns and tries to fight off imaginary terrors? Who does not wake up on his/her own fast enough?

    Is there a good way? As I have never had nightmares where I couldn't wake up or was real terrified, and no one in my vicinity has'd them either I am real unsure how to deal with them in my WIP.
     
  2. DarkusTerror
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    DarkusTerror Member

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    From what I've read, unless the person is being very violent in their sleep and may be at risk of injuring themselves or another nearby individual, waking them from their nightmare is usually not a good idea. If you do need to wake them, something gentle like a nudge will suffice, since if you do it violently, the person might see you as an attacker when they wake up, or they might be terrified even more. Also, if the person is thrashing about whilst still clearly being in their sleep, that classifies as a night terror, and it is not recommended to wake someone up from that
     
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  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Might be good advice. However, if you ie. really don't want to wake the neighbours (for one reason or another), could you quiet the sleeper down?
     
  4. DarkusTerror
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    DarkusTerror Member

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    Unless the sleep is having a night terror, they shouldn't be screaming or anything with a nightmare. There might be some quiet whimpering but that wouldn't be too loud. If they scream AFTER they are awakened...well, that'd be a lot more troublesome to deal with. I guess you could hug them to try comforting them, whilst at the same time muffling their screams with your body, but there aren't any guarantees of it working or you being completely safe there.
     
  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    No it is not a night terror, 'just' bad experiences arousing. So comforting (and the bodily response wouldn't be fighting back) could be valid?
     
  6. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Being a person who experiences bad dreams and nightmares frequently, I have found that a nudge to the bed to kind of jar me awake works well for me. It gets me to a point of waking/cognition that is vastly different than my dark dreams. I am not one who needs emotional support, but I also wouldn't turn a hug away. (Sometimes hugs are handy! :))

    If your MC is someone who needs/appreciates emotional comfort, the person trying to wake them needs to wait a second or two for the dreamer to orient themselves, before going for a hug or whatever (assuming they are family/close friend who would hug).

    Hopefully this helps...and I hope you keep your nightmares away!
     
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  7. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    ;) thanks I still don't have nightmares, just a short sleep circle. But I suspect that is partially the fault of my cat ;)

    And they wouldn't go in for a hug, wouldn't be good for their health *snickers*. Sometimes my MC has a bit of a temper, especially if he is in a foul mood - and how would they tell when he just comes out of it? Like prodding a black Mamba with a stick to see if it is awake :D
    Seriously, that was kind of what I figured but it is nice to know that instinct serves here! Thanks :)
     
  8. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    I've had absolutely terrible nightmares which time-wise, I count to be about 15-20 minutes long and I've found that instituting a way to wake up or forcibly change the scene is what works best for me. As a person stuck in a dream, I first tried this by reading text and noticing a change or by doing an impossible act. That's how I manage to break out of them.
     
  9. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Wow. That means you knew that it was a nightmare and managed to change it. My respects!
     
  10. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    It is lucid dreaming and my control is limited at best - it is not always enough. I started having horrific dreams at around 8 where I was brutally killed or something, they peaked around 12 or so. Worst thing is being stuck in a dream that you know is a dream and are powerless to change its course - you are captive then...

    I do not know about how someone would really even know I was having a terrible nightmare because I do not talk in my sleep or anything.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Why do you need a special way to wake someone having a nightmare? What do you think is going to happen? If someone is in distress and you see that, wake them up, interrupt the dream. There's no evidence of any psychological complications from waking a person up from a dream, (with the exception of interrupting REM sleep continually but that's a different subject).
     
  12. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Well, as @DarkusTerror said, night terror at least should not be interrupted. Because it's too jarring to quickly come out of such an involving experience. In fact, in general it is disorienting to wake up suddenly. So it might in many circumstances just be best to let them sleep, if it's a normal nightmare, it will pass. And they might wake up themselves, I often do when I have nightmares and I just back to sleep.
     
  13. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee I do not need a special way, I just have no experience either way with nightmares or cousins. I just do not know how to deal with them or how one should deal, really ;)
     
  14. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it depends upon the reason for the nightmare.

    Soldiers with PTSD have been known to physically assault loved ones upon being woken.

    Let sleeping dogs lie?
     
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  15. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    *grumbles*
    Have to do some more research here. Thanks @Shadowfax for this hint! :cool:
     
  16. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now and again I will experience hypnopompic hallucinations. It is where the brain can not tell the difference between the last moments of a dream (or in my cases nightmares) and the first moments of the awake world. This can lead to some strange reactions on their own but could be even worst if woken by someone at the wrong point.
     
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  17. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    If I may ask, how do they manifest? Do they ie. affect visuals? Or bodily sensations?

    Do you know where you are?
    This is a personal memory, one time I woke up in the morning and I couldn't tell for a few minutes where I was. I consciously tried to place the room where I found myself within my memory of the place I thought I would be. Okay I was not panicky (probably because I associated the place where I thought I would be with safety), but it was pretty unsettling for a time. Until I clicked and memory brushed in.

    Is your memory affected, as in, do you recognise people?
    A second time I woke up and didn't recognise my then-boyfriend. I remember thinking pretty clearly and distinctly "Who is this?" ;)
     
  18. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Sometimes it takes a few seconds (5-10 or so) to orient one's self when waking, just like you described. This would be that moment between sleep and wakefulness where people are still disoriented by their dreams, but muscle paralysis is gone (i.e. your body is awake now). If you've ever answered your phone in your sleep, this is the period you would do it in.

    Soldiers with PTSD (that aren't abusive) who accidentally assault loved ones would most likely do that during this small area of confusion while their brain is trying to catch up and orient. They aren't (with extremely rare exceptions) going to spring out of bed immediately, though it could happen if they were already flailing at/assaulting a person who was within arm's reach upon waking, which is why I recommend just bumping the bed to jar them out of their dream.
     
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  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What evidence do you have of the bolded statement?
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    So wake them up with noise like an alarm clock and don't be too close. Such a confused state only lasts seconds.
     
  21. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my experience, true night terrors outright can't be interrupted.
     
  22. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Sure they can! Just dump a bucket of water on them and run away before they beat you up! :p
     
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  23. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Not practicable in my WIP ;)
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Look, if someone has PTSD or frequent nightmares chances are they need treatment. But you guys are repeating myths about waking someone from a nightmare with little to no evidence supporting the assertions.

    Sleep terrors which is related to sleep walking is a specific phenomena that usually occurs with children. Not being able to wake the person is a different issue.

    Because they don't awaken, not because you shouldn't wake them. This is a specific sleep pattern, not all nightmares are this type. In addition night terrors and sleep walking are much more rare in adults.

     
  25. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Which was my point.
     

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