knocking at my door

Hi Maddie -

Intruder dreams are some of the most common - and most disturbing - dreams that readers write in about. They are easily explained, but this does not mean the anxiety they cause is easily forgotten.

Intruder dreams are a variant of the common chase dreams. In an intruder dream, an unknown person appears to have entered the bedroom. We dreams he is coming toward the bed to attack us or, as in your dream, we see him standing in the room next to our beds. In either case, our natural reaction is to want to get up, respond, and possibly defend ourselves. We want to ask the intruder what their business is, and we also want to call for help. But here’s the catch: We can’t move! We can’t make a sound!

The reason why we can’t move or scream is because our body really is paralysed during dreaming sleep - so that we don’t act out our dreams. During an intruder dream, we feel the paralysis of our bodies and feel especially vulnerable. (Read more about Sleep Paralysis). And this is why these dreams are so frightening. It’s terrifying to feel like we can’t move when we are faced with an attack.

Next time you have one of these dreams, see if you can’t remember that you have these dreams all the time - and that therefore, you must be dreaming again. If you are able to remember that you are dreaming, you will be able to relax. You may want to start up a conversation with this dream intruder - ask him what he’s doing in your dream - or you may just want to change the plot altogether. Maybe you’d rather visit a beach or take a nice walk in a dream city. Anything but that silly dream, eh? Good Luck!

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