It is believed that when an individual’s homeostatic system fails and psychological homeostasis is disrupted, nightmares are deployed to extinguish anxiety that has accumulated throughout the day. Some psychologists believe that nightmares help people process traumatic events. If nightmares occur frequently and impairs social and occupational function, they can become a disorder.
Nightmares are frightening and mysterious, so it is no wonder that people around the world and throughout history have sought out explanations for them. This infographic by Sleepopolis.com explores nightmare mythology from around the world, nightmare meanings in different cultures, and nightmare creatures that plague sleep.