Dreaming is part of the normal cycle of sleep. We may or may not remember our dreams depending on the state of sleep or how deep our sleep is. Most of us wish other people sweet dreams when we bid them goodnight, or our parents would tell us ‘sweet dreams’ when they tucked as in at night. Fear of dreams is called oneirophobia and it can be caused by several things.
One might have a nightmare that was so vivid that one thought it to be real thus causing one to fear dreaming because the dream might recur. Others might also have had a recurring dream about one’s life and thought that this could be a bad omen or a sign that something bad will happen in one’s life. For others, one might have had a dream that coincidentally became true in real life and thus the phobia that all of his or her dreams will come true becomes the trigger for this phobia.
People with this phobia may avoid sleeping and may go to the extent of taking stimulants to prevent themselves from dreaming. Others might have short naps instead of taking long restful sleep.
Treatment includes psychotherapy and sleep therapy. Sleep studies may be done to determine one’s sleeping patterns. Hypnotherapy may also be beneficial in some patients. Sleeping aids such as benzodiazepines may be needed by some patients in order to sleep but they should be educated that this can be addicting and should be only the last resort.