Why do we feel pain in our dreams and still feel pain even when we wake up?

"Once, I dreamed that a herd of wasps attacked my feet. When I woke up, my legs were still burning and throbbing." * Experience ...


"Once, I dreamed that a herd of wasps attacked my feet. When I woke up, my legs were still burning and throbbing."
* Experience of author Crystal Ponti, written on Vice

The sunset sun poured into every corner of a strange house. I was standing there, facing a long, empty corridor. There is no other window or path. Only white walls and a door on the opposite side. My heart was beating up my throat. I need to leave.

The story sounds like any dream a normal person can meet. Except for one point, my dream had a knot: there was a formidable physical pain.

In that moment I tried to run as fast as I could down the hall. Every step put down, the door seemed to slip away again. The more I tried to run faster, the more I concentrated to defeat any game that this dream was showing.

But I still couldn't notice that something was lurking on me in the dark, until it was too late. He jumped, grabbed my personal eye. My whole body went to the floor, I saw my face on the ground.


At this time, the sunset was reduced to leaving only a dim light fading into the starry sky. I felt an intense pain go through my head, every wind blew through, stabbed and ripped apart my nerves painfully.

Something warm dripped down my face. Blood. I woke up, couldn't breathe and was still immersed in emotions. In the midst of that mess, there was still a feeling of striking: I felt the pain was still not over.

My experiences - the feeling of physical pain in my dream - "are not really popular" - says Benjamin Baird, a researcher at the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The feeling of pain even when waking up is even rarer. But that still happens to me and to some other people.

PiroLargo, a Reddit account also tells about it in a discussion topic related to the dream. He said in his dream, his teeth had fallen to pieces: "I could feel the teeth coming out, throbbing. I could also feel the heat of dark red blood flowing from my mouth. ".

Some other users responded to the story by recounting their own experiences of pain in the dream. Things can still be felt after they wake up.

"One time, I dreamed that something of a bee or wasp might attack my feet. When I woke up, my legs were hot and throbbing. It was very painful," said Piper Andrew, a Reddit user. Owned account SpiderWifey said.


But the pain that we feel in our dreams is real, or is it all just our imagination?

The frequency and nature of pain in dreams is still a little-known mystery. A study from 1998 required 185 participants to record their dreams for two consecutive weeks.

A total of 3,045 dreams have been reported. 18 of these dreams contain clear references to pain experiences. The pain that participants felt described was intense. They often attack a specific area of the body and are often the result of a violent encounter with another dream character.

But the pain that we feel in our dreams is real, or is it all just our imagination?

"I think even the" most real "pain in dreams is just something inside your head," said Erin Wamsley, associate professor of psychology at Furman University in South Carolina.

A conscious experience of pain occurs when the area is related to pain in your cortex. The outermost layer of the brain is responsible for consciousness and higher thinking processes that turn up to function.

For example, when you have a trauma in a dream and suddenly wake up, like a toe-to-toe. This often activates pain receptors in the peripheral nervous system. In other words, you feel pain in your brain, not your toes.

While you sleep the sensory areas of the brain will function without input from other organs. This is why when you dream, you can see that no photon will hit the retina in the eye, it can be heard without any sound vibrating the eardrum, Wamsley said.

From this point of view, it is not surprising that people say that they feel pain in their dreams.


While you sleep the sensory areas of the brain will function without input from other organs.

So experiencing pain even when awake or in a dream is the result of the brain. But the science of pain is still an undiscovered wilderness. According to Baird, experts call this a problem of consciousness.

"Our recent research supports the idea that neural activity related to painful feelings or experiences in dreams may be identical or at least very similar to emotional-related neurological activity. Baird said, feeling pain in real life.

The main difference between these two feelings is that in the dream you don't really burn your toes and therefore there is no physical damage.

But why do some people have such vivid dreams. Including the feeling of pain while others are not. They can't even remember what they dreamed and felt?

Wamsley said that no one knows exactly why some dreams are more vivid than other dreams. But there are a number of factors that affect the dream experience. Includes: night time, sleep period and sleep history.

Late-night dreams, near early morning and dreams that occur during REM sleep tend to be more vivid. Dreams in restorative sleep, occurring after a period of sleep deprivation also tend to be intense.

"These factors can be interconnected. It indicates how much sleep time activates the cortex to a greater degree, involving more vivid dreams," says Wamsley.


For me, constantly experiencing painful dreams and having to experience that feeling even when I woke up made me feel anxious and frightened. There are nights when my mind goes crazy and can't sleep. And I felt my chest tighten. I was bewildered about what would happen when I fell asleep.

Gardner Eeden, author of the book "The Dream of Lucid: Awakening in the World of Dreams" wrote a lot about how repeated dreams can affect our emotional health. .

"The dream experience can certainly cause your body to react. Have you ever woken up after a nightmare with a beating heart or are you sweating?" Gadner says that these physical sensations can vary from person to person.

The pain that I felt when I pressed my face to the floor in my dream was extremely intense and very real. It began as a painful impact and continued to throb until I woke up in misery.

Sometimes, I could still feel the throbbing sensation in my forehead for about half an hour after waking up. Spiritual anguish when going through an attack and the confusion of carrying a wound from the dream to real life is even more annoying than the pain itself.

Fortunately Baird says there is a therapy called cognitive behavior (CBT). It is a popular talk therapy that can treat chronic nightmares and is quite effective. Or image therapy practice (IRT). It is a cognitive behavioral treatment. In it you recall your nightmares and change their ending in a less scary way. This can alleviate forms of nightmares and suffering.


In a lucid dream or Lucid dream, you realize that you are dreaming and can control and change your environment.

Outside of the clinical environment, Gadner suggests using a technique that he himself applies and finds effective. It is to control the dream experience through techniques to have Lucid dreams.

"You find yourself in a dark house, but you can make it light up. If there is something reaching out to grab you. Catch it, smash it, scold it. Imagine it. "What can really be and give it a face. Don't panic. Stand firm and confront it. Change it. Convince yourself that it has no power to control you," Gadner said. .

After learning and knowing that the experience of pain both inside and outside the dream. It is just something born in my head. I was also relieved to learn that my emotional and physical reactions were real and explained by science.

I was also very comforted to learn that many others are also looking for ways to combat this. But ultimately the pain was a very unpleasant experience. I just wish my mind would not draw pictures like in Stephen King's story.
Ms. Phoenix

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High Tech Brain: Why do we feel pain in our dreams and still feel pain even when we wake up?
Why do we feel pain in our dreams and still feel pain even when we wake up?
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