Anxiety dreams make simple tasks a lot more difficult

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The phone was on a table in the living room. I needed to make an urgent call.

I dialed the number over and over, but something always went wrong. The last number was a zero, and the rotary dialer either didn’t go all the way around, or it failed to wind all the way back.

I was getting nervous and tried again and again, only to arrive at the same results. I could never finish dialing the number.

Then I woke up.

It was an anxiety dream with a little retro mixed in. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these dreams and much longer since I used a rotary dial phone.

I’ve had other anxiety dreams, like trying to run away but could only move in slow motion. Or, trying to find my classes without a schedule, or find a class I had not attended all semester – and now it was time for finals.

But I’ve never had one in which I was trying to make a call on a rotary dial phone.

In reality, rotary dial wasn’t all that terrible back in the days when phones were only used to make calls and plugged into walls. No camera, no Internet, no GPS, no games, just the ability to talk to the other person on the line.

I saw a video recently of today’s teens trying to figure out how to use a rotary dial phone. They had no clue, just like I have no clue as to how to play those time-wasting games that come with cell phones.

I never got through to the person I was trying to reach in the dream, and I became somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t master the simple task of sticking my index finger in the dialer a few times.

In these type of dreams, my problems don’t get resolved. I can never run faster than slow motion, even though I am being chased or trying to run away from danger. And, I never find my classes, or where I should be taking that important final.

Why do we even have anxiety dreams?

People report having weird vivid dreams after dining on something spicy or heavy. Some experts suspect that this could be because fiery foods raise your body temperature, which can make it a little more difficult to sleep peacefully. Alcohol doesn’t help, either.

It can also be caused by being worried a lot about something that happened or is about to happen. They are bad dreams that cause the overwhelming feelings of panic and unease associated with waking anxiety.

And here is how it may be controlled to a certain extent, according to information I picked up from the Internet machine.

• Don’t eat a heavy dinner late at night. Consume smaller portions and don’t spice it up.

• Give your melatonin levels a boost. One of the best ways to improve lucid dreaming is by increasing your melatonin level.

• Reduce stimulants. Change your body position.

• Relax before bed.

• Tell yourself that you’re going to dream.

• Try the ‘wake back’ method, waking up very early and then letting yourself go back to sleep. The hormones in your system combined with the REM sleep allow you to have more lucid dreams.

The problem is that once I wake up, I stay up, wondering why I could not complete the simple task of dialing a phone number. Then I’m wondering why I even needed to dial it. It’s good to be awake.