A: I’m sorry that you are having nightmares. I know how unsettling and frightening they can be, but please don’t worry that you will stop breathing in your sleep. Your body will wake up, regardless of what is going on in your dream.
Many times dreams are just a glimpse into our own unconscious mind and what we might be worried about or struggling with at the time. Sometimes the themes can be very literal, such as dreaming about something that you saw or heard recently, but many times they are symbolic. For instance, since you are dreaming about drowning do you feel like you are “drowning” in anything in life right now, such as school work, a busy schedule, etc? Or do you have any particular fears or concerns that you have not faced directly? If so, try to deal with the concern in your waking state and most likely the dream will stop haunting you.
I’m including the link to an article on the topic that you might find interesting: 9 Common Questions About Dreams Answered.
I usually suggest keeping a dream journal to help identify recurrent themes and potential meaning. Don’t just write down what you dream about but also the feelings and associations attached to the dream. And finally, it may help to say a prayer, meditate or read something funny or uplifting right before going to bed.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts