History And Myths About Nightmares
nightmare is a term that describe a dream with scary images that make us feel uncomfortable when we sleep at night. We usually dream about dting, falling, being chased, sadness and pain. The cause of the nightmares can be stress, trauma and other psychological disorders, and on the other hand, Just a warning that need to grab out attention.
Nightmare means "waking dream", defined by Dr Johnson as "morbid oppression during sleep, resembling the pressure of weight upon the chest." Nightmare usually occur when we have REM (rapid eye movement) and paralysis sleep.
Because of the real feeling of the weight on our chest during the nightmare, it was believed that the "mara demon" come and visit us in the night and sit on our body. When the nightmare is mixed with the paralysis sleeping it also give us the feeling that we are trapped and cant do anything against the mara demon.
Difficults to breath at night where also associated whith other scary demons like "hag", who used to leave her body in the night and sit on the helpless victim, that wake up with the final breath.
The ancient people had some rituals that where preforms before getting to sleep, in order to keep those demons away from them:
Turning your shoes around at the side of the bed, so that the hooks and the laces are next to you, When a demon is pressing against you, you can put your thumb in your hand, and he will have to retreat. And if you don't move your chair before going to sleep, the mare will ride it during the night instead on your own body.
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