After tossing and turning in my bed. I wake up properly, my skin is clammy and I feel dazed. Looking at my phone, I realise it is only 01:00. I can’t remember what I was dreaming about but I woke up startled. Sitting up, I reach for the glass of water beside my bed. I can hear something. It sounds like something moving around in the room below me. Who would be in the dining room at this time? I sit there listening intently and hear nothing more, so curl back up in bed and close my eyes. I feel as though I am slowly falling back into a sleep when breathing in, I can taste something, smell something I don’t recognise.
I sit back up to find my bedroom is a little bit misty. I rub my eyes. Am I still asleep? I step out of bed and walk towards my bedroom door to see what is going on. Opening my bedroom door and walking out onto the landing, I lean over the banister to see that a light is shining from underneath the back room door. I am definitely awake. Curious I walk downstairs. The strong smell becoming over powering. I am rapidly finding it hard to breathe. I get to the backroom door and in a split second before I try to open it, I realise what is going on. I run back upstairs.
I run into my mum and dad’s room, shouting that there is a fire downstairs, to realise that nobody is there. I call out to my brother and no reply. I run into his bedroom and he is asleep. Shouting, panicking, screaming I manage to wake him. He just stares at me. What the hell is going on? Where are mum and dad? And why is my brother not getting up? I run back into my parent’s room and then into mine to check they are not there.
I turn on the lights and run downstairs, the fire is spreading and now in my kitchen, making its way along the hall. I can barely see around the ground floor of my house, the smoke is so thick and I can only be in it so long before I can feel myself becoming light headed. I push against the front room door, realising it is ajar. My mum and dad are asleep on the couch.
I start shouting at them and pulling them to get up but nobody is moving. How long have they been down here inhaling the fumes? Were they already asleep or has this put them to sleep? I have to go back upstairs, I need my phone to call for help, and I need my brother. Running back upstairs, I am screaming and shouting. The front door is locked and my keys are also in my bedroom. Rummaging around I find everything I need.
I call 999. I find my keys. I run into my brother’s room. He's not there anymore? I search around, calling for him. No sign. I check out my parent’s room, he is not there either. The fire has come up the stairs. It didn’t take long. My parents are down there. Are they ok? I can barely see through the smoke and my tears. I just need some air, fresh air. Something that is going to get me through trying to get back downstairs to my parents.
I get to a window, I can’t get it open. It’s jammed. I look outside. The fire brigade is here and my mum, dad and brother are outside on stretchers. They are being lifted into the ambulances. All the neighbours are gathering to watch my house burn down. Why is no one coming for me? Does anyone know I’m in here?
I scream for help. I can’t go back out this room, I can’t get downstairs. The fire is ripping through my house so quickly. I am going to die if I stay here. I can’t see a way out, I panic. I draw open my parents curtains. I walk to the back of the room. I take a deep breath in. I am panicking but there is no other way out. At least I have a chance of surviving this way. I don’t have double glazing, I can make it. I start running; it feels like I am running forever but my parents room is not that big. I take a leap into the air and smash through the window. Everybody looks up and gasps. I am falling and falling. I can see the ground getting closer and closer. The drop is bigger than I thought it was. I am just about to hit the ground, when I wake up.
How often have you had a dream where you are falling and you wake up just before you hit the ground? I know it’s a dream I have had on more than one occasion and asking around, other people have too. I have done quite a bit of research into this and there is no set answer for what happens when we do this. One answer is that your brain disengages from your body when you’re sleeping which prevents you from moving around in your sleep too much. You generally have the feeling of falling when you are close to waking up, which is caused by your brain sending out a reflex twitch. This causes you to jump from the falling and awake. Other people believe that it is your body dragging you back into it, as you become free from your body whilst having these dreams. There seems to be no real explanation for this feeling though?
Waking up in the middle of the night from a nightmare is scary for anybody. It is dark and it takes a little while to adjust back to reality and fully awake. Everything always seems so real. We all have them, some more than others, some worse than others. There are two types of nightmares. There are actual Nightmares and something which is known as Night terrors.
Night terrors being more emotional and creating a much bigger fear than nightmares. These are when we awake petrified and sometimes completely unaware of what is going on. When we wake we can sometimes recall every part of what happened. Other times we have no idea what happened whilst we were sleeping. We just awake with rapid heartbeat and the strongest feeling of fear. These generally appear in the first half of the night, with the person waking up screaming, crying, gasping for air. Although we have no definite reason for causes of these, the most common is emotional tension and stress.
A nightmare usually appears later on through the night and usually wakes you from your sleep but you are able to recall the content of the dream. Nightmares are very common in children and decrease in adulthood. Although, apparently 50% of adults experience nightmares, women more often than men. A few causes of nightmares could be, eating before going to bed, this increases the body’s metabolism and the brains activity. Illness, anxiety and stress are also common causes. Having a clear head when you go to sleep is going to help reduce the chances of nightmares.
It is something which when we all go to bed, we cannot prevent from happening. Watching a horror film before bed is more likely to cause them. So pick your TV channel wisely before you go to bed and Sleep well!