Why Do Empaths Have Vivid Nightmares and Night Terrors?

Empaths are known for having more vivid dreams than the average dreamer. It is a common complaint of empaths to struggle with vivid dreams that cause intense fearful emotions, which are referred to as a nightmare or night terror. This can often lead to interrupted sleep, which impacts a person’s quality of life. 

So, why do empaths struggle more with nightmares and night terrors than non-empaths? 

Empaths have a tendency to take on other people’s emotions and treat them as if they were their own. Because of this, the subconscious has to work overtime to sort through the empath’s emotions, as well as all the other emotions they held onto. A lot of this external energy includes problems that they have tried to solve for other people. This foreign energy is interpreted as an invader or threatening in some way, so it appears in the dream state as a nightmare. 

The good news is, from the information you decipher from your nightmares, you can begin to have self-awareness and understand when you have too much of other people’s energy in your space, and what to do to get rid of it. 

This article will also go over techniques you can do to deal with these emotions before you sleep so that you no longer have nightmares.


What Is A Night Terror And Why Do Empaths Have Them

Empaths feel deeply and are acutely aware of the emotions that are flowing around them at all times. When these emotions become too overwhelming to process in real life, they get buried in the subconscious, where they sit and wait until they are able to be processed. 

This is where dreams come in. Dreams help you process all that subconscious emotional baggage that you weren’t able to get to during the day. If these emotions are negative, stressful or fearful, your dreams will reflect that as such.  

Dreams are an intuitive communication device that tells us when something is out of balance in our lives. If you have reoccurring nightmares, the symbolism can give you insight into how to manage your empathy so that you feel more in balance. 

Some common dreams associated with being an empath include: 

  • Being chased
  • Fear of death or dying; Fear of loved ones getting sick and dying
  • Losing your car or someone else driving your car
  • Having parts of your body fall off, such as teeth, hair, fingers, etc.
  • Not being able to get into your house, or not being able to get large groups of people to leave your house
  • Getting lost
  • Getting kidnapped
  • Being raped
  • Not having any control 

These types of dreams are common for empaths to experience because they represent a lack of control, foreign energy, boundaries that have been violated, and a feeling of having a lost identity. 


When Nightmares Usually Occur For Empaths

After Spending Too Much Intimate Time With Someone

A telltale sign that your nightmares are because of your empathic abilities is if you have them after spending a lot of quality time with someone else. This is especially true if you have formed some sort of emotional attachment to them. 

This could be if you are just starting to date someone, you are developing a friendship with someone, or if you have spent time with family members. It could also be if you have spent a lot of time with a stressful co-worker or have had a disturbing confrontation with a stranger that made you emotional. 

An example of when I had the worst nightmares was in one of these situations. I once had this reoccurring nightmare that a masked man was chasing me down long hallways. Every time I was just about to escape, the walls shifted and I had to keep running. I would wake up exhausted and terrified.

I had just started to date someone at that same time and these nightmares only happened after I spent an entire day with him. I started to realize that it was his energy I was running away from in my dream. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t work out. 

Before A Stressful Event Happens

For extra-sensitive empaths, sometimes nightmares can occur before a stressful event even happens. This could be a stressful event in your personal life or a stressful event on a national or global scale. Some people call these premonitions.

A week before a stressful event occurred, I kept having a dream that the actor Alexander Skarsgård was chasing me. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to kill me or not, but I felt very threatened so I kept running. This dream kept happening every night up until I had a random confrontation with a stranger on the street. Things got very heated, and I was very emotionally upset by how much anger was present in this exchange. The man I had a confrontation with worked at an establishment nearby. I looked up the business on google, and coincidently — and for no good reason — the first image that appeared in the feed was Alexander Skarsgård. From that, I knew the confrontation and my nightmares were connected. 

When You Are At A Low Vibration

When an empath is stuck at a lower vibration, they are much more susceptible to the negative emotions of others around them. It is like they become an emotional vacuum but already have a full bag. It is very draining and can be a huge physical and emotional burden. 

Nightmares become the worst when this vacuum is full and needs to be replaced. Your nightmares are working overtime to get all that gunk out of your subconscious. 

If you are sick, fatigued, depressed, or around a lot of negative people, this can lower your vibration. 

Nightmares associated with being stuck at a low vibration include spiders, teeth falling out, wounds in the body, eating rotting food, and much more. 


Nightmares Associated With The Chakra System

Nightmares can be a communication device of your entire energetic system to tell you what is out of balance. 

Empaths can struggle with keeping their 2nd and 3rd chakras in the balance because these are the energy centers that process emotions and energy. If these are out of balance, your dreams will try to process the energy that is throwing them off, causing nightmares. 

2nd Chakra

The second chakra, or sacral chakra, represents your emotional fluidity and how you process your own emotions and the emotions around you. For an empath, this center is usually too stimulated, meaning it is very open and receiving a lot of information to process. 

Because this center is so far away from the upper chakras, it is hard to discern what emotions are coming from the self and what emotions are coming from others.

Some signs that your 2nd chakra may be over-stimulated is if you have a hard time in large social gatherings, if you feel guilty when someone else is unhappy, or if you enter a new room and suddenly feel heavy emotions such as sadness or depression.  

Essentially, your 2nd chakra is working overtime and absorbing the emotions from everyone around you and processing it as if they were your own. 

In dreams, this can show up as foreign invaders chasing you, a fear of death or dying, watching other people get sick or die, too many people entering your house, or extreme fear for no reason. 

3rd Chakra

If the 2nd chakra is over-stimulated, it is drawing energy from somewhere, usually the energy center above or below it. Usually, this energy is pulled from the 3rd chakra, which is the center that holds your life-force energy. This is the center where you manifest your dreams into reality. 

This is the center where you set boundaries with other people, and you pull on this energy to feel centered and grounded in your own identity. It is where you feel confident. 

Some signs this center is blocked or weak is if you have a hard time saying “no,” if you fear confrontation, if you lack a sense of purpose or direction, or if you are fatigued more than normal. 

In dreams, this can show up as being lost, losing your car or parking your car somewhere and forgetting where it is, losing parts of your body such as teeth or hair, being kidnapped and not knowing where you are, or not having any control over a situation. 


Practices That Will Help Get Rid Of Nightmares

While being an empath is a life-long ability that will have to be managed, you can manage it. Just like people manage their physical health and mental health, you can also manage your emotional health. 

Healthy emotional health will result in fewer, or completely get rid of, nightmares and night terrors. 

Here are some ways you can start to manage your emotional health: 


It can be easy to dismiss meditation as an unproductive practice, however, as an empath, it is one of the most productive tools you can use. Incorporating a mindfulness practice such as meditation will allow you time and space to process these external emotions outside of your sleep. This will help move past this energy while you are awake, instead of having nightmares to process them. 

As little as 10-15 minutes in the morning or evening, or both, could be just what you need to bring your awareness back into your body and kick out everyone else’s energy out of your space. 

To meditate, simply sit in a chair and focus on your breath. Pay attention to the sensations of your breath flowing in and out of your nostrils. Try not to focus on anything else but these sensations. 

You may be amazed at how difficult it is to stop thinking about someone or an event that happened or will happen. This is a sign that you are holding on to energy/emotions from that situation or person. 

Picture opening a door and throwing the person or event out of the door. Keep focusing on your breath and see if anything else comes up. Keep doing this until you can focus on your breath, or feel calm and centered. 

Staying Hydrated

Emotions are represented by the element of water, so if you are constantly struggling with being dry or dehydrated, you are probably an empath. 

Water is also the element of your second/sacral chakra. When you are dehydrated, this is the energy center that suffers the most. 

Especially before bed or after you wake up, drink up. I like to keep a pitcher of filtered water by my bed at all times. To boost this practice, charge the water with crystals that help with protecting the psyche, especially during sleep. 

Most quartz crystals are safe to put in water and drink, so drop a couple of amethyst or rose quartz crystals and let sit for about an hour before you sleep, or overnight and drink when you wake up. 

Be careful which crystals you decide to infuse your water with. Some stones are toxic when they get wet, and some stones are damaged by water. You can read about what crystals should not be put in water in my article here

Exercising Your Core and Build Your Strength/Move Your Body

Having stagnant energy is the enemy of an empath because, without movement, things begin to build up, and they build up fast. 

Heat is the best way to burn off external emotions, so getting your heart pumping does more than keep you fit, it could also help keep those nightmares at bay. 

If you are an empath that struggles with depression or fatigue, it can be really hard to feel motivated to exercise. Having a rebounder (a small trampoline) is a great way to get your heart rate up without putting a lot of stress on your body. It is my favorite way to burn off other people’s emotions quickly when I am feeling stressed. Keep it in your office or near your TV for some quick workouts when you start feeling down or overwhelmed. 

Another way to heat up your body without putting too much stress on your body is to go to the sauna. Many gyms have one, so if you get to the gym and don’t feel up for a workout, instead head to the sauna to burn off those external emotions. Get the most out of that trip to the gym!

Keeping Protective Crystals Near You When You Sleep

Another easy way to help protect you from nightmares while you sleep is to keep protective crystals near your bed. My top five favorite crystals to keep near my bed include: 

  1. Selenite
  2. Danburite
  3. Rose Quartz
  4. Howlite
  5. Moonstone

My favorite routine to do before bed is to wash my face, then massage my face, neck and arms with a rose quartz qua sha. I then take a selenite wand and run it around my energetic space, from the top of my head down to my toes. I put moonstone and danburite under my pillow, and I always keep howlite under my bed. This is just my routine, but play around with different crystals to see what works for you! 


In Summary

Nightmares can cause a lot of emotional stress in your life, so it is worth taking the time to figure out how to get rid of them. If you have very vivid nightmares and night terrors, you are probably an empath who is holding onto other people’s emotions, problems and stress. 

There are tools you can use during your day to help push out external emotions so that they don’t wake you up at night. Some of the few I mentioned are meditation, hydration, exercise, and crystals, but there are many more. Journaling or speaking with a counselor or therapist are great ways to move through subconscious energy ready to be moved through. 

Be kind to yourself, and have sweet dreams. 


Crystal Clear Intuition performing a public sound bath with crystal bowls and a gong.

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