Night terrors: what do anxiety dreams mean?

These are anxious times – but how does this affect our sleep, and what can we learn from the exam crises and missed trains that haunt the small hours

Antonio Zadra, a psychologist, is sharing a memory of a horrific experience at sea. He had almost made it to shore, but knew he was about to die. In fact, these were his final 20 seconds of life. Just then, his eight-year-old son appeared at the water’s edge. He looked at Zadra, and Zadra heard the words: “Dad, no!” Two years later, remembering the fear and horror of the moment makes him well up. “I was thinking: ‘I am about to die and I am going to die in front of my eight-year-old son.” He recalls the vivid depth in his son’s eyes, the completeness with which he was able to look into them. And then, of course, he woke up and everything was OK, but not OK. The first thing he did in the morning was hug his son.

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