Kate Livingstone: Dream a little dream of me...

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I had a strange email the other day.

It was from an old friend who told me that she had a sleepless night because of a bad dream.

“I dreamt something terrible had happened to you and I spent hours worrying if you were okay. So, are you okay?”

I quickly replied that, yes, I was fine, but was now worried that her dream was some kind of premonition.

Is something bad going to happen to me?

I have had some vivid dreams in my time, some of them absolutely terrifying.

I read a story online recently that the same kind of dreams crop up for us all at one time or another.

Failing an exam is a popular one, as is dreaming you’re being pursued or about to attacked.

Sleeping-in is a favourite of mine, or rushing to something because I’m really late.

Falling as well - although I particularly hate that one and the sensation.

According to the news study, dreaming about falling can happen because of all sorts of things such as change, trauma and loss.

I think I would have to agree with that.

When I was younger, I never had bad dreams.

They were wonderful actually - happy, exciting and fun,

In fact, I used to be quite angry when I woke up, and often tried to get back to sleep so the story could go on.

But, the fact is that worry, change, trauma and loss increase as we get older, and the fewer care-free days we have, the more sleepless nights creep in.

So I was a little bit puzzled when my six-year-old grandson crept into my bed on Friday night when I was looking after him for the evening.

This was despite the fact I had changed the bed covers in the spare room to cute Paw Patrol ones and plied him with hot chocolate milk.

“Gran, I had a bad dream,” he whispered. “Can I sleep in your bed tonight?”

“What did you dream about?” I asked

“A baddie, under my bed, and he was coming to get you.”

He went back to sleep quickly, of course, but after my friend’s email, I must admit I was a little on edge.

I told my daughter Emma about it when she called to thank me for looking after Jack.

“I think it’s an omen, Em,” I said, trying not to sound too much like I had lost my mind.

“But Jack didn’t really have a bad dream, mum,” she said after hearing my fears.

“Really,” I said. “Thank heavens for that.

“Yeah, he said you put baby duvet covers on his bed and that your bed was bigger and much more comfy.”

Wee scallywag.