Nightmares After Ayahuasca: When your subconscious still tries to communicate with you

Nightmares after Ayahuasca

It’s been a few days since you had your Ayahuasca Ceremony, and physically it has left your system, it’s spirit is still strong withing you. This manifest in a heightened sensitivity but is even more intense in your dream, or nightmares… 

Yes, nightmares. Unsettling, vivid, and at times frightening, these nightly intrusions can catch you off guard. One moment you’re peacefully asleep, the next you’re caught up in a storm of surreal images and sensations that can leave you breathless, sweaty, and anxious. Nightmares, though frightening, can happen after an Ayahuasca journey and is nothing to be concerned about. On the contrary they can offer significant insights if you are ready to understand the messages behind them.  

Key takeaways: 


  • It is normal that you are experiencing vivid dreams / nightmares after a ceremony. The Ayahuasca is still working in you and things are moving in your subconscious. 


  • Within a week (usually 2 – 5 days) the intense dreams will stop. 


  • If the nightmares persist consider doing a flower bath with bitter plants (for example tobacco, ruda, pino, eucalipto, artemisa, salvia) to energetically close the lops of the ceremony.  

Table of Contents

Still Part of the Ceremony

For many Ayahuasca participants, the dreams following a ceremony can feel as though the journey is still unfolding, like the echo of a song that lingers in the air long after the final notes have been struck. This can be both a disconcerting and enlightening experience. Ayahuasca, often referred to as the vine of the soul or the teacher plant, continues to guide you through the labyrinth of your subconscious, revealing hidden truths, unresolved issues, and forgotten memories.

Just know that this is normal, and some parts of your subconscious still want to develop and show you things. Many times it is also a message that we have not yet internalized.

Nightmares after Ayahuasca: Deciphering the Dream Messages

The dream world is a place of symbols and metaphors. Each nightmare after Ayahuasca could be an attempt by your subconscious to communicate important messages to your conscious mind. Think of them as encoded signals sent by your inner self to help you navigate your healing process. 

For instance, a common theme could be confronting your fears or insecurities, often symbolized by sinister figures or threatening situations. This is your subconscious bringing to the surface what you might have been ignoring or suppressing. In the gentle yet firm hands of Ayahuasca, these dreams become a tool for self-discovery and healing.

Sleepless Nights and Dread of Dreams

Sometimes, the nightmares after Ayahuasca can be so intense that they instill a fear of sleep. You might find yourself caught in a cycle of anxiety, sleep deprivation, and more anxiety. It’s important to remember that this is a natural reaction. After all, Ayahuasca pushes us out of our comfort zones, coaxing us to confront our fears and wounds. 

Don’t shy away from these dreams. Instead, see them as opportunities to confront your shadow side. Journaling your dreams can be a helpful practice. It allows you to understand the underlying themes, symbols, and messages in your nightmares. You’re not alone in this journey; reach out to the facilitators of your ceremony or supportive communities to share your experiences.

The Energetic Closure of the Ceremony 

If your nightmares after Ayahuasca persist, it could be a sign that the shaman didn’t close the ceremony properly at the energetic level. Ayahuasca rituals involve energetic interactions, and a well-conducted ceremony requires proper opening and closure to ensure participants’ safety and well-being. 

How to close energetic loops of an Ayahuasca ceremony. 

There are multiple things that you can do to do a cleansing on yourself after an Ayahuasca ceremony. 

One of them is taking a bath with bitter plants (for example, tobacco, ruda, pino, eucalipto, artemisa, salvia), a traditional method of purifying and resetting one’s energetic field. The bitterness of the plants absorbs and removes any lingering negative energy.

Smoking tobacco is another practice that could help. In many indigenous cultures, tobacco is considered a powerful cleanser and protector. It’s used to ward off negative energies and create a safe space for spiritual work.

When you light the tobacco, make sure you understand that you are intending to connect with the spirit of tobacco. A spirit of the light and the sun. Do not have the cigar pointing towards the earth, but at least horizontally or upwards (to the sky). Share your intention with the cigar when lighting it, welcome the spirit of tobacco into your life, and stay focused on your intention while smoking the cigar. Also, when you use tobacco to clean, it is important that you spit the saliva out. 

If you know an experienced Ayahuasca facilitator or shaman in your area, it is also good to reach out to him and ask him for a cleaning ritual as well. Sometimes we get asked to come to somebody after they went to an Ayahuasca ceremony (not with us) to help them close the energetic loops. 

The Healing Power of Companionship

As you navigate through this post-Ayahuasca phase, don’t hesitate to lean on your friends or loved ones. Consider staying over at a friend’s place or inviting them to spend some time with you. This can not only bring comfort but also give you a safe space to share your experiences and thoughts.

Nightmares can feel less daunting when shared with someone who listens and understands. Moreover, having a companion nearby can offer a reassuring sense of safety and grounding, especially when the dream world seems overwhelming.

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It Will Pass, you will be Fine

In the face of unsettling nightmares after Ayahuasca and the emotional roller-coaster that can follow an Ayahuasca journey, always remember – this too shall pass. The vine of the soul has deep wisdom of its own. It doesn’t merely stir your psyche for the sake of it; it brings to the surface what needs to be seen, addressed, and healed.

These dreams, as intense as they might be, are part of a broader healing and transformation process. Trust the journey, trust the process, and most importantly, trust yourself. You are stronger and more resilient than you realize. 

Navigating through post-Ayahuasca nightmares might seem daunting, but it’s a powerful opportunity for growth and self-discovery. With patience, courage, and the right support, you can transform this challenge into a profound healing journey. In the grand tapestry of your Ayahuasca experience, these dreams are but a single thread, interwoven with a multitude of other experiences, insights, and transformations.

As the days pass, the intensity of your dreams will fade. The unsettling images will lose their grip. The fear will dissolve, replaced with newfound strength, wisdom, and peace. You will emerge from this journey with a deeper understanding of yourself and a renewed sense of purpose. 

Remember, you are not alone on this path. Just as the sun follows the darkest night, so will your relief follow these post-Ayahuasca nightmares. Trust the journey, believe in your strength, and know that in time, you will be just fine.


Yes, it can happen. Remember, there’s no need to worry about it. The Ayahuasca is still at work within you, helping your subconscious continue its process of healing and cleansing. Ayahuasca has mysterious ways of working within us and unfolds its lessons in its own unique way and sometimes that involves plunging into the depths of your fears and anxieties through dreams.

If the nightmares are causing discomfort, consider cleansing rituals. Taking a bath with bitter plants or smoking a cigar with the intention of cleaning and purifying can help. These practices aim to balance your energetic field, which can in turn ease the intensity of your dreams.

The duration varies for everyone, but generally, they tend to subside 3 to 5 days after the ceremony. If the nightmares persist beyond this timeframe, it could indicate that you need further energetic cleansing.

Remember, your journey with Ayahuasca is a deeply personal and transformative experience. Each phase, including the unsettling dreams, holds valuable lessons for your spiritual growth. Trust the process, lean on your support systems, and remember that these experiences are temporary. They’re paving the way for profound insights, healing, and a deeper connection with your inner self.

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