These are the reverse situation of the standard nightmare ( where you dream that something scary or horrible has happened to you, and wake up horrified and upset - and then realise it was only a dream and everything is OK really. )

Reverse nightmares describe the scenario where something horrible has happened or is happening to you in real life, and you dream that it didnt happen or that it all worked out OK, and wake up comforted and relieved - until you realise that it was only a dream and things are most definitely not ok.

This is a common device used in cheap horror flicks and leads to dialogue such as :
Girl: “ Oh Mom!, Dad! I had such a horrible dream....”
Mom: “ Im sorry Janey - I dont know how to tell you this - but this is the dream. You are still trapped in that cabin in the forest, being stalked by that knife wielding psychopath

A more real-life example is when you have recently broken up with someone whom you cared deeply about and you keep dreaming that you worked it all out and were back together - only to wake up alone and reaching for her hand.

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