How do I stop my nightmares from reoccurring ?
Last Updated: 03/24/2020 at 1:46pm
Andrea Tuck, LCPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I tackle and discuss a multitude of social and emotional health issues. I have a belief that through empowerment and non-judgmental support clients' can thrive.
Top Rated Answers
If the nightmare is coming due to the medicine you are taking, you must speak to the doctor to reduce the dosage, therefore decreasing the frequency of the nightmares. Those people who experience nightmares due to certain conditions such as what is known as 'sleep apnea' or 'restless legs syndrome', finding a way to treat these disorders would reduce the nightmares as well. Unfortunately, certain people are more venerable to experience nightmares, such as those who suffer from anxiety, depression and also PTSD. But these kind of people also can find remedies to help them! These include regular exercise, a regular wake-sleep schedule, yoga and other meditation remedies have seemed to help! Practicing good sleep hygiene can decrease the sleep deprivation which may lead to nightmares, especially in adults.
Here are some suggestions on what you can to do prevent bad dreams. - Get your brain ready for sleep - Spend 30min - 1hour winding down; listening to some relaxing music, or reading a book can help. (avoid horror books like steven king as this isn't the time) - Writing down your thoughts and emotions before you go to bed. (That way they're out of your head and on paper making it much easier to sleep) - Some culture believe cheese before bed helps ( May just be the placebo effect, but something to consider looking into, I can see how it helps with relaxation ) - Avoid caffeine and tobacco consumption before bed as it disrupts sleep patterns making relaxing much more difficult - Avoid consuming alcohol before bed (While it may help fall asleep excessive alcohol consumption can cause someone to wake up in the middle of the night and then experience duress and anxiety, thus causing another nightmare to occur, and/or a bad day) - Milk can aid in relaxation but in excess can cause a full bladder and become in effective in having a good nights rest - Don't exercise before bed as it raises your blood pressure making you more "Awake" and less prone for relaxation. However light stretching, meditation, and a warm bath can help wonders. - Be in control. Many ways this can be done. For example using the placebo effect to your advantage. You can use dream catchers to catch the bad dreams and focus on the good dreams. This can then open up lucid dreaming (consciously aware of your dream) and make it easier to control what's going on. - Solving any big problems. Serious or persistent bad dreams are likely to be related to a specific problem or past trauma. Counseling, Therapy, and Active Listening can help you get to the bottom of these problems and help you get a better good nights sleep 7 Cups offers quite a few Mindfulness Exercises to help improve your sleep: 7cups.com/exercises/mindfulness40
It depends on the level of nightmares. If it is something like, say, a monster or your boss, then reducing stress and not eating before bed should help. If it is a childhood trauma or something of the sort, I'd recommend talking to a counselor, they can really help :)
What are your nightmares about? Do you think that has anything to do with what you do during the day? Can you tell me about your typical day?
Just try to think of something that you like/love before going to bed/sleep and then instead of a nightmare you are more likely to dream about that thought instead of having a nightmare.
On a physical basis it could help to take a shower before going to sleep. Analyse your habits and see if there is any connection you could see between your habit and the occurrence of the nightmare. If so, change the habit, e.g. mental hygiene: Do not watch any horror movies or other irritating stuff, like games with violence involved. If it is always the same dream, you could try to think about another scenario in the waking state: How could you change the story? Try to face the frightening situation while being awake and replace it through a more pleasant situation or even a funny one. Try to be the director of your own film. Design your happy end. Repeat this film with happy end over and over again in your waking state. This way you could saturate your mind during the day and replace the nightmare.
When I have nightmares, I would write it down then talk to someone about it, and then come up with a better ending.
Think about what your dream means, and see how it makes you feel. Then talk to a trusted adult ro see how you can conquer it
I try to think of positive thoughts before bed. Sometimes I will just sit and take a breath if I am worried that they will be in my dreams.
Try to determine why these nightmares are occuring and stop the source. Are you deeply bothered by some unresolved tension, problem, fear, or anxiety? What are you hiding from or looking for in the nightmare? What happens to you specifically? What kind of strong feelings does the nightmare evoke? Does a strong feeling you have in the nightmare also come up while you're awake, and if so do you know what makes you feel that way? Have you ever tried to "turn around and face" the nightmare? Have you spoken with a sleep therapist or a doctor about your nightmares? There may be psychological or medicinal help available for you and it's always okay to ask a professional for their advice. It may be due to physical needs like the wrong combination of sleep, diet, or excersise, or a deficiency in some vitamin or mineral, but only trial-and-error and consultation will tell in some cases. Good luck!
Unfortunately, nightmares and dreams are difficult to control. A reason they could be reoccurring is that they are based on something unsettling going on in your life, or even your subconscious. Therapy is a great way to get those issues out in the open and to work on healing them so that they do not dominate your subconscious or conscious mind.
as someone who has suffered from chronic nightmares, there are a number of things to try that might help you sleep better. some of the things that worked for me were not eating heavy foods or overstimulating myself with loud sounds, screen time, or emotionally intense experiences two hours before bed. if you suspect (or know) that your nightmares are caused by anxiety or fear, using grounding exercises, meditation, or a journal to pick apart your fear might help make it more manageable. therapy for anxiety in a small group also really helped when nothing else did, so i would recommend that if you think it would be helpful. good luck!
There can be several causes of nightmares - some medications, stress, unresolved problems, etc. I found that understanding what the dream was about helped. Our subconscious minds try to work things through in the dream part of our sleep cycle. A good way to stop the nightmares is to prepare for sleep - don't drink caffeine after 3pm, some sources say cheese can cause bad dreams, avoiding smoking for several hours before bed-time, too as nicotine is a stimulant. Prior to sleep get into the habit of having a short relaxation time - deep breathing, e.g., diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery, soothing music, relaxation techniques. There are some excellent suggestions on 7 cups for pre-sleep relaxation. It takes practise but the techniques DO work. For worries & problems, a long chat with a good friend, a family member, a listener or counsellor is a good way to get things in perspective. There are specialist services that can help with debt management, life issues etc. Nightmares can be stopped by taking a proactive approach.
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