9 ways to avoid nightmares from disrupting your sleep and peace of mind
Is a monster chasing you? Are you appearing for examinations unprepared? Are you lost in the wilderness? See a loved one being harmed? Everybody has nightmares, and we always remember them! It is astounding how our minds can replay nightmares, causing continued discomfort and apprehension. Some nightmares are so disturbing that you might not want to close your eyes again. You might wake up with your heart beating out of your chest and find going back to sleep tough. And it is then that you may start wondering how to stop bad dreams.
Why do we get bad dreams?
Well, there remains a lingering mystery regarding dreams and nightmares. According to folklore, it is a bridge that connects your subconscious mind to the world beyond. These might also be indicative of your frame of mind.
While you cannot stop having nightmares, you can reduce their occurrence with a few steps. Here’s how you can try to stop or reduce bad dreams
1. Mental health check:
Anxiety and stress are the most significant contributors to nightmares. The more chaotic your mind, the messier your nightmare. Depression, bipolar disorder, and all related mental health issues fry your brain. Knowing your triggers will enable you to respond to anxiety and stress better.
2. Traumatic experiences:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder induces nightmares. Unfortunately, many people have gone through traumatic experiences. Surviving violence, natural disasters, the death of a loved one, the disintegration of a relationship, and many more are defining characteristics of PTSD.
If you have PTSD, it is time to seek help because it won’t go away by itself. And even if you think you can manage it well, it will continue to impact your quality of life.
3. Check your content consumption:
What is your content consumption before bedtime? Watching horror movies or reading scary content will cause nightmares. If you feel this triggers you, filter the content you consume before bed.
4. Practice journaling
Your real-life concerns will emerge as nightmares. Writing them down will help you in two ways. It will allow you to view your concerns objectively in the written format. And it’s a way for you to get it off your chest. The worries and tensions won’t fade, but they will help you.
5. Indulge in stress-relieving activities:
Take a warm, relaxing bath or shower 90 minutes before bed. This is a natural remedy for trying to avoid nightmares. It will lead to a drop in your core body temperature, signaling your body that it is time to sleep. Also, do calming exercises such as meditating, mindful breathing or silencing your thoughts.
6. Check your medication:
Certain medications induce nightmares as they influence neurotransmitters. These include antidepressants and barbiturates that affect sleep. If your nightmares started after this process, talk to your physician.
7. No alcohol or food consumption before bed:
Eating or snacking boosts metabolism and causes your brain to be more active instead of unwinding. An active mind can lead to nightmares. So, watch your food consumption before bed.
Alcohol leads to restlessness and disturbed sleep. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol doesn’t relax you. In the long run, it’s quite the opposite.
8. Sleep routine:
Establishing a healthy sleep routine is essential. Setting up ideal sleeping and waking hours is the initial step. Ensuring your room is quiet, dark, and cool lets you sleep soundly. And if it causes disturbances, check for noise.
9. Check for distractions:
Smartphone addiction is at an all-time high. We are hooked to news and views 24*7 without realising how the continued noise barrage impacts our quality of life. Make a no smartphone, no laptop, and no TV before bed rule. By limiting these distractions before bed, you are allowing your body to unwind.
The last word
Nightmares are normal despite being fearsome. However, be on the lookout for a constant theme in your nightmares. Analyzing these themes will give you a glimpse of your subconscious mind; it is always affected by reality. And while we can’t be dictated by our nightmares, being aware of them will lead us to take corrective actions in our lives.