How to Avoid Nightmares
Sleep is one of those things in life which seem rather insignificant but is definitely something that we all tend to cherish. We all care about the fact that we have a night of good sleep. It might not seem to us that sleep plays an important part in our daily life until and unless we start facing issues with our sleep. Nightmares in children and adults are common. However, when these nightmares are too much for us to handle or if they are too frequent then it is a cause for concern. Your nightmares can consist of anything from maybe your teeth falling out, you suddenly getting very old, losing a loved one, to being chased and not being able to scream. Such nightmares can cause a lingering sense of discomfort and a constant dread for someone to even fall asleep.
Thankfully, nightmares can often be avoided by simply following certain sleep and mental health tips. This is because nightmares are rather common and usually have an underlying reason. But sometimes, no matter what you might do your nightmares might not just leave. In that case, it is important to seek professional help.
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However, you should also follow some tips to avoid bad dreams. In this article, we will be discussing those tips.
Why Do We Have Nightmares?
Before learning about how to avoid nightmares, it is important for all readers to know the answer to the question of why do we get bad dreams in the first place. A nightmare can be defined as a dream which can bring out rather strong feelings of distress, terror, fear, and anxiety. There are also different common nightmare themes that an individual can experience. And some of those common nightmare themes include being chased, falling, being late, being paralyzed, or the death of a family member or friend. There are various reasons why an individual might have a nightmare. And some of those reasons are mentioned below.
Personal ExperiencesAccording to various popular theories, our dreams consist of some aspects of our waking or conscious lives. This means that our personal experiences can have a significant impact on the kind of dreams or nightmares that we have at night. Common examples for this could be when an individual dreams of taking a test, going on a vacation, or dealing with some problems in their lives. Different negative emotions can also enter the nightmares.
Constant Anxiety and Stress
Experiencing stress and anxiety in our daily lives is a common part of life for every individual. However, if an individual is constantly experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety then that can have a strong effect on our dreams. There are also various theories that suggest that this can also lead to an individual suffering from anxiety disorders.
The Exposure to Media
Going to watch a horror movie or a show is definitely a thrilling experience. However, sometimes those thrilling experiences can have a strong effect even on the unconscious part of our lives. There are also various studies that point to the fact that watching horror movies or shows cannot just have an effect on the sleeping habits of an individual but can also influence the eating patterns.
Suffering from DepressionIf an individual is suffering from depression or some other mental health condition like bipolar disorder then that increases the risk of that individual getting a nightmare. Depression is often claimed to be the strongest predictor of an individual suffering from nightmares.
Apart from these, there are other factors that can affect the chances of whether an individual suffers from nightmares or not including the personality of the individual, the environment, and if the individual has suffered from any previous traumatic experiences or not.
How to Avoid Dreams during Sleep?
Now that we understand the answer to the question of why do bad dreams come the next thing that we need to know is how one can avoid those bad dreams. According to experts, there are various methods that one can apply to avoid getting nightmares during sleep. And some of those important methods are mentioned below.
Practicing Good Sleeping Hygiene
When it comes to controlling nightmares then there are no hard and fast rules which one can apply. But the one thing which has been rather effective in avoiding nightmares is to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible before sleeping. This means that it is a good idea for you to make sure to practice proper sleeping hygiene before going to bed. It is also a good idea to keep a glass of water nearby and to further dim or entirely switch off the lights according to the preference of the individual. In such cases, even if an individual experiences a nightmare, then he or she would be comfortable enough to fall back asleep after waking up from the nightmare.
Getting the Nightmare Out
Another method that has been effective in dealing with nightmares is to get the nightmare and all the emotions related to it out. This basically means that the individual should talk to somebody about the nightmare or simply write everything down. This can act as a rather cathartic exercise for that individual and will make sure that one has the necessary support in dealing with that nightmare.
Working on Getting Rid of the Stressors
In many cases, there are different real-life events that tend to make it into our nightmares. These real-life events can act as stressors for us even in our dreams. Hence, it is recommended that one should actively work to get rid of those stressors. For example, if an individual is constantly having nightmares about passing a class or subject then he or she should actively start focusing more on that subject. This would make sure that the individual is able to feel more comfortable and confident about his or her abilities in dealing with that class.
Another great method that one can practice to avoid nightmares is to simply distract oneself. According to various studies, it has been found out that people who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder were better able to deal with their condition and avoid getting nightmares when they played video games or actively engaged in activities that took their mind off of the traumatic events. This might seem rather inconsequential but this can actually help the student in the long run.
Getting Professional Help
Sometimes dealing with nightmares or bad dreams can be too much for an individual. And in those cases, no matter what the individual tries it might not just be enough. This is why in those cases it is important for those individuals to seek professional medical help. This would ensure that the individual is able to deal with his or her condition in a positive and progressive manner.