Learn how to stop recurring nightmares in adults!
Nightmares are terrifyingly realistic dreams that often jars you awake in the middle of the night, and often, they leave you so anxious and scared that you cannot fall asleep again. Now, having nightmares every once in a while is normal, but if you find yourself waking up from the same dream night after night then there might be an underlying problem or two that needs your immediate attention. You should find ways to stop your recurring nightmares.
Long story short. Here are 8 ways you can stop recurring nightmares:
- Check your medication
- Avoid eating before going to bed
- Reduce stress
- Improve your sleep
- Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a “happy place”
- Think happy thoughts
- Talk to your friends or loved ones about your dreams
- Take control of your dreams
How To Stop Recurring Nightmares In Adults
Although nightmares are often spontaneous, there are also a wide variety of factors that might have caused them, and none of them are paranormal in nature. Don’t overthink too much about why you are suffering from recurring nightmares, odds are that there is a simple scientific explanation for it. For instance, some anti-depressants and heart medications often cause recurring nightmares in adults. There are also certain diseases and ailments that cause people to have night terrors, which includes, but are not limited to, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Let’s say that you have already consulted your doctor, and you find out that you don’t have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. This means there are other factors at play that cause your recurring nightmares. Here are some of the proven methods that you can try to prevent or/and stop recurring nightmares – so you can finally have a good night’s sleep.
1. Check your medication
If you are taking medication for PTSD or other similar mental disorders then they might be the culprit. Certain prescription drugs, like Prasozin, are known to have some side-effects, one of which is nightmares in adults. The best course of action is to consult with your doctor and ask if he could prescribe a different brand or kind of medication.
2. Avoid eating before going to bed
If you’re fond of midnight snacking then that might be the reason for your nightmares. A full stomach will trigger your metabolism to go on overdrive, and this causes your brain to become more active as well. Instead of eating, you can just drink a glass of milk before bedtime; this fills up your stomach, thus giving you a sensation of being full. However, it will not take as much energy to metabolize milk as it would when you eat solid food, so your body can relax much sooner.
3. Reduce stress
Stress causes your mind to go on overdrive. Even if you do fall asleep because your physical body is exhausted, your mind will continue to wander and worry about the things that stressed you out in the first place. If you work in a high-stress environment, you need to take some time after you come home to just sit and meditate. Practicing a bit of mindfulness meditation will not only calm your mind, it might also help clear your mind enough so you can think of solutions to your problems. Going to bed without any mental baggage will prevent nightmares from coming back.
Here is a great relaxation exercise you can do before bed to reduce stress and hopefully stop recurring nightmares as well.
Video: The evening exercise for relaxing
4. Improve your sleep
There are plenty of things that you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep. First, you can make sure that your bedroom encourages relaxation, meaning there is no clutter, everything is in order and clean, and there are nothing that reminds you of the things that cause you stress. Another thing that you can do is reduce your caffeine intake, and if you smoke, consider cutting back, or better yet quit the habit. Caffeine and nicotine can negatively affect your sleeping patterns, and they might be the reasons why you are experiencing nightmares.
Another way that you can stop recurring nightmares, is to encourage good dreams. Here are some tips on how you can encourage your mind to have pleasant dreams every night.
5. Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a “happy place”
Your “happy place” can be anywhere you like, as long as you enjoy being there. For instance, the moment you lie in bed and shut your eyes, imagine that you are lying on a white sand beach in the tropics; the sun is bright, but it’s not too hot, and you have your favorite cocktail in your hand.
6. Think happy thoughts
Besides thinking of a happy place, you can also imagine yourself doing the things that you love, regardless if it is impossible or not. You can imagine yourself as an invincible superhero who helps everyone in need, or you can imagine yourself promoted to one of the top positions in your company. You can think of anything that you want, just as long as they make you smile.
7. Talk to your friends or loved ones about your dreams
Ask your best friend to hang out and while you’re there, segue your recurring nightmares into the conversation. Oftentimes, you just need a set of fresh eyes to find out what’s causing your nightmares, and talking to someone else might be the best way for you to get an outsider’s perspective on things. On the other hand, even just talking about your problems and venting out your feelings should be enough to ease your mind and stop the nightmares from coming back. Either way, there are no downsides to talking to another person about your nightmares, so you might as well just do it.
8. Take control of your dreams
The next time you have a nightmare, try your best to realize that you are just having a bad dream, and that you are in control of what happens in your own mind. Once you are aware that you are just dreaming, you can stop your nightmare dead in its tracks. This skill does not come easy to all; some can grasp it immediately, and some will take a bit more time before they get the hang of it. Eventually though, you will learn how to regain control of your dreams.
There are no hidden meanings behind your nightmares, other than they might be your mind’s way of envisioning your problems that are causing you stress. Recurring nightmares are all in your mind, and you can do something about them if you want to.