Scary sweaty dreams do not have to interrupt your sleep any longer. Beat scary dreams with these great tips on how to stop nightmares for better, comfy, and uninterrupted sleep. Did you know that your personality may be the cause of your nightmares? Get insights on how to deal with, and prevent nightmares.
You already know what nightmares are if you are reading this. There are so many people who suffer from nightmares and they don’t know what to do to get rid of them. Don’t worry; we have great tips on how to stop nightmares that are sure to help you out.
Causes of nightmares
Nightmares are more common in children than in adults. At least one out of every two adults experiences a nightmare on occasion. There are a number of things that can be causing your nightmares that you may not even be aware of.
The following are some of the factors that can cause nightmares in adults:
- Having a late-night snack
Having a snack very late in the night can cause an increase in metabolism and signal the brain to become active. This can cause you to keep waking up during the night and cause increased heart rate.
- Taking specific drugs
When you take drugs which act on the chemicals in the brain they can cause you to have nightmares. These drugs include antidepressants, some blood pressure medication, and narcotics.
- Withdrawal from drugs
The process of withdrawal from narcotics as well as some medication can cause you to get nightmares. This may include withdrawal from tranquilizers and alcohol. It is important that you contact your doctor if you start having frequent nightmares when you stop taking some specific medication.
- Sleep deprivation
If you don’t get enough sleep or you choose to go for a few days without sleep you may get nightmares. This is not a proven cause but it is considered one factor that contributes to this condition.
If you are an adult with personality traits such as emotional estrangement, distrustfulness, and alienation, you may suffer from nightmares. Ernest Hartmann, an established dream researcher, suggested that those people who have a thinner personality boundary and exceptionally high creativity might be more perceptible to experiencing nightmares.
- Traumatic experiences
If you have had a traumatic experience it may cause you to get nightmares. The nightmares may be the reliving of the exact experience or events that are related to it. This is one of the causes of chronic nightmares.
It is common to find that if you are experiencing physical pain it may also manifest in your dreams. If the pain is too severe, it may cause you to experience a nightmare which will make you wake abruptly from sleep.
- Psychological disorders
There are a number of psychological triggers that can cause adults to experience nightmares. Such conditions may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
- Sleep disorders
There are some sleep disorders that can cause nightmares in adults. These include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. If your nightmares are chronic then they may be a sleep disorder.
Health effects of nightmares
There are a number of health effects that can be caused by frequent nightmares. Those people who suffer from depression and anxiety are the ones who are most likely to suffer from psychological distress from experiencing nightmares.
- For a while now, nightmares have been associated with suicide. It is very important that you consult a professional if you are having frequent nightmares as they have a direct effect on the quality of life.
- Nightmares can cause sleep deprivation which also causes a number of different medical problems. The conditions may include the following obesity, heart disease, and depression.
- Since nightmares may be the sign of an underlying sleep disorder such as apnea and PTSD, there may be a number of negative health and physical effects that may be caused by the underlying problems.
How to avoid getting nightmares
Most times our dreams will incorporate some aspects of the activities we undertake while awake. This can either be a literal or abstract representation of your day activities. These dreams may occur between one to seven days from the occurrence of the stressful situation.
The following are some of the great tips on how to stop nightmares:
- Good hygiene when sleeping
It is very important to ensure that your sleep environment is properly prepared. You should check to ensure that both your sleeping habits and sleep environment are ideal enough to give you some quality sleep.
You can achieve this by ensuring that the beddings are clean and smelling fresh. You can even choose to spray on some sweet but mild fragrance on your pillow and mattress to create a calming vibe.
You should also make sure that the pillow you choose is soft and it’s comfortable enough for your neck. This will help greatly in ensuring that you rest properly and help you to reach the deep sleep phase faster.
You should also make sure that you get a sleeping routine that you follow daily. This will go a long way in increasing the quality of your sleep.
- Play some calming video games before bed
A study on the former American and Canadian male soldiers with PTSD showed that most of the PTSD patients who played video games before bed ended up having less frightening dreams. This only works on males as those women suffering from nightmares and who play games before bed tend to have a hard time getting rid of nightmares.
- Talk or write it out
It is important to share the traumatic experience you had with a professional. Talking about the bad dreams you are having can help you to get a clearer perspective of what might be causing them. This may go a long way in eradicating the problem from the source.
You can choose to write the dream down in a journal if you don’t want to talk to anyone about it. There is a very effective therapy called Image Rehearsal Therapy which involves the recalling of a nightmare and then writing down a new version of the dream which is more positive. You are then required to rehears the positive version of the dream until it replaces the nightmare.
- Don’t eat immediately before bed
As we already established above, eating before bed can sometimes cause you to have nightmares. This is because there may be indigestion when you eat before falling asleep which can also affect metabolism and cause your brain to become active.
There are some dishes that are believed to cause nightmares such as sugary snacks and spicy foods before bed.
- Get professional help if needed
If your nightmares recur or they are chronic, then it’s advisable to seek out a professional. As we said earlier, nightmares can cause a number of health and mental problems if they are left unchecked. Nightmares can even affect your day to day life.
You can choose to visit a psychiatrist to help you get to the root of the problem so you can deal with it once and for all. This can help you get rid of the nightmares once and for all or you could be given medication to help deal with the problem.
I hope that these tips on how to stop nightmares have given you deeper insights to understanding the causes of nightmares and how to circumvent them for peaceful nights. Ensure that you check on the contributing factors to your nightmares and avoid them as much as possible.