If recurring nightmares are affecting your daytime activities, it is time to take control and try out these easy home remedies.
For many dreaming is a therapeutic experience that helps them relook at their problems with fresh perspective. Dreams in fact do serve important purpose in sorting relevant information from the irrelevant. While pleasant and positive dreams often rejuvenate us for day ahead, nightmares do quite the opposite of it. We cannot really stop the occurrence of nightmares and occasional bad dreams shouldn’t bother you much as they may be helping in managing anxiety levels. However, frequent nightmares and the ones that prevent you from falling back to sleep and affect quality of life must be addressed. There may be numerous reasons behind those pesky and frequent nightmares and they could vary from stress, sleep disorders to certain health conditions. If factors like your lifestyle, certain foods that you eat, day time stress, or faulty sleep time routine are making you uncomfortable at night, your nightmares can be taken care of by some home remedies.
Let’s first understand what nightmares are.
What Is A Nightmare And Why Do They Occur
Nightmares are dreams with negative themes that evoke anxiety, sadness or fear in the one seeing them. They are more common in children than adults and if not managed can lead to insomnia, reduced productivity during daytime and poor quality of sleep. They may occur due to improper sleep posture, unhealthy eating habits, stress, underlying health conditions, sleep disorders among other things.
When We Should Worry About Our Nightmares
Nightmares are just like any other dream and in fact scientist have been emphasizing that they are important for our survival. They help sort mind the fears we have buried deep inside and the issues that we have been avoiding but are important. We should worry about nightmares when they occur too frequently because of which we are unable to sleep properly. This could lead to insomnia at some point or the other which in turn may lead to several health problems like obesity, heart disease, depression, hypertension etc. Some of the nightmares can be so vivid that their impact lingers on during the day and hampers our day-time productivity. We also may feel sleepy during the day, experience mood swings and suffer from worsened cognitive function.
Also Read: Help your Child deal with Nightmares
So Here Are The Conditions That Might Be Behind Frequent Nightmares
- Sleep disorders
- Underlying health conditions
- Faulty Bedtime routine
Home Remedies For Preventing Frequent Nightmares
While for diseases and disorders, it is important to consult a specialist, for other triggers like anxiety, stress, and faulty bedtime habits, these home remedies can be effective.
Avoid Spicy Food: Food with lots of spices and those difficult to digest in general affects sleep continuity as the body’s metabolism goes up and has to work extra hard to break down the food. This also increases brain activity and fiddles with REM cycles, increasing the chances of getting nightmares.
Eat Early And Smaller Meals: When you eat late, your body’s sleep cycle is bound to get interrupted as it is also working on digesting the food. When the sleep cycle is interrupted, you are able to remember dreams including nightmares too often. This means the impact of nightmares too will linger on. Eat early and smaller meals to avoid this problem.
Exercise And Relax During The Day: If you feel your increased stress levels are playing havoc with your dream life, you must take control of it. Start your morning with a workout or morning walk and take short breaks during the day to relax. Wrap up your day with full body relaxation.
Resist Temptation Of Binge-watching Scary Movies: As much as you want to unwind and indulge in some late-time binge-watching, it might not be completely in favour of your dream content as it may keep you awake at night and even trigger nightmares.
Visualise A Better Ending: If your scary dream has overpowered your waking life and the strong visuals are increasing your anxiety levels during day time, you may try this trick. Relax your body and calmly go through the entire dream with awareness that it’s just a dream and cannot happen in real. Now give it a better ending. For example, if a monster is chasing you in your dream, you can try to befriend him instead of running away in fear.
Take Control Of Your Dream: One you have visualized a better ending for your dream during day time, you can replicate the experience in a lucid dream. Lucid dreaming happens when you are aware that you are dreaming. In case recurring nightmares, turning lucid could help you take control of your dream. It is advised to do reality checks when your mind becomes aware of dreaming and then you can change the narrative as you like.
Also Read: Easy tips to prevent nightmares in toddlers
Foods That May Induce Nightmares
- Spicy food
Foods For Better Sleep Quality
Nightmares are often reminders that we must take control of your life and not allow stress to overpower our lives. They also address the underlying psychological troubles that we might be not be aware of. However frequent nightmares should not be taken lightly and measures must be taken to avoid them.
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