Almost everyone has nightmares from time to time but if your bad dreams are frequent, repetitive or distressing, you can find yourself feeling just as unhappy when you’re awake as you are when you’re asleep. Reassuringly, if your nightmares are getting you down, there are plenty of ways to keep bad dreams to a minimum and give yourself a good night’s sleep. Here are our top tips for banishing nightmares for good:
Tackle stress and anxiety
Bad dreams are often a result of stress and anxiety in our day to day lives. If your nightmares are particularly troubling, this can worsen your mental health while you’re awake and make you dread going to bed each night. It’s a vicious cycle!
By tackling your stress and anxiety head-on, you may be able to improve your dreams and put an end to the cycle of unhappiness. Here are a few spiritual, physical and psychological tricks to try:
Spiritual – Introduce stress-busting healing crystals to your bedroom such as Amethyst, Citrine, and Clear Quartz. Consider wearing a Rose Quartz necklace daily for protective and soothing vibes.
Physical – Don’t underestimate the power of yoga and pilates. These fantastic workouts are great for soothing your mind and body.
Psychological – Keep a diary and write down your thoughts, feelings and experiences at the end of each day. This can be a great opportunity to reflect on the day and make fun plans for the days ahead. By adopting this relaxing ritual, you may find yourself feeling calmer and more positive when you go to sleep.
Don’t go to sleep angry
As a child you were probably told to never go to bed after an argument and this is the case long into adulthood. If you’ve had a row with someone, try to make amends before you go to sleep. If the discussion needs to be continued, calmly agreeing to discuss the matter further once you’ve both had time to rest and end things on a positive and caring note. Not only can going to bed angry give you nightmares, it can also ruin relationships over time and lead to regrets.
Make your time awake as positive as possible
The time you spend awake can often influence how you sleep. Try to fill your day with as many enjoyable activities as possible, from taking a walk in the sunshine to going to the cinema with a friend. When you’re at work, make the most of your lunch break by reading a book, listening to a podcast, or sitting outside to eat your sandwiches.
Avoid watching movies and TV shows that are stressful or scary. Filled with arguments and tears, even reality TV shows can be enough to give people nightmares!
Get into a proper bedtime routine
Once you’ve eaten dinner each evening, take a relaxing bubble bath and surround yourself with scented candles. Once you’re done, have a miniature pampering session and cover yourself in body butter before putting on a pair of pyjamas. Instead of watching TV or using technology, climb into bed with a good book. By getting into a routine before bed, you’re likely to feel more relaxed and content when you go to sleep and your chances of having nightmares could decrease.
Don’t forget to avoid common sleep disrupters such as caffeine, alcohol, or food right before bed.
Spend time outdoors
Spending time outdoors can be a great way of clearing your mind and minimising the likelihood of nightmares. Surrounded by TVs, computers and smartphones, many of us spend far too much time using technology than our bodies were built for. Humans require sunshine, nature and fresh air to thrive. A lack of these things can make us feel unhappy, anxious and irritable.
Why not take the time you spend outdoors with exercise? Go for a run around the park, enjoy a leisurely bike ride, or join a fitness boot camp or outdoor yoga class. Regular exercise will give you a more positive outlook on life and improve your quality of sleep.
Discuss your nightmares with your friends
Don’t be afraid to discuss your dreams and nightmares with friends and family members. If a number of friends express concern about their sleep quality, you could form a ‘Dream Club’ where you get together on a regular basis and discuss your dreams. By talking through your dreams with one another, you may be able to identify the source of your nightmares and figure out what’s causing them. You may be surprised to learn that some bad dreams have positive meanings.