Fix Your Nightmare Problem

nightmares bad dreams sleep solution
If you're one of the many people who suffer from nightmares, you know how disruptive they can be to your sleep! Not only do they make it hard to fall asleep in the first place, but even if you manage to drift off, you’ll likely be jolted awake by a nightmare soon after. Nightmares or night terrors are dreams that result in a negative emotional response, such as fear, terror, anxiety, or grief. Some research shows that as many as 8% of adults experience nightmares regularly. For something so common, we sure don’t seem to talk about it much, do we? Well, let’s change that.

Nightmares are more common than you think

Some research studies estimate that about 2%-8% of adults struggle with nightmares. Bad dreams are still more common in children, with estimates as high as 50% for ages 3-6. But evidently, adults aren’t exempt. A variety of factors can trigger nightmares, including, but not limited to, stress, anxiety, medications, and sleep disorders! But worry not; if you're struggling with nightmares regularly, there are some things you can do to try to reduce their frequency or severity.

How nightmares impact adult health

Most of us have occasional nightmares. They are sometimes even good story material to share at parties! But for some, they're a regular occurrence, which can often negatively interfere with their life and work, even causing extreme stress and anxiety. In severe cases, they can also contribute to insomnia! If it wasn’t already obvious, nightmares are not to be taken lightly, especially if they make their presence known often.

What causes nightmares?

Generally, certain people are more susceptible to nightmares than others, especially if their alcohol consumption and sleep cycles are not at a healthy, optimum level. But on a more specific level, anyone can be prone to nightmares depending on simple life changes, such as stressful events at work or school, an upcoming life event like moving to a different city or country or even repressed trauma and stress. Nightmares can easily feed off even the tiniest bit of low energy in your body!

Hack away your nightmares

We know just how disruptive nightmares can be to sleep. A great rule of thumb is to check in with your healthcare professional to identify and rule out any underlying causes that might be pushing you towards bad dreams. But not everyone wants to go to the doctor for issues such as these — so we have some neat tips for you to try and manage your sleep at home!

Keep a dream journal
Recording your dreams in a physical journal or using a dream-tracking app can help you better understand patterns and themes in your nightmares. This can be especially useful in identifying if there are any recurring images and further allow you to ascertain what these symbols mean for what’s happening in your life! It might seem like a lot of effort, but it’ll be well worth it when you realise that your bad dreams are being triggered by an important presentation coming up at work that you are in charge of!

Practice relaxation techniques
Sometimes, we all need to press a pause on our brain and give it some breathing time. Calming techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can, in turn, initiate a reduction in the frequency of nightmares. The best part about this? Inculcating meditative practices in your routine has benefits that last beyond just preventing nightmares. It can even promote a more rounded, healthy brain!

Talk to someone
It’s always great to talk your feelings out, especially when you can’t seem to process them on your own. Don’t push yourself down a lonely hole just because you’re having a rough time! As much as you might want to ignore your feelings, talking about them will help you understand them better. Talking to a therapist or friend can be helpful if your nightmares are frequent and disruptive. If your nightmares appear to be caused by past trauma, receiving clinical help to empower you to face your fears head-on, even in your dreams, might be especially helpful. Remember: it’s okay to ask for help!

Try these home remedies for bad dreams

As with everything, there are some best practices you can initiate if you want to prevent nightmares from ever happening to you — or create a routine where your mental health is ironclad against them!
    • Set a consistent sleep routine! This should provide enough rest during the night so that you don't need to nap in the afternoon or the evening — which can further trigger nightmares.
    • Try to reduce your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, especially in the evening, when these substances can interfere with your sleep.
    • Make sure to work out consistently, but try not to slot your time too close to bedtime. It might just fill you with extra energy and endorphins, which might thwart sleep.
    • You guessed it: if you’re prone to nightmares, watching a scary movie before bed is probably not your best bet! If you must, save those watches for the day or when you’re sleeping with someone close to you. Otherwise, we could recommend a heartwarming rom-com to end the day with!
    • Get some extra help! Try our sleep range, our Magnesium Sleep Support Lotion and Starry Nights Sleep Mist for some added help. 

There’s no need to stress!

    There is no underestimating how overwhelming nightmares can be! They stretch into eternity and have complete hold over us as we’re our unconscious selves, drifting into the deepest depths of our fears and troubles. But this is the most important thing to remember: you always have the power to change the intensity of their occurrences through simple steps like the ones we highlighted above. And if nothing works, remind yourself that the dream will, at some point, come to an end.
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