Almost every person will have nightmares at various points in their lives. But these bad and often terrifying dreams can take a toll on mental health if they’re experienced regularly.
Emotional trauma can cause nightmares. But certain medical issues, lifestyle, or even food choices could also lead to it.
If you’re having nightmares, you don’t have to continue to suffer while you sleep. Here are a few things that you can do to get rid of your nightmares.
Avoid Scary Subjects Before Bedtime
Before you go to bed, it’s best to avoid watching or reading anything scary so that you won’t continue to think about the frightening thoughts as you sleep.
Discussing subjects that cause you fear or anxiety should also be avoided before bedtime.
As Sleep Advisor explains, the brain often exaggerates a lot of what you see. As a result, it can make things that you saw, read, or discussed even scarier in your thoughts. If you happen to encounter something scary before bedtime, it’s best to think of a peaceful setting as you drift off to sleep to try to put the mind into a calmer state.
Learn About the Meanings of Dreams
Your subconscious mind might be trying to tell you something by showing you specific symbolism in your dreams. These symbolisms may be frightening for you. However, addressing certain issues that are causing them to appear in your dreams may help you avoid future nightmares about them.
For example, Verywell Mind notes that a dream about falling could mean that you’re facing fear or uncertainty in your real life. An excellent way to handle this is by making some positive changes in your life.
Dreams about dying often mean a fear of the unknown. Being chased in a nightmare could signify that you’re trying to avoid something in your daily life.
Don’t Eat Certain Foods
If you’re hungry shortly before bedtime, you’ll want to refrain from eating certain foods that are often linked to having nightmares. Spicy and sugary foods can cause digestion problems that sometimes lead to bad dreams.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, can also disrupt your sweet dreams. According to The Daily Meal, even milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products may be contributing to your nightmares.
Practice Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming involves conscious thinking while sleeping. It can help you control your dreams better and may even be enough to keep your nightmares at bay.
Healthline suggests practicing techniques like mnemonic induction and wake-initiated lucid dreaming to get better control over your dreams.
If you continue to experience nightmares, Mental Health Daily states that it’s important to bring your mind into a conscious state of thought as soon as possible after waking up. This way, you won’t continue to focus on the bad thoughts that were associated with the nightmare.
Avoid Taking Certain Medications
If possible, you should not take certain medications that are known to cause nightmares in some people. GoodRx states that metoprolol, atenolol, and other similar beta blocker blood pressure medicines can contribute to having nightmares.
Paroxetine is among the leading selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications that’s known to cause nightmares. Prednisone and methylprednisolone steroids along with Statins are some medications that you should be leery of taking if you’re prone to nightmares. However, it’s important to consult with your doctor before you stop taking any medications.
Nightmares don’t have to be a regular part of your life. Learning the exact causes of your nightmares and taking the right course of action can help put an end to your bad dreams.