Just about every one of us has experienced some form of nightmare in their life. It’s never enjoyable to fall asleep after a long day of stress and work, only to be chased by a psycho killer in your dreams. There are many contributing factors that can influence our dreams. Nightmares can be very common with children and individuals who experienced a traumatic event. The severity and frequency of nightmares can vary from person to person.

Set Yourself Up For Sweet Dreams

You might have discovered that sometimes if you bumped into a friend at the grocery store, the same friend appears in your dreams later on. Or, if you were watching a movie set in Tokyo, Japan your dreams take place in a similar setting. Sometimes our daily activities and things we were thinking about right before bed can seemingly slip from our consciousness into our unconsciousness. Though this phenomenon is often unintentional, you can use it to your advantage to try and influence positive dreams.

Avoid watching scary movies right before bed, switch up your night time routine and fill it with good vibes, positivity, and happy thoughts. Think about things that you would want to dream about. It might also be helpful to listen to soothing music, nature sounds, or even white noise to drown out any loud noises or surprises that might make its way into your dream. For example, thunder or a slamming door might turn into a gunshot or Godzilla stomping around in your dreams.

Change Your Dream

If to no avail, you still had a bad dream, another technique is to wake up and change your dream. Once you wake yourself up, start thinking about an alternative ending. Is Freddy Krueger cornering you about to cut you with his talons? No worries, wake up and imagine Superman flying in and throwing that monster to outer space, then later taking you out to brunch. Once you give your dream some guidance, it can then grown and blossom into something much more enjoyable.

PTSD Nightmares

A common symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is nightmares. Those who experienced a traumatic event such as an attack, car accident, assault, abuse, or witnessed something horrific, might relive the trauma in their dreams. Recurring nightmares and reliving the incident while sleeping can be distressing and cause even greater anxiety in fear of going to sleep.

Why Seek Help

If nightmares are persistent, affecting your waking hours, or if you feel anxious to go to bed in fear of having a nightmare– seek professional help. The nightmare may be a reflection of something unresolved in your waking life. Lack of proper sleep will only magnify and worsen the issues that you may be struggling with. A mental health professional can assist you in finding peace. You might also consider consulting with a physician regarding medication that can assist with sleep and even nightmares.