Is there a bad dream that just keeps coming back and haunting you- a recurring nightmare that you fear you might relive when you go to sleep?
Some people are scared to lay their head down on the pillow at night because of the kinds of dreams they have. Their nightmares cause them anxiety and tension before bed, making it hard to fall asleep. Of course, waking from a nightmare can cause palpitations, sweating, uneasiness, and difficulty in going back to sleep. Recurring nightmares can make it hard for someone to get the rest they need.
How to get rid of recurring nightmares? In many cases, this isn’t a problem you have to live with. There are some very helpful things you can try to put a stop to the nightmares that keep coming back and bothering you.
A Proper Sleep Schedule
Nightmares can sometimes be caused by chemical or emotional imbalances in the body. The stress, anxiety, and unwellness that these imbalances can cause may lead to recurring nightmares.
If you create a sleep schedule for yourself and go to bed around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning, you may be able to eliminate recurring nightmares. That regularity of a sleep schedule can do wonders for your emotions and your hormones. It can help to balance out your body and return many of the functions to a sense of normality.
A regular sleep schedule helps to calm your nerves and prepare your brain and body for sleep at a specific time. Your mind won’t be caught off guard by when you go to bed, so you’re more likely to be relaxed when you go to sleep and not feel like you’re struggling to fall asleep.
It also helps you to be more rested each day, which reduces stress and anxiety. It makes you feel better during the day, and all of those benefits can help to reduce the occurrence of nightmares.
Eliminate Stress Causing Substances
Some of the things we put into our bodies can cause us to experience nightmares. They can increase our blood pressure or heart rate and can elevate our anxiety levels. How to get rid of severe recurring nightmares? Try to reduce or eliminate some of the following substances from your diet and your lifestyle:
- recreational drugs
- energy drinks
Keep in mind if you are trying to quit using alcohol, cigarettes, or hard drugs, the withdrawal symptoms may include recurring nightmares. Until these substances get out of your system, you may suffer from nightmares as you try to quit.
Be Careful What You Watch
The media you are absorbing can be causing nightmares. If you watch horror movies, listen to angry music, or read unsettling books, all of these can have an effect on your mind. They can create fears that may be subconscious ones which may manifest as nightmares.
This is especially likely to happen in someone who doesn’t usually spend time with horror movies or scary books period dipping their toes into those genres can cause nightmares, and it can be helpful to abstain.
Pay attention to what your nightmares are about and consider if cutting back or eliminating certain kinds of media might help. It may be your partner or family member who is watching scary things and that could be affecting you, you may want to have a talk with them about the influence they are having on your sleep and the nightmares they’re causing.
Reduce Electronic Stimulation
Nightmares can sometimes be caused by an over stimulated brain. Your brain may be trying to process what you’ve been watching on your screen right before bed. If your brain is unusually stimulated, it may produce nightmares on a regular basis.
What many people have found to help in dealing with recurring nightmares is to turn off screens 30 minutes to an hour before bed each day. This helps to settle their mind and allows it to relax, reducing mental stimulation and potentially causing fewer nightmares. Even if you’re not watching something scary on your phone, the simple stimulation of spending time watching the screen before bed can be enough to cause recurring nightmares.
Check for Medical Issues
Not every cause of recurring nightmares can be corrected by making a lifestyle change period there may be an underlying medical condition that’s causing the recurring nightmares.
Just about any kind of sleeping disorder has the potential to cause recurring bad dreams. Narcolepsy and sleep apnea can affect your breathing or your energy levels. They can cause sleep paralysis or hallucinations. These kinds of medical conditions can keep you from getting enough sleep each night and could be what’s causing those nightmares to keep coming back.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from one of these conditions, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or sleep specialist specifically. There may be medications you can take or changes you can make to your lifestyle or sleep schedule that will help you to reduce the symptoms of these sleep disorders. Many times, treating a sleep disorder can completely eliminate recurring nightmares.
You Could Be Suffering from PTSD
Many people associate PTSD with time spent in the military and the traumatic experiences that can sometimes be a part of military service. However, there are many life experiences that can cause PTSD.
The acronym stands for post traumatic stress disorder, and there are some severe symptoms that are associated with PTSD. Any kind of severe trauma in your past can cause PTSD symptoms, which do include recurring nightmares.
If you have PTSD, what could be causing it? It could be a result of trauma from a car wreck, the death of a family member, a bad relationship, rape, drug trips, abuse, a robbery, and other traumatic experiences. What’s traumatic for one person may not be for another, and even though you may feel very little fear about a past trauma, it could still be causing you recurring nightmares.
Recurring nightmares resulting from PTSD are known as replicative dreams. These recreate the traumatic experience, causing you to relive it over and over again. This can happen while you’re awake or when you’re sleeping, and many people who have experienced trauma often feel like they’re going through it repeatedly each day.
If that’s something that’s happened to you, and there’s trauma in your past that maybe causing recurring nightmares, you should speak to someone about it. Simply talking about the problem and sometimes even facing your fears can help to put an end to recurring nightmares. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of time before the trauma recedes from the brain and the memory is no longer quite so painful.
There are number of treatments may work for the recurring nightmares you suffer from. The best treatment will depend on what is the cause behind the nightmares. Just as there are many reasons that someone may suffer from a recurring nightmare, there are many treatments available to help with the problem.
Because of the effect this kind of sleep problems can have in your quality of life, it is important that you try to make changes and get help to deal with it. You don’t have to continue to live with recurring nightmares and fear going to sleep.