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How to Stop Bad Dreams in Sleep


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Dreaming while you sleep is something most people would consider to be a good thing, but to others, is something they dread. If you have frightening dreams, you may be looking for how to avoid dreaming. Maybe your dreams aren’t nightmares but are unpleasant to you just the same. Maybe your dreams are just very weird and unsettling, and you prefer not to have them.

In any of these cases, you may be wondering how to avoid dreams and sleep. Is there even a way to stop dreaming? No matter what you do, you probably will have dreams at some point, but there are definitely some steps you can take to minimize the number of dreams you have, make your dreams more peaceful, or make sure you go through a night without dreaming.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few methods that helped me avoid dreams when I want to get a good night’s rest or how to avoid bad dreams in sleep. I’ve learned how to control my nightmares and make sure I don’t have them just by following a few simple guidelines before, during, and after sleep. Let’s look at those three times in your sleep schedule and the kind of methods you can use to avoid dreams or at least make them more pleasant and manageable.

What to Do Before You Go to Sleep

The most important time in your sleep schedule to do anything that helps to avoid dreaming is shortly before you go to bed. It’s at this time that your mind is actually processing your day and preparing for dreams, so it makes sense that if you want to avoid dreams, this is when you need to take action.

To keep from dreaming and certainly to avoid bad dreams, you want to be careful about what you watch before bed. Anything exciting, stimulating, frightening, or emotional may cause you to dream when you sleep. It’s better to watch something or listen to something that’s relaxing, if you’re going to engage with any media all before you go to bed.

You should also be careful about what you do throughout the day that could cause over excitement, anxiety, and fears. If you watch frightening movies, if you get emotionally involved with a television show, or you read disturbing news, all of these can cause you to have dreams. Anything that creates an extreme emotional response in you is likely to cause dreaming. Many dreams are created by the stimuli of our days, so controlling some of those stimuli can help you to avoid dreams.

Another thing that helps is to avoid caffeine or spicy and acidic foods before you go to bed. These can upset your stomach, keep you awake, or cause other issues that can make it difficult to get restful sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping restfully, that could lead to a dream.

So, if you want to avoid dreams, you should make sure you’re able to sleep peacefully. To do that, you should cut out any sounds or lights in the room before you go to sleep. You should also make sure the temperature is comfortable for you so you won’t toss and turn in your sleep.

If I’m trying to avoid having dreams, I may unwind just before bed. I do this by having something hot to drink before bed, like tea. Or I may stretch for a few minutes, not exerting myself but getting my muscles to relax and relieving tension. Another way to unwind is to close your eyes and listen to some calming music or sounds. Some people choose nature sounds or something else that is soothing. You may want to look through family photos, read a book, or do something else that soothes your mind and calms your nerves.

What to Do During Sleep

Something I’ve read that is suggested to do during your sleep cycle is to wake yourself up partway through sleep period dreams happen during deep sleep, and if you really want to avoid dreams, you’ll try to avoid the deep sleep part of the cycle.

Now, that can mean that you’re not getting very restful sleep. You actually need deep sleep if you’re going to wake up refreshed and well rested. If you’re missing out on deep sleep, you’ll probably be tired the next day and feel like you need to go back to bed. However, you may be able to avoid dreaming by avoiding deep sleep.

How do you do this? You can set an alarm clock for some time during the night to wake you up out of deep sleep. You may want to do this a few times if you’re really serious about avoiding dreams. I don’t recommend this method can use on a regular basis, but if you’re afraid of having frightening dreams or concerned about the dreams that may come to you after something traumatic, then setting a few alarms during the night can help you avoid dreaming.

What to Do When You Wake Up

Something that has proven to be quite helpful in avoiding dreams in the future is too not dwell on the ones I’ve had. I find that if I spend a lot of time trying to remember a dream I had, I’m more likely to have that dream again. It sticks in my mind and comes back to me, and perhaps my mind just wants to explore that dream more.

So, my advice is to not spend much time thinking about any dreams that you have. Just let them go and fade away, and I think you’ll be less likely to have them. In my research, I found that other people have had similar experiences by simply ignoring their dreams.

It’s those dreams you really pay attention to or maybe even write down in a dream journal that you tend to have over and over again. Those are the ones that stick with you, so minimizing your dreams and not thinking much about them may help you not have them as often.

The final bit of the device I want to share with you is to try to get onto a regular sleep schedule. A lot of times, dreams that are unsettling or frightening will be caused by an erratic sleep schedule. If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule or you sleep at a time that you’re not used to, that can really mess with your brain waves. It can interfere with your circadian rhythm, causing dreams that are disturbing or even night terrors.

You can do the research for yourself on this and see what sleep experts recommend. One of the best things you can do for any sleep problems or scary dreams is to simply have a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at a set time and wake up at a set time as often as possible. This won’t just help you sleep better and wake up more refreshed, but it should also help you have better control over your dreams. You should be less likely to have frightening dreams then.

Are your dreams bothering you? If you feel like you’re having dreams too often, you don’t like your dreams, or your dreams are scary, you can try some of the methods I’d suggested above. If bad dreams persist, though, and these methods don’t work for you, you may want to contact a sleep specialist for help.