5 Ways to Get Rid of Bad Dreams

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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Do bad dreams keep haunting you every night? If yes, you definitely have to make some changes to your lifestyle. Sound sleep is crucial for a healthy body and mind. How good you sleep decides the quality of your life. Both oversleeping and lack of sleep affect your daily life. What you do in a day, your mental health, and some medications you take greatly impact your sleep and dreams. If you happen to experience frequent nightmares that make you wake up in a terrifying state in the middle of your sleep with a feeling of panic, it negatively impacts your mental and emotional state. The following are the top five ways you can get rid of them.

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1. Relieve Stress

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Daily life stress and anxiety play a major role in the development of bad dreams. While you sleep, your body is in a relaxed state, but your brain gets active and keeps on analyzing or sorting out things you underwent the whole day. It is not clear why stress causes bad dreams, but it is associated with nightmares. You can manage stress by practicing mindfulness. Take some time out of your busy schedule, preferably at the end of your day, to practice yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, Tai chi, guided imagery, etc. Consistently doing these undoubtedly makes you sleep like a baby.

2. Minimize Screen Time

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In today’s world, survival without gadgets, especially smartphones, laptops, and televisions, has become nearly impossible. The blue light emitted by these digital screens are known to affect your sleep quality. Whether it is for educational or entertainment purposes or work-related, screen time contributes to your sleep pattern. Reduce your screen time to the possible extent, and if unavoidable, use blue light filters on your screens and glasses.

 
 

3. Create Sleepy Vibes

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Your bedroom environment also decides your dreams. When the vibes surrounding you are not relaxing, it disturbs and disrupts your sleep. Distracted sleep, in turn, results in nightmares and vice versa. Hence, make your sleep place neat and tidy, adjust your room’s temperature that is soothing to the body and mind, keep all electronic gadgets outside your bedroom, stop using them at least two hours before your bedtime, dim lights, and avoid watching scary movies.

4. Treat Sleep Disorders

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If you are depressed or have any other sleep disorders like REM (rapid eye movement) sleep behavior disorder, sleep apnea, etc., do not feel embarrassed to seek a mental health expert’s help. Sleep disorders cause nightmares. Living with such sleep disorders gradually brings in other health complications like persistent fatigue, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart problems.

5. Cut Out Caffeine

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Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes, especially late in the day. These stimulate your brain and increase feelings of stress and anxiety, paving the way to nightmares that disrupt your sleep quality.

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