5 Ways to Avoid Nightmares

July 31, 2012

Sleeping caps off a tiring day and helps our body recharge. We crave for our comfy beds at night, and when we finally lie down, our hope is to wake up fully refreshed and relaxed. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t experience this happy ending because of nightmares.

Why Do We Experience Nightmares?

We experience nightmares because of two main factors, namely: physical and psychological. It’s important that we take note of our physical and psychological well being in our efforts to minimize nightmares!

5 Ways to Avoid Nightmares

1. Observe a proper sleeping position

One physical reason for a nightmare-prone sleep is in the way we lie down. Studies have shown that if we sleep on our back, our air passageway may be obstructed by a muscular tissue at the back of our mouth that is too relaxed to be held up during sleep. Some people manifest this lack of oxygen in their sleep by dreaming of shortness of breath and gasping for air. So consider sleeping on your side or lying face down with your head tilted sideways to ensure clear airways while sleeping.

2. Relax before you sleep

Our body acts in a way that relates to our current physical condition even in our sleep. Stress and discomfort may trigger nightmares so try to relax first before hitting the sack. Some tips include meditating before you sleep, or drinking herbal tea or milk. You can also do mild exercises or stretches to allow blood circulation to further soothe and relax your body before sleeping.

3. Do not eat right before you sleep

This tip is helpful not only for losing weight, but also for getting a good night’s sleep. As we eat, our body becomes active and digests food. Metabolism also increases and our brain becomes active in this state. As a result, our brain may bring forth various data in the form of dreams or if we are unlucky, nightmares! It has been proven that it is ideal for us to eat 2-3 hours before sleeping so that the body will have enough time to digest the food.

4. Avoid watching evening TV news or movies with scary themes

A psychological factor to consider is that our brain will retain fresh information even in our sleep. If we watch a scary movie right before sleeping, chances are our brain will still process the information so our dreams or nightmares may reflect the movies we’ve just watched. Some people can watch horror movies without batting an eyelash, but if you’re not used to horror movies or have an insanely photographic memory of violent and scary scenes, stay clear of horror movies before sleeping!

5. Jot down your nightmares and relate them to your life

This tip is perhaps one of the best ways to avoid nightmares from occurring. Most nightmares are in the form of our worst fears or problems in life that we can’t seem to let go of. So remember your nightmares and focus on their relationships with the things going on with your life. As people say — conquer your fears, live your dreams! Resolve your issues and anxieties to have peace in real life and in your dreams as well.

Observe these 5 tips to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Whatever daunting tasks and terrors the day may bring, take care of your body and mind to ensure that your nights are peaceful and free of nightmares.