5 expert-approved ways you can avoid bad dreams




You wake up with a jerk. Your heart is racing. Your mind is filled with vivid, disturbing images as you try to make sense of your immediate surroundings. Slowly, you open your eyes and remind yourself that it was just a bad dream. You want to get out of the bed and get yourself a glass of water, but dreadful images keep replaying in your head. You just had a terrible dream and now you can’t go back to sleep.


How can you avoid bad dreams?

Nightmares not only disturb our sleep cycle (and wreak havoc on the quality of sleep we get), they also rattle us completely --especially if you have had one just before waking up. Things can get even worse if bad dreams frequently wake you up at night, heavily messing with your sleep cycle and cause you major distress, even during the day time. So, is there any way to actually ‘turn off’ these bad dreams? We reached out to Dr Niharika Yadav, who conducted a webinar on ‘Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams’ to demystify the world of nightmares and help us combat the same.

The importance of sleep hygiene in battling vivid nightmares

It should be noted that while nightmares are part and parcel of human experience, if you get haunted by vivid nightmares which leave you to feel drained, anxious and exhausted almost every other day, you may need to pay special attention to your sleeping habits.

Why you need to sleep well to prevent bad dreams

According to Dr Niharika Yadav, most of us need to work on our ‘sleep hygiene’ (or habits that ensure that you have good night’s sleep) to battle bad dreams and keep them at bay. Sleep deprivation and changes in your schedule that lead to irregular sleeping hours can cause disturbing nightmares.

If you have not been sleeping well, it becomes a vicious circle as nightmares keep you from having a good night's sleep as well. She listed down five habits which can improve your sleep hygiene and help you put a pause on bad dreams.

01/ ​Stay away from your smartphone at least an hour before bedtime

Yes, we all know about the dreaded blue light and how it wreaks havoc on our sleep cycle, but how many of us actually follow through this advice? The next time you are disturbed by bad dreams, make it a point to stay away from gadgets and screens after 10 pm or at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from your digital devices actually messes up with the production of melatonin-- a hormone that regulates your sleep.

02/ ​Take a warm bath before bedtime

When you take a warm bath at least 90 minutes before your bedtime, it leads to a drop in your core body temperature and signals your body that it is time for bed. Yes, bathing one to two hours earlier than your bedtime stimulates the body’s thermoregulation system and the core temperature goes down. This leads to an increase in the production of melatonin which helps you sleep well.

03/ ​No caffeine during the evening

If you are battling bad dreams, it is important that you avoid that steaming hot cup of coffee or tea after 2 pm. Remember, caffeine is a stimulant and it can cause sleep distress by increasing the adrenaline production. As a result, your brain may become more active as you hit the sheets and lead to bad dreams.

04/ ​Calm your mind before you go to bed

We process so many different emotions throughout the length of the day and not all of them are positive. When you directly go to bed before putting these nagging thoughts aside or even preparing your body for bedtime, you may end up dreaming about them.

Hence, it is advisable to develop a nighttime routine which will help your mind and body to calm down and prepare to hit the sheets. You can listen to calming music, switch off the lights, do some meditation, light scented candles or even read a book. You may also take to journaling if it calms you down and gives you peace.

05/ ​Follow a set sleeping schedule

It is an advice as old as time, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Pick a bedtime and wake-up time as per your routine and make sure you stick to it, even on the weekends. When you set a fixed wake-up time and sleep time, your body slowly gets accustomed to a healthy sleep routine.



from LifeStyle
5 expert-approved ways you can avoid bad dreams 5 expert-approved ways you can avoid bad dreams Reviewed by streakoggi on August 09, 2020 Rating: 5
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