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Effective Ways to Deal with Bad Dreams and Nightmares: Win the Battle for Better Sleep

Updated on April 14, 2012

By knowing the effective ways to deal with bad dreams and nightmares, you can surely win the battle for better sleep. It is a well-known fact that nightmares have big and bad effects not only on our sleep but also on our state of mind. On this note, it is only reasonable to solve the problem of bad dreams especially if they start to occur more frequently. You can do so by consulting a physician and arming yourself with knowledge.

Nightmares are dreams that are vivid and intense, involving strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and aggression. Bad dreams usually occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM). This is the phase of the sleep when all dreams take place. During these moments, the subconscious mind becomes active and processes the events that happened throughout the day or occurrences from a very recent past. Nightmares can match the qualities of a movie, making it easy to remember.

The first on our list of effective ways to deal with bad dreams and nightmares is preventing stress. Medical practitioners attribute bad dreams in adults to stress. Reducing stress in your everyday life can significantly contribute to reducing the frequency of bad dreams. If you successfully avoided stress and bad dreams subsided, stress is most likely the cause of your nightmares.

Nightmares can result from lack of sleep too. Getting good quality sleep every night will greatly help you win the battle against bad dreams.

Talking about your nightmares to your family or friends is helpful too. They might have a clue as to what may have caused your recurring bad dreams. Talking about bad dreams can greatly help children as well. If your child had a bad dream, you may tell him or her that it is not real.
Lucid dreaming or controlling your dreams is an effective way to deal with nightmares.

Controlling your dream may seem tricky but it can be done through consistent practice. The method is as simple as acknowledging that you are dreaming while you are in the dream. This way, your mind grabs the power to make your nightmare yield to your liking. Lucid dreaming can turn a bad dream into a happy one.

If the nightmares are still recurrent, you need to consult a sleep specialist. No one can diagnose your condition better than an expert. This time you will be advised to take medication or undergo treatment. Some people prefer alternative methods such as hypnotherapy. Long ago, medical experts looked down on this approach. But since hypnotherapy has been reported to yield positive results, it has already received widespread recognition.

Having nightmares is an indication that there are issues that you must deal with. Whatever these issues are, it is important to take immediate action once bad dreams begin to deprive you of good sleep. Keep in mind that lack of sleep can lead to more serious problems. So before things go from bad to worse, employ the effective ways to deal with bad dreams and nightmares.

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    • janeiris profile image
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      janeiris 5 years ago

      @ rjbatty Thank you for your comment! A suggestion that may be very useful in your condition: Take a vacation (7+ days)! Tell me if it works ! (I recommend this because my boyfriend has this problem and after a vacation (at the mountain) he was better).

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 5 years ago from Irvine

      I used to have some success with lucid dreaming, but now they are rare. I'm currently under the care of a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.

      I have recurrent dreams of losing track of my car, losing track of where I live, and losing track of what city I'm stuck in. I have these long, grueling, enormous journeys in attempt to find my homestead.

      Sometimes I cross limitless, unknown city streets that get interwoven into buildings/malls/amusement parks that seem to have no outlet.

      Sometimes in my travels I'm disheartened to discover I'm on the wrong path when I'm confronted with a chasm, a canyon or even an ocean.

      Sometimes in my city-scape dreams I'm confronted with all sorts of odd looking human beings -- some taking on an animal-like appearance. Others are intermittently gigantic. All are intimidating and threatening.

      Sometimes I find myself in a job that is totally alien to me, and all I can think about is getting out -- and that may begin an epic length quest to find an exit.

      I've read most of the works of Carl Jung, so I definitely have a good idea what these dreams are pointing toward. Nonetheless, I am quite sure that unless I'm able to change certain difficulties in my conscious life, I'm bound to have these dreams recurring with a maddening regularity.