Nightmares can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s sleep, causing restlessness and waking up frequently throughout the night. The disruptions in sleep that nightmares create can then cause irritability, lethargy, and difficulty concentrating the next day. People with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and grief and loss issues may experience nightmares as a symptom of their mental health issues. If you are tired of experiencing nightmares and would like to learn more about putting an end to these experiences, read on.
One way to begin building insight into the experiences that may be contributing to your nightmares is to notice patterns about them. You can do this by keeping a daily journal about your nightmares. Each time you wake up from a nightmare, write down what you were dreaming about in as much detail as you can remember. Once a week, read over your journal entries and make note of any patterns or themes.
Process Underlying Issues
Once you begin to notice patterns and themes within your nightmares, it is beneficial to begin working with a therapist. Participating in therapy will allow you to begin to resolve underlying issues contributing to your nightmares. Your therapist can help you process unresolved negative experiences that may be coming up in your dreams through your subconscious. Once you begin to process these experiences, you should notice a reduction in your nightmares.
Create a Calm and Comforting Environment
Prevent nightmares by eliminating any stressful, anxiety provoking, or scary stimuli from your environment. Try not to watch scary or action packed TV shows or movies before bed. Also refrain from playing violent video games before you go to sleep. Create a calmer atmosphere by using relaxation techniques such as taking a warm shower, drinking chamomile tea, or using lavender essential oils before bed.
Restful sleep and consistent sleep patterns are key to improving overall mental health. For assistance with addressing your nightmares and getting better sleep, contact The Light Program today to schedule an appointment with an experienced therapist.