If frequent bad dreams or nightmares prevent you from obtaining your seven to eight hours each night, you might want to reevaluate how you approach bedtime. It can be embarrassing to admit you suffer from nightmares, but what you probably don’t know is that many American adults do. Here are some tips to decrease your stress levels before calling it a night, which should help prevent some of these intrusive and upsetting dreams.
Eat a small snack before bed.
It might sound crazy, but low blood sugars can contribute to bad dreams. Though many diets suggest eliminating any food intake before bed, eating a small snack before you hit the sheets can help ward off bad dreams. Reach for a small serving of protein, like eggs, meat, or cheese, before bed. Avoid carb-heavy snacks, which could exacerbate the problem.
Skip an evening drink.
If you like to indulge in a nightcap before bed, you might want to reconsider. Though alcoholic drinks can make you sleepy, they can also lead to nightmares. Go for a soothing cup of tea or decaffeinated coffee instead. You can also try a 10-minute meditation to quiet your mind.
Schedule “worry time.”
Nightmares are triggered by stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’ve been stressed out, find a way to express those fears and worries healthily. Try scheduling “worry time,” which is a block of time dedicated to experiencing those negative thoughts. Spend 20 minutes journaling your thoughts or reflecting on them, and you might find that your nightmares subside.
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