Dealing with Nightmares: How to have Better Dreams when Sleeping
By: Ana Margarita Olar | Vigorbuddy.com
When we sleep, we go through a transition between two sleep phases. This includes REM (rapid eye movement) and nonREM. These cycles alternate every 90 minutes.
During the REM cycle, we experience the most vivid dreams. And this is where nightmares tend to occur. A nightmare can have the variety of causes including stress, foods or medications. Although we cannot choose our dream, we can do something to have a better dream. Here are some ways to that you can try:
LEARN TO RELAX BEFORE BEDTIME
It has been found out that stress can contribute to nightmares. So, one important thing to achieve better dreams is to relax before you sleep.
ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT SLEEP ROUTINE
To have a good quality sleep, you have to establish a routine which puts you in the mood for sleep. It may be putting on pajamas, listening to soft music, or hugging your ultra-fluffy pillow. The important thing is you have to do it at almost the same time every day. To have better dreams and well-rested sleep, adults need to have 7-8 hours of sleep.
Teenagers may need to have 9 hours of sleep at night. Getting less than this amount of sleep can cause more vivid dreams and a restless sleep.
AVOID SCARY MOVIES AND BOOKS BEFORE BEDTIME
We hear this warning all the time from our moms. Dr. Deirdre Barret, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says something about this. The last thing you are thinking before going to sleep matters.
So the book you are reading and the TV shows your watching has something to do with getting better dreams or a nightmare when you sleep.
LISTEN TO SOFT SOUNDS OR MUSIC
According to Dr. Barret, there’s a narrow window for sounds to get through your brain during sleep. This sound should be low enough so it will not disturb your sleep. But it also needs to be high enough so that your brain can perceive it.
When your brain perceives calm sounds, it will help you to have better dreams rather than racy ones.
SPRITZ YOUR ROOM WITH SWEET SMELL
A study found out that sniffing sweet aroma can lead to positive dreams while smelling foul odors such as sulfur can lead to negative ones. According to J. Catesby Ware, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, “Dreams are sleep protective.” So when you suddenly smell a nice or a foul odor, it can infiltrate your dream rather than wake you up.
Aside from these tips, you can also consider other factors that can have a negative effect on your dreams such as nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. Certain foods such as those loaded with spices can also cause nightmares when you sleep. Be sure to avoid these foods and substances have better dreams and avoid nightmares.