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A Comprehensive Guide to Nightmares

Waking up in the middle of the night due to a nightmare can be quite stressful. Once the uncomfortable blend of grogginess, fear, and adrenaline starts to fade, confusion and irritation take over. Fortunately, we can prevent nightmares by understanding what they are.

Ever since the first documented instances of nightmares in the 1700s, people have always been fascinated by this terrifying phenomenon. Experts believe childhood nightmares are a natural aspect of our brain’s development, but those that recur in adulthood are rooted in psychological issues.

Ready to learn more about nightmares and how to prevent them? Let’s dive in.

The Most Common Nightmares Triggers

Did you know that according to the DSM-5-TR, nightmares are commonly caused by changes to our sleep routines that deprive us of proper rest? This results in negative emotions like anxiety, irritability, anger, and/or depression—all of which are triggers for nightmares.

If left untreated, nightmares can negatively impact the quality of our sleep. We’ve summarized how this occurs below.

How Nightmares Affect Our Sleep

Disturbances to Our Circadian Rhythms

Have you ever wondered why most people fall asleep when it’s dark at night and naturally awaken in the morning? The answer has to do with your circadian rhythm—an internal body clock that regulates how you behave and feel from your cells powering up and down.

When it’s dark, our brains create a hormone called melatonin that causes our cells to grow dormant. This causes us to feel drowsy until we fall asleep—and when the morning light hits our eyes, we wake because our brains stop producing melatonin.

Nightmares cause us to wake up even if it’s dark. Our cells power back up in the middle of the night and throw our circadian rhythm out of sync. Some people take melatonin supplements to counteract this—but they’re known to cause more nightmares, so we wouldn’t recommend this.

Sleep Efficiency and Rapid-Eye Movements (REM)

If you search for ways to increase sleep efficiency, chances are you’ll come across the term ‘rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep’. This is the deepest part of our sleep when our brain organizes our memories and causes us to dream.

People who experience adequate rapid eye movements sleep ‘efficiently’ because their brains use the time they’re asleep to optimize as much as possible. Unfortunately, nightmares cause us to wake up feeling stressed and negatively affect our sleep efficiency.

If we fall back asleep after a nightmare, we’re susceptible to experiencing a lengthy ‘rebound REM sleep’ that can cause even more nightmares and cause us to develop a nightmare disorder.

Nightmare Disorder

A woman sleeping next to an alarm clock

Doctors use the term ‘nightmare disorder’ to describe chronic insomnia resulting from recurring nightmares triggered by psychological triggers like depression and anxiety. Fortunately, nightmare disorders can be prevented through natural sleeplessness remedies.

We’ve provided a summary of a couple of commonly used natural nightmare-prevention methods below.

Sleep Hypnosis

Did you know it’s possible to connect with your unconscious mind through hypnosis? Sleep coaches use this method to change a person’s negative thoughts and/or habits that cause frequent nightmares.

The idea behind sleep hypnosis is simple: a sleep coach guides you to a state of immense relaxation and focuses using words and/or images. As you fall into a hypnotic state, your ability to think positively increases, and the triggers that cause your nightmares to begin to fade.

The key to effective sleep hypnosis is to ‘silence’ your mind by focusing on positivity and self-reflection. Once you’ve achieved this, your brain becomes malleable enough for the sleep coach to help you replace negative thoughts and emotions with optimism so you stop experiencing nightmares.

Neuro-linguistic Programming

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is all about changing your default perceptions of the world. It’s based on the idea that people organize their thoughts and emotions based on specific senses—and this can be influenced to invoke positive thoughts that prevent nightmares.

For instance, some people say ‘I see your point’ when trying to understand someone. This means they think visually—so if they consult a sleep coach on how to visualize things more positively, they can lower their likelihood of experiencing nightmares.

Sleep coaches typically use NLP to eliminate their clients’ association of negative emotions/thoughts with a past event. This fosters positivity in the client and helps them get rid of nightmare triggers like anxiety.

It’s also common for sleep coaches to mimic their client’s behavior as a way to show empathy. This makes the client feel at ease so they can easily let go of negative thoughts/feelings that cause nightmares.

Putting It All Together

Nightmares are triggered by irritability, anxiety, and depression due to sleep deprivation. Fortunately, they can easily be prevented by seeking help from an adult sleeping coach who specializes in tried-and-tested techniques such as NLP and hypnosis.

The goal of these techniques is to invoke positivity and settle your thoughts and emotions. If they’re executed properly, your nightmares will go away and you’ll experience increased sleep efficiency and improved deep sleep in no time.

A Better Snooze Uses Natural Sleeplessness Remedies to Help Clients Avoid Nightmares and Improve their Sleep Efficiency

Are you ready to work with adult sleeping coaches in Texas who are well-versed in implementing techniques like NLP and sleep hypnosis? If so, it’s time to contact A Better Snooze.

A Better Snooze provides numerous natural sleep remedies for adults that are designed to minimize the occurrence of nightmares. Their holistic sleep help services have helped countless clients address all kinds of sleep-related issues like insomnia and they publish numerous helpful resources on everything from night terrors to drowsy driving.

If you’re ready to reduce the likelihood of nightmares without relying on pharmaceutical drugs that often have debilitating side effects, reach out to A Better Snooze today to book a free consultation.

Disclaimer: A Better Snooze provides natural, non-medical remedies to address symptoms of sleep disorders. It does not diagnose sleep disorders or make medical claims. Please see a medical professional if you suspect you’re suffering from chronic sleep disorders.

1 thought on “A Comprehensive Guide to Nightmares”

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