Even when you are asleep, your brain works overtime, and like an overactive imagination conjures up horror stories called nightmares. Everyone experiences ‘em more than a few times, both children and adults, although probably not babies because their brains are still developing. God Bless the babies for they truly have sweet dreams!
As a child, you can run to your parents after waking up from a bad monster dream that looks eerily like Mr. Kappa from Science class. Your parents would give you a hug, take you back to bed, tell you that you had a nightmare and to not be afraid because nightmares aren’t real (but Mr. Kappa is).
Medically-speaking, nightmares happen when you are in the deepest stage of sleep during REM or Rapid Eye Movement, so named because it is within this sphere that your eyes move rapidly beneath your eyelids. If someone peers closely and deliberately opens your eyes during REM, she will probably require therapy after. Who does that anyway? That’s so infantile.
Anyway, as an adult, you experience nightmares primarily because of these major culprits:
- Stress and anxiety
- Major life changes like death of someone you love or a lingering illness
Meantime, here’s how you can prevent nightmares:
- Follow a routine. Go to sleep and wake up following regular times. Do not deviate from this pattern unless you had to stay up late working overtime the night before.
- Do not take a nap. Unless you are recovering from a spate of illness or lack sleep, avoid taking naps because it will disrupt your sleeping pattern at night.
- Eat a light dinner. Going to sleep with a full tummy makes your body produce a toxic hormone that encourages nightmares. Your body also works hard digesting your heavy meal even during sleep exacerbating the issues you already have with nightmares. Eat a light dinner for a sound and dreamless sleep.
- Hold off on exercising too much at night. Light walking is fine but a full- on gym session is not advised when you want to sleep sans nightmares. When your body is too pumped up and high on adrenaline after a workout, it will make it harder for your body to sleep and when you finally get it, hello nightmares!
- Keep a lamp on by your bedside. This will help you recover faster from nightmares. If you suddenly wake up drenched in sweat from a nightmare, it will help your body go down to relaxation mode if you see you are in familiar surroundings softly lit by your bedside lamp.
- Rid your mind of negative and worrying thoughts. Leave your problems at work the moment you step out of the office. Steer clear of energy vampires or keep your association with them to a minimum. Office problems are not really problems if there are solutions and there will always be solutions. If you have relationship problems, seek counseling and therapy so you can get things off your chest.
- Pray before bedtime. You are never too old to get down on your knees and pray to the Lord Almighty to thank Him for the day and pray for a blessed and peaceful time at rest.
- Read the bible. The bible is God’s special message for people who seek His peace in earnest, the kind of overwhelming peace that transcends human understanding.
You can look forward to being nightmare free if you take these suggestions seriously. Have a great night’s sleep from now on! Believe it!
Haven’t you heard? There is nothing to fear but fear itself and the Scripture says, “Do not be afraid” many times so chill out and take a break from the stress and anxiety already!