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Denys Chumak

Denys Chumak

17 Apr 2024

How to Stop Having Nightmares


Do you often find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, and feeling frightened after experiencing a terrifying dream? Nightmares can be incredibly distressing, leaving you anxious and unable to enjoy a restful sleep.

But fear not! In this blog post, we will explore why nightmares happen and provide you with practical tips to stop nightmares, allowing you to find the peaceful sleep you deserve.

Although children are more likely to experience nightmares, between 50% and 85% of adults claim to occasionally experience them. Almost everyone can experience nightmares.

What Is a Nightmare?

Nightmares are vivid, unsettling dreams that cause the dreamer to experience great levels of worry, terror, or anguish. They typically occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the stage when our most vivid dreams happen. Nightmares can feature scenarios that are threatening, terrifying, or deeply unsettling, often leaving us shaken upon waking.

While occasional nightmares are normal, frequent or recurring nightmares can significantly disrupt our sleep patterns and overall well-being. It's essential to address them and find ways to prevent their occurrence.

Why Do Nightmares Happen?

Nightmares are vivid and intense dreams that often evoke fear, anxiety, or distressing emotions. They can be caused by various factors, including:

Stress and Anxiety:

High levels of stress and anxiety during the day can seep into our dreams and manifest as nightmares. Unresolved emotional issues can also contribute to the intensity of these dreams.

Traumatic Experiences:

If you've experienced a traumatic event or are dealing with unresolved emotional trauma, nightmares may surface as a way for your mind to process and cope with these experiences.

Sleep Environment and Habits:

Factors such as an uncomfortable sleeping environment, irregular sleep patterns, or excessive intake of caffeine or alcohol before bed can disrupt your sleep cycles and increase the likelihood of nightmares.

How To Stop Nightmares?

Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine:

Establish a relaxing routine before bedtime to signal your body and mind that it's time to wind down. Consider activities such as reading a calming book, taking a warm bath, or practising gentle yoga or meditation to promote a peaceful state of mind before sleep.

Keep a Dream Journal:

Keep a notebook by your bedside and write down your dreams upon waking. This practise can help you identify patterns or triggers within your dreams, bringing clarity and insight into the underlying emotions or issues you may be dealing with.

Create a Peaceful Sleep Environment:

Make your bedroom a sanctuary for restful sleep. Ensure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Consider using soothing essential oils, calming music, or white noise machines to promote relaxation and create a sense of tranquillity.

Practise Stress Management Techniques:

Explore various stress management techniques that resonate with you, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualisation. These practises can help reduce overall anxiety levels and promote a sense of calmness.

Seek Support:

If you feel overwhelmed by recurring nightmares or unresolved emotional issues, consider reaching out to a professional. A therapist or counsellor specialising in dream analysis or trauma can guide you on your healing journey and provide tools to manage your nightmares effectively.

How To Prevent Bad Dreams?

Sleep is meant to be a rejuvenating experience, a time for our minds and bodies to recharge. However, for many of us, bad dreams can disrupt this peaceful state, leaving us feeling restless and anxious. Let's explore how you can prevent bad dreams.

Create a Tranquil Sleep Environment:

Your sleep environment plays a vital role in shaping your dreams. Prioritise keeping your bedroom serene and clutter-free. Use soft lighting, relaxing scents, and soothing colours to promote a calm atmosphere that encourages pleasant dreams.

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule:

Establishing a regular sleep routine helps regulate your body's internal clock. Aim for consistent sleep and wake time, even on weekends. This practise helps synchronise your sleep cycles and reduce the likelihood of disruptive dreams.

Mindful Evening Rituals:

Unresolved emotional issues can often manifest in our dreams. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and self-reflection before bed can alleviate emotional burdens. Consider incorporating calming practises like journaling, meditation, or reading uplifting literature into your evening routine.

Limit Stimulants and Heavy Meals:

Consuming stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol close to bedtime can interfere with the quality of your sleep and increase the chances of nightmares. Additionally, indulging in heavy or spicy meals before sleep may lead to discomfort and restless nights.

What To Do If You Can’t Fall Back Asleep After A Nightmare?

Ground Yourself:

Upon waking from a nightmare, it's essential to ground yourself in the present moment. Focus on your breathing and remind yourself that it was only a dream. Engage in calming activities such as gentle stretching or listening to relaxing music to help centre your mind.

Reframe the Nightmare:

Rather than letting the nightmare linger, reframe it into a positive narrative. Visualise a happy ending or create an alternate scenario that brings you comfort. By consciously altering the dream's outcome, you can gradually diminish its impact on your emotions.

Seek Comforting Activities:

Engaging in soothing activities can help ease anxiety and facilitate falling back asleep. Consider sipping a warm herbal tea, practising deep breathing exercises, or listening to a guided meditation specifically designed for sleep.

Embrace Dream Analysis as Guidance:

For those who turn to dream analysis for guidance, use the experience as a tool for self-reflection. Jot down your dreams upon waking and analyze recurring symbols or emotions. This practise can help you uncover unresolved emotional issues and gain insight into your subconscious mind.


Putting an end to nightmares may take time and effort, but it's absolutely possible. By prioritising self-care, creating a calming sleep environment, addressing emotional concerns, and seeking support, you can gradually diminish the frequency and intensity of your nightmares. Remember, small steps can lead to significant changes.

If you're a spiritual person seeking guidance, and plagued by nightmares, the DreamApp may be just what you need. By interpreting dream symbolism, and understanding your emotions, the DreamApp empowers you to conquer your nightmares and find solace in the realm of dreams.

The DreamApp harnesses the power of dream analysis to help you decode the hidden messages within your nightmares and find a resolution.


How can I stop having nightmares?

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, create a peaceful sleep environment, manage stress, and consider therapy or dream analysis techniques for resolving underlying emotional issues.

Can certain foods affect my nightmares?

Yes, consuming heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime may increase the likelihood of nightmares. Opt for lighter, sleep-friendly snacks instead.

Will practising relaxation techniques help prevent nightmares?

Yes, deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and promote better sleep, potentially minimising the occurrence of nightmares.

Should I avoid watching scary movies or reading horror books?

If you're prone to nightmares, limiting exposure to unsettling or frightening content before bedtime is advisable, as it can influence the nature of your dreams.

Can a consistent sleep schedule help prevent nightmares?

Maintaining a regular sleep routine, with consistent bed and wake times, helps regulate your sleep patterns and may reduce the occurrence of nightmares.

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