How Can I Stop My Nightmares?

How Can I Stop My Nightmares?

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Fact checked

Last Updated on Jul 29, 2022

In this article:

    Nectar Sleep Fact-checking Process and Editorial Standards:

    At Nectar Sleep, our goal is to provide readers with information that not only meets the highest editorial standards but is also reliable, accurate, and free of bias. Our team of editors and sleep experts fact-check every article while ensuring that we only use reliable sources. We have zero-tolerance towards plagiarism and towards content written with the intent to mislead.

    1. We only use reputable sources like medical journals, government-backed research and reports, and academic sites while writing our guides and articles.
    2. Each article or guide that mentions a study or facts/figures has a bibliography of the citations and links to original articles that we have used. All scientific claims and information is backed by at least one reputable source.
    3. Some articles feature links to other articles within the Dreamcloud site. These links are provided to ease navigation and help you find relevant information about certain topics. These links are never cited as sources for scientific or medical data.
    4. All information that cannot be verified or is found to be inaccurate is removed by the editorial team or the medical experts who review each content piece before publishing.
    5. Plagiarism is against our policy and any writer or editor found violating the policy is terminated immediately, while we work to rectify the content at once.

    Nightmares are not just common among children but adults too. In fact, between 2% and 8% of adults experience nightmares regularly. Nightmares are traumatizing dreams that rattle a person out of their deep sleep. Nightmare disorders cause disrupted sleep and distress, leading to poor sleep quality. Nightmares generally set a person to experience a pounding heart from fear. It occurs during the rapid-eye-movement (REM) phase when dreaming takes place. The REM phase tends to continue for prolonged periods, and the sleeper usually undergoes nightmares during the early morning hours. The answer to the question of how to stop nightmares has been illustrated in the following sections.

    Our Biggest Offer Ever!!!

    $499 of Accessories Included With Every Mattress!

    Cooling Pillow Cooling Pillow

    Included $200

    Mattress Protector Mattress Protector

    Included $99

    Sheet Set Sheet Set

    Included $200

    Try Nectar, Claim My Offer

    Establish A Sleep Routine

    The first step in getting rid of nightmares is establishing a calming and comforting sleep routine. As we have already learned that nightmares majorly occur during the REM phase, one of the most effective solutions on how to stop having nightmares is fixing a nighttime routine that includes regular exercising, setting strict sleeping and waking times, ensuring that the room is dark and breezy, averting stimulating beverages post-mid-afternoon, and lastly indulging in comforting activities. Reading books, solving puzzles, and taking a warm bubble bath right before bed are some ways of nightmare treatment. 

    Trim Down On Alcohol

    Are you a regular drinker post your working hours? If yes, then a mandatory requirement of how to stop nightmares is cutting back on alcohol. Alcohol is responsible for all those distressing nightmares you often experience, leading to restlessness and awakenings during midnight. Most people consume alcohol to dial down their distress, but it might not be the right solution. Instead, sipping on herbal teas and similar beverages might also be benign for your health and mind.

    For people who are glued to drinking after work or right before dozing off, start chatting with your partner, reading a book, listening to your favorite music, or taking a walk.

    Examine Your Medications

    How to deal with nightmares troubling your regular sleep cycle? Check if you have been taking new or if there has been a change in the medicines you’re taking, and reassure if the nightmares started or increased post that consumption. If you feel it has, it is time to stop nightmares by talking to your doctor. You can consider discussing with a sleep specialist about the melatonin intake that is directly related to our circadian rhythm, which further regulates our REM sleep. 

    Say ‘No’ To Eating Before Bed

    For someone who likes snacking before bedtime and experiencing nightmares, it is time you cut out on it. One of the solutions to stop nightmares is to pause eating before bed. Snacking leads to a spike in metabolism, which is probably the last thing you want right when planning to have a good night’s sleep. Since your brain becomes active, it leads to nightmares. 

    In order to know how to prevent nightmares leading to sleepless nights, stop eating two to three hours before you doze off. In fact, try shifting towards lighter dinners and nighttime snacking altogether.

    Approach Stress-Relieving Activities

    How to stop nightmares that are causing stress? It has been a comforting method to start practicing stress-management techniques like tensing muscles when you inhale and relaxing them as you exhale. If something is troubling you, talk about it to one of your family members, or friends. If not them, a therapist is always there to help you out. Alongside, start practicing simple deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or walking.

    Journal Your Worries

    Journaling is one of the solutions to how to stop nightmares. You can journal down all the thoughts troubling your mind and let them out through writing. In addition, you can write down your problems to get a clear view of the situation and find better solutions. 

    Watch Positive Content Before Bed

    Our nighttime content or observations appears in our sleep, and if you watch something scary or traumatizing just before sleep, it might be the reason behind nightmares. Therefore, one constructive way to stop nightmares is watching emotional and positive visuals or content before you sleep. This is quite a requirement, especially during times of pandemic when almost every day we watch depressing news on TV or social media. Therefore, reading the news and jumping on the bed to doze off might not be a great decision. 

    Rewrite the Ending

    Imagery rehearsal therapy is quite an effective treatment and answer to how to stop nightmares, especially for people suffering from PTSD. This cognitive-behavioral treatment effectively limits the frequencies of nightmares causing distress to the person. This nightmare medication involves writing down the narrative with all the details and rewriting it with positive endings. Start by assuring yourself every day before sleep that whenever that dream reappears, you will make a happy ending. 

    Use a White Noise Machine

    White noise might be a beneficial choice for people looking for solutions to stop nightmares. A white noise machine might be a good investment for people who cannot stand absolute silence at night or are easily distracted by background noises like dog barks or horn noises. It offers minimal sounds and also blocks distracting sounds.

    Make Your Bedroom Comforting

    Your bedroom needs to be the place to relax and spend time with your loved one. Therefore, no stressful activities need to be associated with it. Accessorize it with tranquil lights, soft bedsheets and comforters, bedside lamps, scented candles, and more. This is one of the ways to answer how to stop nightmares.

    Check Up On Your Mental Health

    How to stop nightmares when all the aforementioned ways are futile? It’s time you speak to your therapist or a sleep specialist. Often people suffering from bipolar disorder experience nightmares, and consulting a therapist becomes a necessity. Treating both nightmares and the underlying mental disorder troubling the person is generally recommended. Psychotherapy has been found to work for nightmares and there is no harm in giving it a try. It is short-term and quite accessible as well.

    How To Get Better Sleep

    Now that you have gained quite a bit of knowledge about stopping nightmares, it is time to know a bit about getting better sleep. 

    • Create a sleep routine for yourself. Around 8 hours of sleep is enough for every night.
    • Concentrate on what you’re drinking or eating. Don’t doze off on an empty or even stuffed stomach.
    • Have a relaxing bedroom that is dark, cool, and aloof of background noises
    • Say ‘no’ to daytime naps
    • There needs to be some sort of physical activities in your regular routine 
    • Stress management is important and needs to be indulged in
    • Stay aloof from electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime

    Nightmares can be really painstaking if gone undiagnosed. If nightmares persist, and you’re concerned about how to stop nightmares, it is time to visit a doctor. You might need to take a physical test and rule out the factors contributing to nightmares, discuss your symptoms, and get your medical history checked as well. Medical treatment, stress management, image rehearsal therapy, and medications are some ways of stopping nightmares. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
    {"faq":[{"_id":"94dcbb4","title":"What causes nightmares?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EThere are various reasons that cause nightmares. It can be anything that has happened in your life - say in the office, school, or home. It can be a case of PTSD where you are unable to get over the trauma. It can be because of everyday stress that you\u2019re unable to control. It can also be because of a disturbing visual or news or incident that you came across right before your bedtime. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"d0a45d6","title":"Is it normal to have nightmares every night?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ENightmares can be a common thing, but nightmare disorder is not and quite rare as well. Nightmare disorder occurs when a person often encounters it, it disrupts sleep, leads to poor sleep quality, and exhaustion during the daytime, and also creates a fear of falling asleep.\u00a0 \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"5f037f3","title":"What's the most common nightmare?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EThough nightmares are quite diverse, the most common nightmares are that of falling, it is followed by nightmares about being chased, then others include nightmares about death, feeling lost, feeling trapped, then getting attacked, and more instances. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"0a69250","title":"What are nightmares trying to tell you?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003E2% to 8% of people have reported having scary nightmares that prevent them from a peaceful sleep. They feel frightened and often wake up in the middle of the night with pounding hearts. Nightmares can be an indicator of mental health issues that includes anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}],"__globals__":{"main_title_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=3e436c6","main_title_color":"globals\/colors?id=c758e82","question_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=9134c8d","answer_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=e88d36c","question_color":"globals\/colors?id=2f337da","answer_color":"globals\/colors?id=2325efb"},"main_title_typography_typography":"","main_title_typography_font_family":null,"main_title_typography_font_size":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_font_weight":null,"main_title_typography_text_transform":null,"main_title_typography_font_style":null,"main_title_typography_text_decoration":null,"main_title_typography_line_height":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_color":"","question_typography_typography":"","question_typography_font_family":null,"question_typography_font_size":null,"question_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"question_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"question_typography_font_weight":null,"question_typography_text_transform":null,"question_typography_font_style":null,"question_typography_text_decoration":null,"question_typography_line_height":null,"question_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"question_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"question_typography_word_spacing":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"question_color":"","answer_typography_typography":"","answer_typography_font_family":null,"answer_typography_font_size":null,"answer_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"answer_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"answer_typography_font_weight":null,"answer_typography_text_transform":null,"answer_typography_font_style":null,"answer_typography_text_decoration":null,"answer_typography_line_height":null,"answer_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"answer_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_color":"","_title":"","_margin":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_element_width":"","_element_width_tablet":"","_element_width_mobile":"","_element_custom_width":null,"_element_custom_width_tablet":null,"_element_custom_width_mobile":null,"_element_vertical_align":null,"_element_vertical_align_tablet":null,"_element_vertical_align_mobile":null,"_position":"","_offset_orientation_h":null,"_offset_x":null,"_offset_x_tablet":null,"_offset_x_mobile":null,"_offset_x_end":null,"_offset_x_end_tablet":null,"_offset_x_end_mobile":null,"_offset_orientation_v":null,"_offset_y":null,"_offset_y_tablet":null,"_offset_y_mobile":null,"_offset_y_end":null,"_offset_y_end_tablet":null,"_offset_y_end_mobile":null,"_z_index":"","_z_index_tablet":"","_z_index_mobile":"","_element_id":"","_css_classes":"","motion_fx_motion_fx_scrolling":"","motion_fx_translateY_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateY_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateY_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateY_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_translateX_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateX_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateX_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateX_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_opacity_effect":null,"motion_fx_opacity_direction":null,"motion_fx_opacity_level":null,"motion_fx_opacity_range":null,"motion_fx_blur_effect":null,"motion_fx_blur_direction":null,"motion_fx_blur_level":null,"motion_fx_blur_range":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_effect":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_direction":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_speed":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_scale_effect":null,"motion_fx_scale_direction":null,"motion_fx_scale_speed":null,"motion_fx_scale_range":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_x":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_y":null,"motion_fx_devices":null,"motion_fx_range":null,"motion_fx_motion_fx_mouse":"","motion_fx_mouseTrack_effect":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_direction":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_speed":null,"motion_fx_tilt_effect":null,"motion_fx_tilt_direction":null,"motion_fx_tilt_speed":null,"sticky":"","sticky_on":null,"sticky_offset":null,"sticky_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_effects_offset":null,"sticky_effects_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_effects_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_parent":null,"_animation":"","_animation_tablet":"","_animation_mobile":"","animation_duration":null,"_animation_delay":null,"_transform_rotate_popover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover":"","_transform_translateX_effect":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover":"","_transform_keep_proportions":"yes","_transform_scale_effect":null,"_transform_scale_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover":"","_transform_skewX_effect":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect":"","_transform_flipY_effect":"","_transform_rotate_popover_hover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover_hover":"","_transform_translateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover_hover":"","_transform_keep_proportions_hover":"yes","_transform_scale_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover_hover":"","_transform_skewX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect_hover":"","_transform_flipY_effect_hover":"","_transform_transition_hover":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point":null,"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point_tablet":null,"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point_mobile":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point_tablet":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point_mobile":null,"_background_background":"","_background_color":null,"_background_color_stop":null,"_background_color_b":null,"_background_color_b_stop":null,"_background_gradient_type":null,"_background_gradient_angle":null,"_background_gradient_position":null,"_background_image":null,"_background_image_tablet":null,"_background_image_mobile":null,"_background_position":null,"_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_xpos":null,"_background_xpos_tablet":null,"_background_xpos_mobile":null,"_background_ypos":null,"_background_ypos_tablet":null,"_background_ypos_mobile":null,"_background_attachment":null,"_background_repeat":null,"_background_repeat_tablet":null,"_background_repeat_mobile":null,"_background_size":null,"_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_bg_width":null,"_background_bg_width_tablet":null,"_background_bg_width_mobile":null,"_background_video_link":null,"_background_video_start":null,"_background_video_end":null,"_background_play_once":null,"_background_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_privacy_mode":null,"_background_video_fallback":null,"_background_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_slideshow_lazyload":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_background":"","_background_hover_color":null,"_background_hover_color_stop":null,"_background_hover_color_b":null,"_background_hover_color_b_stop":null,"_background_hover_gradient_type":null,"_background_hover_gradient_angle":null,"_background_hover_gradient_position":null,"_background_hover_image":null,"_background_hover_image_tablet":null,"_background_hover_image_mobile":null,"_background_hover_position":null,"_background_hover_position_tablet":null,"_background_hover_position_mobile":null,"_background_hover_xpos":null,"_background_hover_xpos_tablet":null,"_background_hover_xpos_mobile":null,"_background_hover_ypos":null,"_background_hover_ypos_tablet":null,"_background_hover_ypos_mobile":null,"_background_hover_attachment":null,"_background_hover_repeat":null,"_background_hover_repeat_tablet":null,"_background_hover_repeat_mobile":null,"_background_hover_size":null,"_background_hover_size_tablet":null,"_background_hover_size_mobile":null,"_background_hover_bg_width":null,"_background_hover_bg_width_tablet":null,"_background_hover_bg_width_mobile":null,"_background_hover_video_link":null,"_background_hover_video_start":null,"_background_hover_video_end":null,"_background_hover_play_once":null,"_background_hover_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_hover_privacy_mode":null,"_background_hover_video_fallback":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_lazyload":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_border_border":"","_border_width":null,"_border_width_tablet":null,"_border_width_mobile":null,"_border_color":null,"_border_radius":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_border":"","_border_hover_width":null,"_border_hover_width_tablet":null,"_border_hover_width_mobile":null,"_border_hover_color":null,"_border_radius_hover":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_hover_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_hover_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_mask_switch":"","_mask_shape":null,"_mask_image":null,"_mask_notice":null,"_mask_size":null,"_mask_size_tablet":null,"_mask_size_mobile":null,"_mask_size_scale":null,"_mask_size_scale_tablet":null,"_mask_size_scale_mobile":null,"_mask_position":null,"_mask_position_tablet":null,"_mask_position_mobile":null,"_mask_position_x":null,"_mask_position_x_tablet":null,"_mask_position_x_mobile":null,"_mask_position_y":null,"_mask_position_y_tablet":null,"_mask_position_y_mobile":null,"_mask_repeat":null,"_mask_repeat_tablet":null,"_mask_repeat_mobile":null,"hide_desktop":"","hide_tablet":"","hide_mobile":"","_attributes":"","custom_css":""}
    ×