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Food, Health & Fitness

OVERCOMING NIGHTMARES AND PREVENTING THEM

Have you ever experienced dreaming of something you’re really scared of? Like someone or something chasing you, something bad happening or even the presence of something horrible. These nightmares are often really unpleasant and can force you to wake up feeling that discomfort. 

Where do nightmares come from?

Dreams are images that our mind creates while we sleep. Like all dreams, nightmares are results of the brain’s electrical activity during sleep. They don’t necessarily mean anything and can vary from person to person. 

Nightmares are simply bad dreams that can be drawn from things that your brain remembers – like a bad experience or something you’re scared of. They are usually associated with worries, stress or anxiety. Sometimes the brain can exaggerate these things as well. These bad dreams, by themselves, can’t necessarily harm you.

If they are harmless, why do they feel so real?

There are theories that the brain processes our experiences and emotions when we dream so that might be why our waking lives feel linked to the content of our dreams. When it happens during deep sleep, the dreams can be vivid and it may feel like it’s really happening.

While pain is very rarely experienced in dreams, the brain can remember the sensation of pain and can trigger the pain response or sensation depending on the dream content. But since we can also usually retain awareness that we are only dreaming, we often don’t feel pain even when the situation is supposedly painful.

Is it possible to stop nightmares?

Some studies show that it’s possible to stop and change the narrative of the nightmare while you’re asleep. This tactic is called lucid dreaming, this is your attempt to find proof that you’re dreaming and use that awareness to shake yourself out of the dream.

Prevention is always a lot better than dealing with a nightmare. This means maintaining a peaceful and calm state of mind before you go to sleep. This means processing uncomfortable or negative emotions before bed. Meditation and other soothing routines can also be very helpful.

Waking up from a nightmare can make you feel uncomfortable, scared, or even more tired compared to before you went to sleep. These are all natural reactions. One of the most important things you can do in this situation is to get yourself to a calm state. Avoid activities that can give you more mental stimuli and instead focus on your breathing or get a warm glass of milk or water. If the option is available to you, you can try to sleep in a different room.

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