Anxiety Related Nightmares Are Real!
How to Stop Stress Nightmares
Nightmares related to anxiety are a very real thing. Unfortunately, the only surefire way to stop your anxiety nightmares is to stop your anxiety forever. Nightmares are complex because they’re not only caused by anxiety – they can also cause anxiety in themselves. Those that have nightmares may often find themselves losing sleep and experiencing stress and anxiety throughout the day. They may feel scared to go to sleep or worry that they are going insane.
How to Stop Nightmares
- Spend time winding down before bed: This can be thought of as a “buffer zone,” which is a period to allow the activating processes in the brain to wind down and allow your sleep system to take over. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to start about an hour before bedtime. During this time, engage in relaxing activities that you enjoy like reading or listening to music.
- Schedule “worry time”: If you’re finding it difficult to control your worrying before bedtime, scheduling a specific time when you’re allowed to worry may help. Find a time that’s convenient for you and write down your concerns. Limit the time to a specific amount and stick to it by planning something to do afterward. For example, you can plan 15 minutes in the evening, before your favorite TV show.
- Think of your bedroom as a place just for sleep, sex, and pleasant activities: Try to limit the time you spend in bed worrying or being anxious. If you find yourself lying awake in bed stressed out, leave the bedroom, and spend time in another room until you feel sleepy.
- Practice relaxation techniques: There are other ways to relax while getting ready for bed, such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation movements. These techniques can be some of the most critical aspects of stress management, and you can use them close to bedtime or throughout your day.