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What to do about nightmares

NightmaresNightmares Registered User new member
Does anyone have experience dealing with regular nightmares as an adult?

I don't really like horror content, because while actually reading, playing or watching them I'm fine, it doesn't bug me. But I know that if I do, my prick of a subconscious will remember it and will wake me up several times a night in a cold sweat for about two weeks.
It's pretty easy to avoid that trigger though, so I do.

The problem is that a couple times a month my brain will decide to fuck with me anyway, like last night.
As an example, my normal heart rate while sleeping is 45-50 bpm. Last night during the nightmare I was ranging from 120-160 bpm for three hours, and as I reached the climax of the nightmare, for a couple minutes before I woke up I had breached 210 bpm, then it was another two hours before I could get calm enough to sleep again. Not a particularly restful night.

I'm mostly just checking to see if anyone has any techniques or mental exercises which could help with this while I search for a psych/get an appointment with my doctor to finally address this.

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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    Most self-help sleep remedies involve establishing a regular schedule / routine, don't use your bed for anything but sleeping (sex is ok), and cutting out stimulants in the evenings.

    Can you think of any changes in diet/medication/stress/routine that precipitated your overall problem if not the events themselves?

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Regular nightmares are usually a symptom of something else going on, often stress.

    How frustrated, troubled, or stressed out are you currently compared to before you started having nightmares?

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited February 2020
    I have similar issues with horror but it sounds like you've already dealt with that. My next suggestion would be to agree with Enc, stress was a huge factor in the frequency off my non horror nightmares and being able to reduce the stress in my life (financial/job uncertainty being the big one) was crucial in eliminating the nightmares.

    Tofystedeth on
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    NightmaresNightmares Registered User new member
    Enc wrote: »
    Regular nightmares are usually a symptom of something else going on, often stress.

    How frustrated, troubled, or stressed out are you currently compared to before you started having nightmares?

    Stress is probably on an uptick lately, it is something else I've been trying to deal with in waking hours, but it's frustrating that that it'd be bleeding over to nightmares

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Eating cheese and other dairy products before bed makes dreams much more vivid to a lot of people (unknown why, just something that happens). It won't help in the long term with underlying stress issues, of course, but if you do like snacking on cheese late at night, it might take some of the edge off.

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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    What medications are you on? Do they have side effects including sleep disturbances?

    Do you drink alcohol or use other recreational drugs?

    Sleep is it's own entire branch of medicine because it can be really complicated.

    I'd say clean up your sleep hygiene and get a pattern going is your best start. Probably including laying off recreational drugs including alcohol if that's a thing you do.

    People have success with a very dim nightlight or some white noise like a box fan to ease them down from a state of anxiety before they fall asleep, maybe try that.

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    In any case, it is worth speaking with your GP about.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    @Nightmares

    I use an app called Sleep Melodies to help get to sleep. I don't have much trouble with nightmares but do know they have a meditation track for nightmare relief. No clue as to its actual effectiveness but doubt it would hurt to try.

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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited February 2020
    Quid wrote: »
    @Nightmares

    I use an app called Sleep Melodies to help get to sleep. I don't have much trouble with nightmares but do know they have a meditation track for nightmare relief. No clue as to its actual effectiveness but doubt it would hurt to try.

    While googling for an 'anti-melatonin' to reduce the window for REM sleep (Apnea: an unlikely hero?), I came across a 2004 study that observed right-side sleepers experienced fewer nightmares than left-side sleepers:

    p2ncuhyuj3t0.png

    So maybe try to sleep on your right side while you're at it? It is, arguably, science.

    (Though perhaps easier said than done)

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    I think lucid dreaming could help you.

    The first step is to recognize that you are dreaming. These are just movies your brain is showing you. Nothing can hurt you. From there you can consciously control what is happening without having to wake up.

    Pretty much everything Ive read on the subject starts with making a dream journal. Write down everything you can remember and with time you can recognize that you are dreaming and control what you see.

    You're ultimately in control of your own brain, so you can definitely overcome when its being mean. You got this.

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    NightmaresNightmares Registered User new member
    Thanks for the Advice everyone.

    The night of the most recent nightmare, which precipiated this post, I had taken some tylenol a couple hours before sleep because of a headache.
    What do you know, I went to put it away a couple days later and noticed that the tylenol in question had caffeine in it. That couldn't have helped.

    I've also noticed that caffeine in general past noon, maybe 2pm has pretty consistently been leading to trouble falling asleep and nightmares. Since I've cut out caffeine after noon I haven't had any more, but will have to wait and see how long that will last.

    It's definitely something I will be bringing up at my next GP appointment

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    Quid wrote: »
    @Nightmares

    I use an app called Sleep Melodies to help get to sleep. I don't have much trouble with nightmares but do know they have a meditation track for nightmare relief. No clue as to its actual effectiveness but doubt it would hurt to try.

    While googling for an 'anti-melatonin' to reduce the window for REM sleep (Apnea: an unlikely hero?), I came across a 2004 study that observed right-side sleepers experienced fewer nightmares than left-side sleepers:

    p2ncuhyuj3t0.png

    So maybe try to sleep on your right side while you're at it? It is, arguably, science.

    (Though perhaps easier said than done)

    that sample size seems pretty small to me

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Not for nightmares as such, but I find that if I have trouble finding that relaxed state I need to fall asleep then music helps so maybe it can also help avoiding nightmares.

    Not any music as it must be something I know really well and also not to intense, but it can be all sorts of music really so no need for like meditational stuff, sounds of waves at the beach and that stuff. Also the music must not be to loud, but also not so low it is hard to make out lyrics and such.

    Mostly I will put on the music while getting ready for the night, then maybe lower the volume some and get in bed. Then it is just a question of listening and enjoying the music and let it distract my mind from what ever I might otherwise have been twisting and turning about. Mostly an ½ hour of music is more than enough for me, but not always and for those cases it is helpful to have an way to put on more music without getting out of bed.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    @Nightmares

    I use an app called Sleep Melodies to help get to sleep. I don't have much trouble with nightmares but do know they have a meditation track for nightmare relief. No clue as to its actual effectiveness but doubt it would hurt to try.

    While googling for an 'anti-melatonin' to reduce the window for REM sleep (Apnea: an unlikely hero?), I came across a 2004 study that observed right-side sleepers experienced fewer nightmares than left-side sleepers:

    p2ncuhyuj3t0.png

    So maybe try to sleep on your right side while you're at it? It is, arguably, science.

    (Though perhaps easier said than done)

    that sample size seems pretty small to me

    its not terrible. definitely on the smaller side but reasonable

    camo_sig.png
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    bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    Sleeping on my back is a recipe for nightmares.

    And whoever said lucid dreaming will help...

    I have the abilty to dream lucid and a true nightmare is almost impossible to loop out of.

    Yh6tI4T.jpg
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