How to Stop Having Stress Dreams and Finally Wake Up Feeling Rested
Many people view sleep as a reprieve from their stressful day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, depending on the level of worry and anxiety you experience, your routine can quite literally haunt your sleep.
Stress dreams are often vivid and terrifying. While some people may dream of financial turmoil, others will suffer from more imaginative nightmares, less focused on reality. Researchers cannot explain why people dream about the things they do, but science and biology hint that too much stress while awake can lead to restlessness and nightmares.
If night terrors and cold sweats frequently torment you, what can you do to stop them? As with most things in life, change comes down to altering habits and accepting new rules. In the case of restless sleep and stressful dreams, relief comes from four rules or facts.
1. The Bedroom is a Safe and Pleasant Space
How do you use your bedroom? Is it a reading, TV, exercise, and office space? Too many people turn their bedrooms into multipurpose areas, and that is a mistake. When the bedroom serves as a catchall room, your brain has a difficult time understanding its purpose. If a place is used for both sleep and work, what is a mind supposed to do, work or sleep?
Your bedroom is a safe and pleasant space. The only activities that should occur in the bedroom are ones that create pleasant feelings or restful feelings. Work, TV, even reading can create stress and frustration. If negativity occurs in an area too often, your mind finds it challenging to separate the emotion from the location, meaning less restful sleep and more nightmares.
2. The Hour Before Bed is Sacred
Technology is ever-present anymore, like some deity with a blue light glow. If you struggle to set aside the smartphone, laptop, tablet, or another device, you may struggle to sleep. The bright blue light emitted by these devices mimics the sun, tricking your brain. If you always force yourself to sleep after staring at a screen, you will get less rest. For at least one hour every night, before you go to bed, stop worshipping the tech gods, and go dark.
By making the hour before bed sacred and tech-free, you will allow your mind to settle from the day’s events. Take the time to meditate, pray, read, or just be, allowing your body and brain to calm down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
3. A Watched Clock Increases Anxiety
Many people know what it is like to wake up after a nightmare and struggle to get back to sleep. Your mind fills with worry and stress, and you begin to watch the clock and count the hours until your alarm. For most, the alarm goes off before they fall asleep.
Counting the minutes and seconds only adds to the uneasiness of the night. If you really want to fall asleep, ignore the clock, and focus on your breathing. Deep breathing will help calm your nerves and allow you to relax.
4. A Late Night Activity Can Help Calm the Mind
There is no shame in giving up on sleeping for a bit. If you wake and feel restless, and your body and brain will not allow you to quiet your thoughts, get out of bed. Watch TV in the living room or do some laundry. Take a fifteen-minute walk outside. The last thing you want to do is keep the anxious energy in your bedroom. Performing some other activity can distract you and burn energy, allowing you to relax.
Do you have more tips? Leave a comment below.