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dealing with nightmaresWe have all been there. You are running from an unseen thing; you trip and fall down a never-ending hole, landing on a stage with an audience full of staring faces. Not to mention that lock on the door that never works, slowly creaking open as you jolt awake. Nightmares can be scary. They are full of our worst thoughts and feelings. For most people, nightmares are rare and do not regularly impact their daily life. For some of us, recurring nightmares can greatly hinder and affect life. They can increase anxiety, make us fear going to sleep, and cause us to self-medicate to avoid falling back into them. If you find yourself suffering from nightmares, here are a few simple tricks to try to find some relief.

Maintain a Sleep Schedule

Nightmares can make us not want to go to sleep. We may stay awake for long periods of time, hoping that we don’t dream when we finally go to sleep. Sleep deprivation can significantly affect overall mental health. Challenges such as anxiety and depression may be heightened if you try to deprive yourself of the rest you need. Do your best to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can affect your sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) is the stage of sleep where we find ourselves dreaming. Drinking a lot might deprive you of REM sleep. Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep, preventing your body from getting the rest that it needs. That means you may experience more intense nightmares the next time your body enters REM sleep. Attempting to avoid REM sleep is dangerous and not healthy. Moreover, self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs is never a healthy option and can lead to dependency and addiction.

Nightmares can completely affect our lives. Learning more about your body and your mind will help you to determine what works best for you. Some people need to maintain a routine, while others will need to “rewrite the script” and change the nightmare’s narrative themselves. Others will find it essential to work with a professional to better understand underlying mental health concerns. Here at The Guest House, we know seeking help can be stressful and nerve-racking. We are here to help you gain the skills and tools needed to work through any situation or challenge you may be facing. Call us today to learn more at (855) 483-7800.