Persistent Nightmares - How to Be Rid of Them?

So I've been having persistent nightmares recently, I know the reason, it's because of some significant family changes over the past few months, no I'm not suicidal or depressed, far from it. Eating well, exercising and all of that. Just feeling drained when I wake up due to the nightmares.

Any tips to get rid of the nightmares?

Comments

  • Talk to your health professional. They will suggest suitable options, be it medications or counselling.

  • aside from managing the psychological aspects, rule out snoring/sleep apnea? speak to a GP

  • +3 votes

    I would avoid eating after 5-6PM.

  • Weighted blanket?

  • Wear your body out like doing exercises or any physical activities to make yourself tired 😴😷

    • Agree 100% with this. Do serious amounts of exercise and fatigue yourself to utter exhaustion. You'll sleep like a log.

    • Alas, lots of us work 14 hour days (including commuting) and don't have time to exercise. Although I suppose some exercise and some sleep deprivation is better than no exercise and a full night's sleep.

  • +4 votes

    wake up earlier, and go to sleep exhausted

    I'm curious, nosey and overstepping the boundaries here but i must ask… what kind of family changes can cause nightmares?
    hopefully, you are not the family from china that just discovered the newlywed couple are actually long lost bro/sis

    • Haha nah, just next of kin passed away. I think the inability of me travelling overseas for the funeral contributed to that as well.

      • +37 votes

        ah my condolences. mate its always going to be tough dealing with a loss, especially during these trying times
        focus on what can be done without travel - you can still give and get support from other means (i know its a far cry from being in person and paying respects)
        also need to take into consideration, if you could travel its still risky. so on top of dealing with a loss you may face health issues of your own which will further burden your body and brain

        some mild advice, keep your thoughts on moments you've shared with the person and not hypothetical what-ifs if circumstances were different. keep thoughts grounded to reality & remember to take care of your self during the process

      • +6 votes

        Maybe you need to find a way to 'close' the loop. It may feel like it's unfinished at the moment and subconsciously it is affecting you.

        Is there a place where you live, you spent time with them? Maybe go back and do a small thing there?

        It won't be the same, but it'll be better than nothing.

        Sorry for your loss too.
        Edit:
        Somewhere significant. Not safeway or coles, coz that'd be weird…

        • Yeah thanks for the tips guys. It's a hard one, being an adult orphan is probably one of the toughest things I've experienced. It would be fine if I spent the last few years with them, but I didn't. Away from home (overseas) for more than a decade.

          • @NotAnAudiophile: Sorry to hear of your loss.

            It sounds as though you are doing the right thing with exercise and so on, which is a good start.

            It's hard enough losing a parent, but the COVID restrictions have compounded it by being unable to go home to say goodbye, and participate fully in shared rituals to help process grief.

            I was by my father's side through the last two years of his illness and death, and even though I knew I'd done all I could, and that he understood that, I still felt some measure of guilt, and had horrible dreams for months afterwards.

            These things diminish over time, but if you're not functioning and feeling overwhelmed, as others have said, it could be helpful to seek professional advice. Try your GP or if your workplace offers it, confidential free counselling.

            A dear friend died last year, and we decided to hold off the wake until COVID restrictions lifted, a year later. For another friend interstate who died a few years ago, three of us got together to listen to his music, talk, and share a drink together instead. There are no rules, so do what is meaningful to you.

            All the best, and keep reaching out when you need to - eventually you will find your way through.

      • Condolence. Don't worry too much your time will come🤗

      • Hey mate, it is cruel that you weren't able to go to the funeral! Warm wishes, I hope you find some solace. Make sure to reach out to family, friends and Lifeline for support.

      • Not going to say “I know how you feel”, cause I don’t know who it is that passed away. What I can tell you is that it is #$&#@$ crap to watch a funeral on webcast, seeing your loved ones being socially distant, unable to hug each other for comfort.

      • What the person suggested above actually works. Just try to sleep way later than usual, like 2-3am in the morning.

        How do I know it works? Because I do that to avoid my nightmares too.

        • "Because I do that to avoid my nightmares too"

          Thanks for letting me know what not to do to induce nightmares.

          So I'll try sleeping earlier than usual, and hopefully this should help induce nightmares.

          Any other tips?

    • hopefully, you are not the family from china that just discovered the newlywed couple are actually long lost bro/sis

      Ewwwwwwwww incest!

    • hopefully, you are not the family from china that just discovered the newlywed couple are actually long lost bro/sis

      Pretty sure the child the mother actually raised was adopted, and the other one was the one she "lost"…

    • just described ever family member in a European family.

  • This may not be super helpful, but I was having nightmares when I was unemployed about going back to my previous job. I haven’t had them since I got my new job 🤷‍♀️. I was really stressed out on the job hunt, so it could be related to how stressed you are about whatever happened to you.

  • Maybe try guided meditation before sleep.

  • Transdermal magnesium absorption can help you relax for a good night’s sleep. Try magnesium chloride flakes in a bath.

  • I would highly recommend therapy. I suffer from anxiety which presents in a number of ways, and therapy seems to help most of these for me.

    It might not be for you, and that’s perfectly ok, but if it’s not something you have tried yet, I would give it a go.

    Wishing you all the best along this journey.

  • My nightmares are, generally, connected to stress. The best thing to do is find a way to de stress before you go to bed. Read a book, listen to music, have a warm shower, make sure you’re not too cold/hot overnight. Being, physically, at the funeral is not important; I’m sure family understands, given the circumstances. My view is that the body in the coffin is just the shell that held the person I knew and loved; their essence is not there anymore. You have a right to be upset and sad. Don’t repress the memories but don’t get consumed by them. Life is, continually, letting go of things we can’t control. Time will help, being kind to yourself will help.

    • Thank you for reminding me of this (Life is, continually, letting go of things we can’t control.)
      It is very true.
      I am going to write this down and put it where I can see it for a while.
      Have read it in different form over the years and always found it a great trigger for an immediate anxiety dump.
      I am going through a separation at the moment so it is very pertinent now.

    • "Read a book, listen to music, have a warm shower, make sure you’re not too cold/hot overnight."

      Thanks for that.

      Some things to avoid doing in my quest to finally experience the thrill of a nightmare after such a long drought.

  • Active more in ozb shop more happy more…

  • I have terrible nightmares, constantly… I've found that abstaining from drinking alcohol, staying very hydrated and sleeping with very soft calming sounds on in the background help..

    Another thing I do to help me get back to sleep, is just appreciate the fact the nightmare wasn't real and that things could be so much worse, I guess what I'm trying to say is think positive thoughts…

    Talking to a friend about these dreams helped me as she also has very bad nightmares.. Comparing how f'd up our heads are and laughing about it.

    I'm probably not much help to you but I feel you.. It's horrible.

    • " I've found that abstaining from drinking alcohol, staying very hydrated and sleeping with very soft calming sounds on in the background help.."

      Thanks for the list of things to avoid in my quest for exciting nightmares.

  • Its because you read that thread last night about the 30 year old..

    • Or you watched the "Snowtown" movie on Friday. I'm still reeling from that one myself.
      I feel your pain OP, and agree that it is likely you are suffering from your family issue you describe.
      But what to do about it?
      Well, getting come closure about it is the best cure but may not be the quickest cure.
      Psychologically you need to find the tools in order to understand and 'Accept' the situation that has occurred and the situation you find yourself in now.
      Physically being active during the day and being tired by bedtime, and eating sensibly may help.
      Personally for me I don't dream or have nightmares much at all, but on the occasions that I do it often relates to me overeating and or overdrinking. Some foods also cause a lot of digestive activity, as in gassy movement, which will also contribute to a bad night.
      I wish you well with it.

      • "Personally for me I don't dream or have nightmares much at all, but on the occasions that I do it often relates to me overeating and or overdrinking. Some foods also cause a lot of digestive activity, as in gassy movement, which will also contribute to a bad night."

        Appreciate the tips on what to do in my quest to finally experience the thrill of a nightmare after a multi-year prolonged drought.

  • -1 vote

    don't eat cheese?

  • There is a reason people get nightmares, embrace them, they might be helping you deal with trauma or some kind of emotional problems.

    • "There is a reason people get nightmares, embrace them"

      My problem is that I have no nightmares to embrace!

      [sob]

  • After a lot of time I realised that I only get nightmares when my body temperature gets hot due to fever, stress, bed heater being too warm, wearing warm clothes and temperature rising etc. I don't know your case but just another factor you can consider.

    • "After a lot of time I realised that I only get nightmares when my body temperature gets hot due to fever, stress, bed heater being too warm, wearing warm clothes and temperature rising etc"

      Thanks for the extra tips on inducing a nightmare.

      Will try them out.

  • i dream non-stop for whole night, if i shut my windows closed, lacking ventilation / fresh air.

    • "i dream non-stop for whole night, if i shut my windows closed, lacking ventilation / fresh air."

      Thanks for the tip, I might try it, but slowing ventilation sounds a bit extreme just for the thrill of non-stop dreams.

  • if makes you feel any better i have suffered sleep paralysis and nightmares pretty much every night since i was 15 ish and scream in my sleep with my mouth shut. I often spend 1am-3 am unable to sleep as I just go back into the same state of paralysis, and come 8am I am flogged. Tried eliminating everything possible I can think of and just have accepted thats me.

    Only thing that sometimes works is to avoid afternoon naps (side affect of previous nights lack of sleep) and exercise a shit tonne so you are flogged by your bed time.

    The positive is my nightmares sometimes start out as choose your own adventure dreams(some of the x rated kind), and these ae kind of fun… for the whole 30 seconds.

    you could also cain a bong if thats part of your life you don't mind

    • adventure dreams(some of the x rated kind), and these ae kind of fun… for the whole 30 seconds.

      user name checks out…

    • I used to suffer from sleep paralysis every night all night. For me the fix was, and still is, CPAP. I believe choking in my sleep trapped me from being able to move and clear my throat.

      I also learnt how to guide my dreams. This helps with nightmares as instead of being attacked by a zombie, I step out and watch while editing the script. It was the best zombie film I've ever seen :)

      TLDR:- CPAP, diet, exercise (in that order) worked for me.

    • choose your own adventure dreams(some of the x rated kind), and these ae kind of fun… for the whole 30 seconds.

      My kind of dream. shame it doesnt last.

    • "if makes you feel any better i have suffered sleep paralysis and nightmares pretty much every night since i was 15 ish and scream in my sleep with my mouth shut. I often spend 1am-3 am unable to sleep as I just go back into the same state of paralysis, and come 8am I am flogged. Tried eliminating everything possible I can think of and just have accepted thats me."

      WOW sounds like fun.

      I'm green with envy.

  • +2 votes

    it's because of some significant family changes over the past few months

    so most likely due to anxiety.

    you need to find a solution to treat the anxiety and the nightmares will sort themselves out…

    • This… Even though outwardly you don't feel anxious or show symptoms of anxiety, the situation has certainly aspects that would cause it… It's probably just manifesting when you sleep rather than during the day.

      Talk to a GP and go from there

  • cut caffeine

  • consider what you can do about things and what you can't.

    then get on with the things that you can and see how that goes - doing good is always helpful.

  • Started having really vivid dreams since 2015. Found out that certain tryptophan containing foods are triggers for dreams. Eg, pizza before sleep can cause vivid dreams because of the large amount of cheese. Also thought it was my brain's way of motivating me. I think getting counselling is best as they can pick up things you might miss. Someone told me dreams are just a mixture of short term and long term memory, but I like to think they have a higher purpose.

    • "Found out that certain tryptophan containing foods are triggers for dreams. Eg, pizza before sleep can cause vivid dreams because of the large amount of cheese."

      More tips on inducing nightmares.

      Thenk you.

  • We are more likely to dream about the most recent thoughts prior to falling asleep.
    Obviously you have some things to work through, but try to read or watch something pleasant just before going to bed.

  • See a psychologist for some help with grief.
    Given your circumstances, your GP won't hesitate to put you on 10x session Medicare subsidised consultations.
    Your GP should also be able to give you some medication to help with your sleep. If you are still battling with it, they can refer you to a psychiatrist.
    Hope things improve soon.

  • Nightmares can also be a side effect to some medications.

    • "Nightmares can also be a side effect to some medications"

      Which medications?

      I'd like to try them.

  • Stop avoiding the issues in your life
    Dreams are linked to emotions
    Only you know what the issues are

  • I get more vivid dreams, sometimes lucid dreams, if I meditate before bed. I know that's not the intention, just offering that.

    Sometimes I dream of a relative who passed, and these can be very emotional, but over time they have come to symbolise my continuing connection to that person, as well as the processing of their loss. In that sense, while they knock the wind out of you, these dreams can come to be seen as valuable.

    Marijuana can help for people with nightmares. So says multiple anecdotes (yes, which are not data).

  • Not sure about your background and ethinicity and also about your maritial status. if you are maried and have kids spend good time with them and get involved with them. stop any medication that is not required. eat early and try to sleep early. before going to sleep pray and meditate and read or watch some light funny clips or books and avoid any stress and also keep your self hydrate.

    Passing away of some near ones and not able to be with them at that time is bad but you have to accept it and keep moving as death is part of life cycle in which we live.

    Also to remove stress plan out yourselves for what things to do for next day and this will help you to organise your time and other resources or make yourselves aware of things which catch you with your suprises.

  • Maybe try changing the temperature of your room when you sleep?

    Personally I have a lot more vivid dreams when it’s cold/I have several blankets on (so winter time) but very rarely dream during summer when it’s warm and only using a sheet.

    Otherwise I hope it works out for you, and sorry for your loss

    • "Personally I have a lot more vivid dreams when it’s cold/I have several blankets on (so winter time) but very rarely dream during summer when it’s warm and only using a sheet."

      HMMM … someone else here had a lot more vivid dreams when its warmer?

      So which is it?
      I'm confused.

      How am I to induce the nightmares missing in my life if I don't know whether to warm up or cool down?

      • Well it’s probably difference for each person, but the advice would be to change temperature and see what works better for you…

  • Smoke weed, dream less.

  • Have a child, be energy drained 24/7, sleep in broken patterns over a few months straight.
    I guarantee every time you get a chance for a shut-eye, you will have no dreams at all :)

  • I used to have the occasional nightmare a long time ago, when I was much younger.

    No longer for some reason.

    I miss the thrill of having nightmares.

    Any tips on how to induce them?

  • It is probably already mentioned, but keep a journal/diary. Detail all of these persistent nightmares.

    Look at your habits surrounding sleep, what you do before bed, the times you sleep and once you see the pattern, add something to it to change the habit, such as changing the sleep/wake times, light reading before bed.

  • Having bad nightmares are linked to karma. You sure you didn't do anything bad lately OP?

  • I was in similar situation 13 years ago when I was 18. Nightmares and sleep disorder ever since. I think the casual weed my friends gave me helped a little bit. Never had the courage to go see a sleep expert.

  • lift weights - and lift more weights

  • I get nightmares if its too hot when i sleep, eg: electric blanket too high, or too many blankets on. Been like this for several years.

    Keep an eye out for which nights you get nightmares and which ones you dont. Its then a process of elimination. Might be certain foods you eat as well.

    Also, theres certain topics im not a fan of (spiders, horror movies etc) so if i happen to read or see those things right before bed (eg: scrolling insta) ill most likely have a bad dream about it, so, once again, try and eliminate that process from your life.

  • This isnt a suggestion, just a story. My mother-in-law who is Viet/Chinese (88yo) told me ages ago that sleeping with a knife under your pillow gets rid of nightmares. 😂 She says it frightens them away 🤔🧐 I ofcourse was like whatever.
    Anyway, my brother who was 10 yo at the time, kept getting nightmares so I just asked my dads permission to use his machete. Dad wrapped the blade up in newspaper and then a towel & placed it under his pillow.
    My brother is 28 yo now and still sleeps with it.. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I've never asked him if it worked but its still under his pillow

    • similar story here, but in eastern Europe and the machete was an AK.
      Dad wouldn't wrap it in newspaper cause he believe it was an insult to the country and it's only good use was for wiping ones bottom.
      Anyway, i grew up and realized that dad did that just for home security.

  • The contents of your dreams are most likely what's on your mind, consciously or not. In addition to sleep hygiene that everyone has mentioned, I'd suggest meditation or relaxation techniques before sleep so you can keep something else in your mind.

    Are the nightmares repetitive? If so, you might want to understand the meaning (for you) so you can move on… Psychotherapy might help with that. Some theorists believe that you have to find a solution for the "problem" that is represented in your dream. The "solution" sometimes is acceptance, awareness, living the grief (the general meaning of grief for any loss, not necessarily death). There are some amazing techniques for unfinished business in psychotherapy; a psychotherapist could guide you through a process so you could talk with the person, say whatever you wanted to say to this person, and sometimes even hear back from this person (it's essentially what you think the person would say back to you, nothing supernatural). It's a guided process, much more complex than what it seems when I am superficially describing it.

    You lost someone and wanted to be there when you couldn't, for many reasons, including your own choices and other events that are not under your control. There is a human tendency of self-blaming and thinking (fantasies) about everything that could have been, or what we should have done. Years ago, you balanced pros and cons and made the best choice you could have made.

    Finally, I tried this tea in a hotel, weeks ago, and slept so well that I decided to buy more.

  • Hypnosis?

  • What is the content of the nightmares, are the same ones repeating?

  • Free thriller movies daily!

  • In order: Remove the blanket. Turn off the heater. Open a window. Get rid of the person in your bed.