Everyone agrees that bad dreams are stressful. However, as rare as we wish they were, they are quite common. Frequent bad dreams can become a problem if they interrupt your sleep. Read on to learn how to get rid of them!
What are Bad Dreams?
Bad dreams happen during the stage of sleep when the brain is very active known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). They belong to a category of sleep disorders called parasomnias, or unwanted experiences that occur during sleep. Unless they interfere with daily life and disrupt sleep, bad dreams are considered normal. People of all ages experience bad dreams, from babies to elders. And it’s more common in children under the age of 10.
The themes vary widely from person to person, but common themes include falling, being chased, accidents, and even death. Moreover, they can cause you to feel various emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, etc.
What are the Possible Causes?
Irregular sleeping and waking up patterns caused by changes in schedule can increase the risk of having bad dreams.
Pregnancy and other hormonal changes can also trigger bad dreams due to sleep disruptions caused by hormonal fluctuations. Unfortunately, the usual menstrual cycle and perimenopause are also causing bad dreams due to changes in body temperature and progesterone.
Medications, drugs, and alcohol may interfere with brain chemicals thus increase the chance of bad dreams. Common antidepressants are known to cause bad dreams in addition to other effects on sleep. In some cases, withdrawing from substances can also lead to recurring bad dreams.
Pain, Disorder, or Sickness
Bad dreams are common with people who suffer from psychiatric disorders. Some studies suggest that distress from negative dreams may be particularly acute in those diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders, and PTSD.
How to Stop It?
Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Establishing a sleep pattern by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning.
Meditate or Yoga
Engaging in relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, before you go to bed might help.
Create a Comforting Sleep Environment
Set a comfortable temperature if possible, block out excess light and sound, set up your bed and bedding to be cozier.
Reduce Screen Time
Your gadget screen has been known to disrupt the ability of the brain to determine the night or day. Stay away from them at least an hour before bed.
Consult with Your Doctor
If your bad dreams might be caused by your sickness or medications, talk with your doctor for better solutions.
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