stopping or helping to calm down the nightma... - Sleep Matters

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stopping or helping to calm down the nightmares/bad dreams I have every night?


Anyone have any answers in stopping or helping to calm down the nightmares/bad dreams I have every night?

I have several health issues and on cocktail of meds, I tried quitting all meds one at a time to see if possible connection. I've tried eating different food, nothing works.

I remember the dreams most every morning and can take a few hours to shake off. I've been getting them for over 10 years now from about the time I fell ill with stuff including MECFS & Fibromyalgia, my doctors are of no help.

23 Replies

Have you tried using a mindfulness app like “insight timer”. I have found one or two of the guided meditations put me right into a dreamless sleep. “While being relaxation into deep sleep” is a 20 minute one and I’m usually asleep before it ends...

Hope that’s of some use

arnieatmo in reply to Bassman65

I've not tried that but will give it go. I do (did) have a draw full of similar CD's for relaxation but TBH they drove me mad, its like the hypnotherapy & CBT I've had, haunts me more than anything, hypnosis was quite good at the time but it kept wearing off after a few hours, but still it was a nice few hours where I actually smiled lol. Really appreciate your help thank you, I'm really getting desperate now. Hey you're not from Essex are you?

No I’m not from Essex

I know the feeling all to well of wanting to quell bad dreams and put an end to nightmares ... just stop them ... stop! But the unconscious content roils and erupts, leaving me shaken ... drained, night after night. There seems a natural aversion to or even fear of the shadow workings of the mind, what takes place seemingly beyond our control when we sleep. But what if we befriended the uncomfortable?

Have you considered keeping a dream journal, writing down the details of the nightmares, thereby casting some light on them, perhaps even shedding some discomfort in the process?

Have you read anything by Carl Jung? He wrote extensively about the unconscious workings of the mind.

Practice mindfulness. You can watch videos on YouTube of Thich Nhat Hahn lecturing on ways to relax. If you practice a Buddhist breathing relaxation technique three times a day in a few days you will be able to use it to relax your mind, focus on positive thoughts just before sleep. You aren't watching violent tv or videos I hope. Read books or watch videos on things that make you feel good before you go to bed. During the day take a few minutes to think about something that you really enjoy and try to put that into your dreams. If nothing works, get some professional help with a psychiatrist. Why put yourself through this if there may be a way to find help.

arnieatmo in reply to PacificCLL

Hi & thanks, I've tried a psychiatrist but they only interested in helping my anxiety & depression, nobody seems slightly interested in the dreams I have, I get no response. I can't do mindfulness by myself, I have tried, I need to go somewhere for it but getting out of the house is a rare treat saved for Saturdays if my body will accept the medication I take extra of for the day.

I have listened to Thich Nhat Hahn, I love all the Buddhist stuff, there's a temple about 30 mile away that would be awesome for me, but a Tuesday evening or whatever, I just couldn't do it, Saturday yes. I run my own business on computer with the help of my partner who is also my carer as well as everything else bless her, my son does all the IT work, we can't really just pack up & go out during the week because of orders mainly, although we do use a deadline of 2pm for dispatching orders which helps some with hospital appointments.

I listen to YouTube in evenings or music I like, I really like my work. Its difficult ..

PacificCLL in reply to arnieatmo

You might want to try to find a better psychiatrist. I went to two after my husband died suddenly, they were both rubbish, all they wanted to do was put me on meds. Then I found a really good one, he has studied Buddhist practices, worked with the Dalai Lama, who taught me the breathing techniques and helped me get off the meds. I certainly understand that it is very hard to go out when you are not feeling well, it's a chore. I hope you can get some rest from your nightmares.

arnieatmo in reply to PacificCLL

That's just what I need but nobody close enough for me to visit on a regular basis

Elienne in reply to PacificCLL

Excellent suggestions, PacificCLL.

You seem to be very tuned in to the essential, calming, regulating role of the breath for body, mind, and emotions, as well as being keenly aware of the need to maintain a healthy diet, not only for the body, but also for the mind.

We do need to be discerning about what we eat, knowing healthy, nourishing food is best for our physical health and wellbeing.

We must also be conscious of what we consume and entertain mentally, sensing a clear cause and effect relationship between the content of media and messaging we allow in and the quality of our responsive thoughts and feelings.

I was started on Mirtazepine after experiencing 18 mnths of one and half hours sleep a night with night terrors and movement and screaming. I was shaking from head to foot in the end. How I worked I dont know. It did help just a little but bad side effects - Put on loads of weight. It makes you crave sweet stuff. Stopped it.

Attended Sleep Clinic who offered nothing and GP told me my bloods were fine. They wernt! 5 yrs later found out I was Hypothyroid. Also clinically anaemic. Also high cholesterol 7.1 for many years ( also symptoms of poor thyroid function). All normal now. Ask your surgery for your latest Thyroid blood panel. If your TSH is over 2 your Thyroid is under attack. There is virtually an epidemic of auto immune disorders now. I have two! You have chance to delay your Thyroid being destroyed by optimising vitamins and gluten free diet. Ask for as many tests from your GP that they are willing to do. Check your Thyroid antibodies and vitamin levels privately ( GP probably wont do this) and as much depth as you can afford as your health will eventually suffer. Let us know the results as need to be in top of optimum range. Selenium L Seleniomethionine is very important but need to check levels first as you can overdose though rare. Omega 3 also very important as are B vitamins. These are water soluable and not likely to overdose as body excretes what it doesnt need.

You need to find the route cause! Poor testing forcing us to go private to ruin NHS by stealth, by making having to go private the norm. Dont drink tea, coffee or cola etc after mid day. Its ruining the nations sleep.

I take DMAE in an adrenal support ( non hormonal) and found it helps.

Also Melatonin ( a hormone) helps some people. Low Progesterone ( another hormone) also causes sleep difficulties. Sometimes Oestrogen can become too dominant as we get older.

I also found out by accident I am Lactose intolerant. This was probably my route cause of everything. Try an elimination diet. Allergy tests are notoriously unreliable. When you wake make yourself get up out of bed. Dont lay there. Dont do anything stimulating then go back to bed.

Have a glass of water and an Omega 3 capsule when you wake or try having a dry biscuit. Some people listen to youtube sleep music. Say kind things to yourself x

you are so right, I keep asking if all these things have been checked, I never seem to get a straight answer. I've tried eating really well, I've tried different combinations, I've quit all my meds one at a time just to see if any change. I now have my meds reasonably stable but its all pain meds. I take plenty of supplements, all specially researched for me by my wonderful partner, bless her.

Lots of Fibroneuralgia type pain with Hypothyroidism which reduces stomach acid depleting bodies ability to take up nutrients from consumed food.

Also night terrors, verbalisations and movement could be REM sleep behaviour disorder which is also a non motor symptom of Parkinsons Disease which incidentally my father had. A gentleman from the Parkinsons HU group advised me of this when I posted a similar post to you. He takes Clonazepam 1 mg to induce paralysis. Thats the other reason that I try to optimise all my vitamins, to try and head this off if its in my genes. I take BioKult Mind recommended on the Parkinsons site also for this purpose x

My mums brother recently died from Parkinson's. Your post has certainly given me something to think about, I'll look further into it thank you. I take 2 to 3mg of clonazepam just to keep the anxiety in check.

I suffer from PTSD. The nightmares were horrible for years. My Dr put me on Prazosin and I haven't had a single nightmare in years.

Thats interesting. I’ll look into that x

yes me to, it sounds just the job thanks PP

Very important low Vit D is being blamed for a while host of health problems. Take it with added K2 greatly increases absorption. Vit D is being given out in NZ with their out door lifestyle. Your GP will only tell you if you are clinically low but aim is to getnin top quadrant of normal.

I use Magnesium spray.

I have an Air purifier which works wonderfully to stop me getting blocked up. I keep it on all the time.

I have a Water purifier.

Eat a healthy diet.

Get exercise. Your body needs to be tired to sleep.

Check hormones.

Check medications for sleep disturbance side effects.

Tell yourself (and your adrenals) that you are safe. Write down 3 reasons why you are safe.

Make sure you are hydrated on non stimulating drinks because they long term put your adrenals under strain.

Glycine dietary supement can help some people. Oregano oil capsules at night, can help others.

Get involved in a hobby to practice mindfulness - Something creative - this is not a waste of time, this is living.

Dont try to go to bed before you feel completely ready to sleep.

Some people benefit from a weighted blanket.

Condider room temperature and ventilation.

Dont cut people out of your life unless abuse. Limit contact on your terms instead. Intelligent people dont fall out.

I’m not a medic, this is just my own years of research.

I wish you a good nights sleep x

Good evening, arnieatmo.

Putting the unusual, often indescribable, imaginal content of dreams into words, confining them to the known, conscious parameters of waking reality is indeed difficult. Yet not impossible.

We may stumble initially, but vagueness and imperfection are not only okay, but to be expected at the point of freshly attempting description.

It's the earnest effort that counts most in the beginning ... that raw willingness that's required at the outset of any venture.

A couple of alternative approaches at description are drawing and speech, both equally valid forms of capturing our experiences.

Do you find any method in particular more comfortable than another? It's certainly okay to experiment ... mix and match different approaches.

I feel I might possibly take a clue about your preferred, most dominant experiential modality from your own words, your stating in your reply, "I see things..." and "I can vision [visualize?]".

Do you find yourself to be a visually oriented person? You don't have to be gifted or trained in the fine arts to draw a basic depiction of what you perceive visually in your dreams.

Remember that you are your own audience. Your drawings are for your eyes only, not those of the public.

Your drawings are not up for artistic scrutiny. Your drawings are simply a tool for your own private exploration, discovery, and personal interpretation of your dreams.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do to be liberated from fear.

Hello arnieatmo.

I checked out the video you mentioned you'd be watching, Carl Jung's Red Book, uploaded to Uberboyo's YouTube channel.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, impressions, and responses to the video. Also, did you view any other videos on Uberboyo's YouTube channel?

I browsed through the channel, and even went to Uberboyo's associated website, admittedly finding both to be underwhelming, rather dark and bleak, and not accurately representative of Carl Jung's body of work ...

... in a nutshell, fairly juvenile, sophomoric, and flagrantly self-agrandizing. But, what can one expect from a fanboy of Nietzsche?

Indeed, there are far better, more accurately representative presentations of Carl Jung's works and his legacy of professional Jungian analysis and psychotherapy.

I will make a point of later sharing a link to a separate YouTube channel developed and maintained by a trio of formally educated, clinically trained, and professionally certified psychologists specializing in Jungian analysis and psychotherapy.

The group also hosts a successful, associated podcast available to listen to for free. There's a link to the podcast at the YouTube channel.

I do hope not to appear stuffy or overly prejudiced, but in this era of adulterated, fabricated news and mass consumption of highly subjective social media, often fueled by narcissism coupled with ignorance, I maintain my right to be selective.

But, back to the original subject of dreams, or nightmares, which apparently seem to have us in their merciless, stranglehold grip, as we suffer night after night without respite. Is there hope for us?

arnieatmo in reply to Elienne

I removed that terrible video, I listened to 5 minutes and that was that. I had no intention of listening to any more from that channel

Is there hope for those of us who are deeply troubled and seemingly powerless over, even prisoners of, unwanted dark dreams and nightmares?

I like to think yes... yes, there is hope for us. But it takes courage and the willingness to face and challenge our fears.

Medicating or drinking our way into an uneasy, troubled slumber is not the answer. This we certainly know without any doubts.

Where does the answer lie? We must do the thing we think we cannot do. We must enter the dreamscape undaunted and emerge better for it ... stronger, wiser, and victorious.

There really is no path other than through is there? So, take heart, brace yourself, and pray for the required strength. You are not alone and victory is yours by virtue of grace.

Setting Carl Jung aside, there are other sources of practical methods to work with, rather than supress, dreams and nightmares, the unconscious content of our minds.

The following is a link to a playlist of videos featuring Tzivia Gover, Director of the Institute for Dream Studies, Northampton, Massachusetts, United States.

Please watch with an open mind and open heart, entertaining that there may be a way for you to reclaim your life and find the peace and sleep you so desperately need and deserve.


The Referenced YouTube Playlist Link:

arnieatmo in reply to Elienne

I have a playlist saved thank you

I been having bad dreams every night since falling ill 12 years ago. I don't want to recall my dreams let alone write them down, I know the basics as I'm aware of the dream the, that dark feeling.

Its impossible to describe my dreams, I tell my partner bits if they amusing like trying to have a shower but the droplets of water dance in various patterns around me but no matter how I try I can't get wet to wash.

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