Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How To Cope With Nightmares

How to Cope with Nightmares

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Nightmares are the result of the subconscious dealing with your hidden anxiety. Not pleasant, but you can calm yourself.


  1. If you wake up directly after the nightmare, take a deep breath, look at your surroundings, and assure yourself that the nightmare you saw wasn't real.
  2. If you share a bed with someone and they are awake due to sudden movements you made, tell them you had a nightmare. They will probably offer you a hug or even wake up enough to ask what it was about. Recounting it right away can help you get over the shock. If the person beside you is still asleep, cuddle up with them carefully in order to not disturb them. It may help to lay your ear on their chest, if possible, as the sound of their heartbeat will calm you. Only wake them up if you are truly terrified. They will most likely understand.
  3. Write about your nightmare in detail. Sometimes, writing can give you insights into what is happening or at least offer a sense of closure.
  4. Tell someone else about your nightmare. While they may not understand, a sympathetic ear can always help.
  5. Look up the theme of your nightmare in a dream dictionary. You can find them online or in a bookstore. While not always accurate, dream dictionaries can get you thinking about what your subconscious may be trying to tell you.
  6. If you are a religious person, seek your God and pray.
  7. Play soft quiet music to help you return to sleep.
  8. Read a peaceful book or listen to calming music before going to bed.
  9. Think of pleasant thoughts as you go to sleep.
  10. If it fits into your religious beliefs, go to a Pagan or Occult shop and buy a small piece of amethyst, it is a purple colored gemstone that promotes rest, place it on the headboard of your bed, or under your pillow or buy an uncut piece of rose quartz which is said to prevent nightmares.
  11. Try not to be in fear and look at the bright side of how imaginative it was, maybe draw a scene of it on paper.


  • Remember it's just a dream and nothing that happens in the dream is real.
  • Avoid scary movies near your bedtime. These images stay in your mind and reoccur in your sleep. Try to do something that will keep your mind off the scary movie before sleeping if possible.
  • Survival horror games can have the same effect as scary movies. Choose your gaming times carefully.
  • Take time to calm yourself before bedtime.
  • If you want to try to sleep in while having a nightmare, at the part when you die (if you die in the nightmare), you will wake up automatically and feel refreshed.
  • If you need to get back to sleep after a nightmare, the best advice is to make your room completely dark, because any light can cast terrifying shadows if you just had a nightmare. Don't sleep with the light on! It will make everything look scary! Even things like a computer can be a horrible ghost if you are half asleep!
  • Often after a nightmare, the nightmare may be preying on your mind. Try to block it out immediately, which may prevent you from remembering it too clearly. To get it out, try to think happy thoughts, such as your favorite vacation spot. It gets the nightmare thoughts out. If you are unable to do this, see Warnings.
  • Avoid telling yourself that lingering bits of fear from nightmares are irrational or silly. It won't make you feel any better if you're lying in bed thinking about how stupid you are for being scared. If you have seen something scary or disturbing in your nightmare, you have a right to be scared of it.


  • If you "see" things after the nightmare, it's time to consult a doctor. This may be a sign of more serious conditions. Sometimes, if the dream is VERY scary you tend to "see" the scary thing.
  • "Seeing" things goes with "feeling" objects from your dream, regardless of in the nightmare or not. If you "feel" anything, that may also be a more serious condition.
  • Contrary to popular belief, nightmares and simply just bad dreams have a difference. Nightmares are often warning you about something that is going on in your life, where as bad dreams simply come and go.

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