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There is plenty of advice out there on the best things to eat before bed if you want a restful night. But what about the worst things? Some experts agree that full stomach nightmares can occur when large meals are concumed before bedtime.
If you’re prone to nightmares, then eating a heavy meal before bed might not be your best bet.
Many people find that they suffer from unsettling dreams after a big meal and this is because digestion takes up so much energy that there’s less left over for normal brain activity.
As such, it could be argued that any diet which reduces the risk of nightmares should also reduce the likelihood of suffering from them in the first place.
To do this, avoid eating large meals close to bed time and feed your body with fresh, natural foods.
Many of us have had the experience of falling asleep and then suddenly being woken up by a frightening dream that just won’t leave you alone.
If you’ve experienced this, chances are your mind was probably racing through all the strange things it knows about, like maybe your dreadlocks or the fact that your childhood pet is long gone.
For many people, these dreams aren’t simply unsettling—they can actually be very traumatic for sufferers, too.
The cause? Night terrors, or parasomnia, are one of the most common types of sleep disorder and one in which an estimated 30-40% of adults worldwide deal with at some point in their lives.
These terrifying dreams happen because your brain is trying to process something that it shouldn’t be: Traumatic experiences such as a car accident or violent assault during sleep.
When you’re startled awake from a sudden fright while sleeping (or even when you wake up from a deep REM cycle) chances are you won’t remember what happened because your brain has been conditioned not to think about those memories again.
This is why nightmares occur – your brain remembers everything about what happened and so when you see something similar in a dream it will automatically think about how scary and dangerous it was for you to experience it first hand.
Night terrors are a type of parasomnia, which is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences either a partial or full arousal from sleep.
The exact cause of this disorder is unknown, but experts speculate that it is related to stress, anxiety, or an abnormal sleep schedule.
This type of disorder is most common during childhood but can occur at any age. It is estimated that up to 15% of the population may experience night terrors.
Night terrors are very distressing to patients and their loved ones. However, many people who experience them do not realize that they are a common disorder.
If you or someone you know suffers from night terrors, it may be helpful to know that they are not dangerous or symptomatic of a serious disorder.
- Avoid stressful situations while you’re trying to fall asleep. If you’re anxious about something that’s coming up in your life, it could trigger a nightmare. Try to calm yourself down before bed so that you’re not as likely to have an anxious dream.
- Don’t drink caffeinated drinks or take any medicines before bed. These substances can disturb your sleep, causing you to wake up or have nightmares.
- Don’t exercise or engage in any other activity that makes you too excited or agitated before bed. These things can keep your body and brain alert while you’re trying to go to sleep.
- Don’t spend too much time worrying about something before bed.
Worrying about things that are out of your control will only make you feel anxious and stressed out. Try to relax and let go of these worries before bed instead so that you have better sleep.
A nightmare can have many different signs, but the most common one is that you’re still sleeping when you wake up.
You may also notice that you’re having vivid dreams that feel more like nightmares even though they happen during your normal wakeful hours.
Another sign is that you have trouble falling back asleep once you’ve woken up. If you experience any of these signs in your dreams, you may want to consider whether they could be nightmare triggers.
It’s important to note that nightmares can happen to anyone and aren’t necessarily a sign of a serious psychological disorder.
Some people believe that eating certain foods during the night before bed can cause nightmares. But experts say this is mostly just a myth.
Nighttime snacks and junk food might cause snoring or cause sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), but these issues aren’t caused by food.
Nightmares are caused by something different. Studies have found that people who have nightmares often have other sleep-related problems, such as breathing problems during sleep or insomnia.
- Stay calm. Try not to panic if you have a nightmare Most of the time, you’ll be able to wake yourself up from them fairly easily.
- Keep a dream journal by your bed so that you’ll be able to write down your dreams the moment you remember them. This will help you remember the experience and avoid thinking about it.
- Don’t try to fight your nightmare. Fighting a dream is likely to cause you to wake up even more quickly, which will just make things worse.
- Try to use imagery when you’re trying to fall asleep. Try to imagine that you’re already in your dream.
- Avoid having your phone or computer near you when you’re trying to fall asleep. These things can keep you too alert, causing you to stay awake.
- Try to nap if you’re able to during the day so that you’re in a more relaxed state when you try to go to sleep at night.
- Don’t try to force yourself to fall asleep. If you’re awake but not feeling sleepy, don’t try to force yourself to fall asleep.
- Just try to relax and stay awake until you are feeling sleepy and ready to fall asleep naturally.
- Don’t drink fluids or eat a heavy or spicy meal right before bed. These things will disturb your sleep.
Night terrors are terrifying and confusing experiences that everyone experiences at some point in their lives.
They're not harmful, but they can be scary, so it's important to know what they are, how to prevent them, and what to do if you experience one.
If you experience a night terror, try to wake yourself up as quickly as you can. If you have a partner, have them wake you up.