How to dream about unicorns: the improved formula (published 2014)
For the past half a year maybe I’ve been having the most ridiculous and terrifying horror-like nightmares ever. It has become almost a regular thing to wake up in the middle of the night sweating & crying, and if not that then I would be at least paralysed by fear the whole following day with my brain running back to those dreaded memories of the night just gone. I blame the last semester of uni, but the uni’s over now & the nightmares still carry on. So I did what any other person with bad dreams would do – went on Twitter & asked for help. I got loads of useful tips & with a tad of internet research on the top, I’ve managed to put together this little list of tips & tricks that might help you get rid of nightmares.
First of all, I can’t stress enough that this is list of tips that I have put together, and I’m no real expert. To be fair, it’s hard to be an expert on dreams anyways, since every little snap of your nerve can totally turn your head around. I’m not urging you to try any of these, honestly – some of them didn’t work for me, some of them did a bit, some of them I’m still trying, but everyone is different and what doesn’t suit my brain, might suit yours! If you keep having super bad nightmares every single night, you are probably better off contacting a dream clinic (yeh, apparently these do exist, and I’m currently researching how to get a job in one, how could would that be though?!), or talk to your GP.
How to improve your sleep & get better dreams
💤 Most likely your bad dreams are a result of stress or anxiety, try to minimise these in your every day life & try to rationalize them if possible (freaking out that you are about to fail an exam and not preparing for it definitely won’t bring you dreams about unicorns)
💤 Talk to someone right before you go to bed about what you’ve been doing all day, about your successes and fails and just get it out of your system (can’t guarantee you won’t give nightmares to your bf/mum/friend.. haha!)
💤 Try to keep your mind focused on nice and positive things before falling asleep, try to thing about what nice things you’ve seen that day, who was nice to you, this is likely to suppress negative thoughts and push the positive ones forward into your dreams, maybe you can even try mediation!
💤 Try to avoid watching horror/thriller movies or even sad movies before bed (or completely if possible), the scary imagines can reside in your memory and jump out when you want it the least (I haven’t watched the Ring for about 4 years now and that little freaky girl from the well still somehow finds her way into my dreams. Chuckie too. You get the idea what freaks me out the most, heh)
💤 Avoid eating fat or greasy meals before going to bed as they are harder to digest and can keep blood circulation busy around your digestive organs leaving you restless
💤 Listen to calming music before you go to bed, someone may enjoy classical music, someone may enjoy relaxing sounds of nature or someone just enjoys their favourite chill band
💤 Try to move your bed or at least pillow (get a different pillow or more/less of them), or maybe change position you usually sleep in (I’m so unable to do either of these, got the tiniest room, can’t even swap sides as I sleep on a sofa bed and I’m unable to fall asleep in any other position than my usual flat frog on stomach, oh well)
💤 Play with room temperature – try sleeping in a cooler room or have the heater on, open the window, roll up the blinds, even the slightest change can make the difference
I honestly hope that some of these tips help you have better dreams, because I know that having nightmares suck. Obviously there is going to be a difference between having bad dreams because of a trauma you’ve been through, such as an accident or a death of a loved one, there’s no surprise you’ll be having some bad dreams about that sort of thing, but I’ve been having real nightmares for no obvious reason like that, so it’s really difficult to pinpoint where they’re stemming from. I’ll keep on trialling various methods of inducing more positive dreams and will let you know how I’m getting on!