Nightmares are common- most people have experienced these on occasion. For some people, however, nightmares can frequently occur, causing distress or interfering with functioning. The risk of experiencing distressing, frequent, or impairing nightmares increases if negative life events, trauma, or mental health issues are present. It can seem hopeless to manage- how can you control or change your dreams?
It’s good to know that there’s a particular psychological technique that can reduce the distress linked to nightmares, as well as their frequency. Research shows that most people who undertake ‘Nightmare Rescripting’ for 10 minutes a day (for several weeks) experience benefit. It involves the following:
Step 1: Write down what happened in your nightmare
Step 2: Write down the emotions you experienced as a result of the nightmare
Step 3: Identify the emotion you would like to feel instead
Step 4: Rewrite your nightmare so that the story finishes with the emotion identified in Step 3. Be creative: even if it’s a pink unicorn that comes in to save the day- anything is possible in dreams.
If you would like to explore other helpful ways to manage sleep difficulties, you are very welcome to contact for an appointment learn more.