Practice re-scripting for nightmares or recurring bad dreams
- If you suffer from nightmares or recurring bad dreams, try to engage with them when you’re awake, and imagine ways to change them for the better.
Don’t try to avoid sleeping or dreaming, as losing out on sleep, especially REM sleep, is very detrimental to mental health and will likely worsen things in the long run. Instead, learn to engage with your dream through re-scripting – like writing a new ending to a story.
- Set aside 10 minutes or so for re-scripting the day after a nightmare, where you can use your imagination and be creative.
You can re-script by imagining, speaking, writing, drawing, or acting out the dream.
- As you re-script, think of ways to increase your sense of agency and control in the dream or to make the dream content more manageable and less threatening.
This could be: engaging in dialogue with a dream character, changing the size of an object or figure in the dream, moving to a different dream place or environment, or slowing down or speeding up time in the dream.
- Get support from loved ones or a therapist if you need to.
Sharing your dreams with others can sometimes make them less frightening or disruptive, and you can get insights into what they mean or how to change them.
- Practice re-scripting your dream at least once a day for a week consistently.
Regular re-scripting has the power to transform recurring nightmares into ordinary dreams or even end them entirely.
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