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02 October 2010

Nightmares I don't get nightmares often, but when I do they are super-intense and often leave me shaken for the whole next day. And now I've had two in a row. [More:]

I love horror books and movies, but avoid them before bed. And I don't usually have "monster nightmares" anyway. Does anyone have any nightmare avoidance tricks? Is there such a thing?
I haven't noticed a correlation myself, but others say that eating right before bed can cause nightmares. I think there are even certain kinds of foods to avoid... I will google it.
posted by amro 02 October | 09:15
What kind of nightmares are you having?
posted by Specklet 02 October | 09:15
Here's an article about foods to avoid before bed. I guess some of it makes sense.
posted by amro 02 October | 09:17
I gave my father a phd thesis on practicing lucid dreaming and how that can help people turn nightmares around into normal dreams.

The wisdom about correlation between food and dreaming goes at least back Winsor McKays Dream of a Welsh rarebit fiend.
Whether that makes it more or less believable I leave up to you.
posted by jouke 02 October | 09:21
Sometimes my nightmares are my brain's way of communicating with me - most times they're just the garbage collector going through the detritus of recent days and experiences and associations and maybe littering a bit by accident. For me, it's usually pretty obvious when my subconscious is trying to let me know something (something I already know even, like "hey, you're really super stressed out and worried about failure!!!"). If that's the case for you, too, try to address whatever it is that's bringing up anxiety or frustration or fear, and maybe do a little bit of meditation before bedtime. I find that getting anxious about nightmares makes them more likely to happen, so do your best to laugh it off or find something ridiculous in the nightmare. Retell the story of it to yourself, but with platypuses or a goofy kazoo-filled soundtrack or something.
posted by lriG.rorriM 02 October | 10:45
My theory is that food only affects how deeply you sleep and thus makes it more likely for you to remember your dreams (which you'd have had and forgotten otherwise).
posted by Obscure Reference 02 October | 12:32
Thanks, all (and thanks to whoever did the "more" cut for me, I need to find out how to do that)!

I know these are anxiety subconscious is not what you would call subtle. The re-occurring ones are: mom telling me what a failure I am, husband saying he doesn't love me, being yelled at at work, etc. And sometimes the end of the world (that was last night).

I can sometimes do lucid dreaming and take control, but then my brain just re-plays it again. (Stupid brain.) Good thoughts about food and mediation, I will give that a try.
posted by JoanArkham 02 October | 12:46
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