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How to have a good night sleep and avoid nightmares

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Westend61 | Getty Image

As humans, we need rest. Just as you charge your smart phone whenever it’s low, we also need to charge. And just like we need food and water, we also need sleep. Without a good amount of sleep, countless areas of our lives suffers.

With the pandemic, whereby everyone is forced to stay at home, most people actually find out they have a thing for sleep. Even those who find it difficult to sleep automatically find a way to sleep.

The question remains : How can you get a good sleep without nightmares? Scroll further and see tips.

Create a bedtime routine

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Westend61 | Getty Images

Try to do the same thing each night in the same order. For example, having your bath, or reading a book and even playing music.

Creating a bedtime routine is great as it will help signal your brain that you’re getting ready for sleep. That way, sleep comes to you easily with out you having to roll on your bed for hours just for sleep to come. At least 30 minutes of solo time before going to bed should lead to a noticeable easing into sleep.

Learn to drop your phone

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Oscar Wong | Getty Image

Phone addictions do not help. Rodriguez suggests avoiding too much screen time two to three hours before bed.

Similarly, she recommends avoiding the news before bedtime. Actually, avoiding the news at night can help anxiety as well as dreams. Newman suggests assessing your “media diet,” including anything you’re watching, listening and reading. “If you’re consuming a lot of dark, macabre, troubling, violent or conflict-ridden content, it might penetrate your sleep hours in an unintended way,” says Newman. “This is especially true if you have extenuating life circumstances and stresses that cannot be quelled.” Offer your mind some respite with lighter content.

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Take sufficient food

You’ve heard the one about avoiding caffeine for better shuteye. (And you should — some even stop at 2 p.m. or even noon.)

Other no-nos? Heavy meals and alcohol. Rodriguez says that heavy meals shouldn’t be scoffed too close to bedtime. Eating three hours or less before shuteye can impact slumber. It can even lead to bad dreams: Hoyer says that meals that are high in fat and carbohydrates in particular can signal the brain to raise its neuronal activity, which can be “the perfect recipe for having nightmares.”

It is also recommended to avoid alcohol prior to bed. Yes, alcohol tends to make you sleepy, but according to Newman, it has a documented negative effect on the quality of your sleep — so don’t be fooled.

Also, consider what you should eat: Foods like ripe kiwis and almonds can help promote slumber. Hoyer swears by the previous two because they both have a high dosage of magnesium as well as melatonin. She continues that nuts in general are great provided they’re unsalted and unglazed.

How to avoid nightmares

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Nightmares are related to anxiety so sometimes taking care of anxiety can help with bad dreams. Also, other psychological triggers, such as depression, can cause nightmares, too.

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“But the vast majority of nightmares are ironically caused by sleep deprivation,” says Hoyer. “It’s a doom loop: Sleep deprivation causes nightmares, causes sleep deprivation, causes nightmares, etc.”

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