How do you avoid nightmares?
April 9, 2012 1:09 PM Subscribe
Sleep eludes me as the anniversary of a violent crime looms. Is there anything I can do to keep the nightmares from ruining my entire week?
posted by anonymous to human relations (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Two days hence and more than ten years ago, I was the victim of a terrifying violent crime. I didn't get therapy afterward when I could have and should have, and right now I can't get therapy for financial and geographical reasons. This doesn't usually happen that I get the nightmares, but it has happened before around the anniversary.
I live alone, and I'm in a new relationship, so I can't talk to my partner about it, I'm afraid this kind of baggage would scare him off before we establish something more permanent. I keep having very bad nightmares (night terrors?) the past two nights where I wake up dreaming about the event, screaming, shaking, and I can't think straight. I'm emotional during the day, jumpy, having trouble focusing on my work, overreacting to everything and being irritable, and then when I get home I'm scared to fall asleep and I cry a lot. Once I do fall asleep, it starts. I had two separate nightmares last night, resulting in my getting an hour of sleep and feeling very panicky all morning and right now even. I compulsively keep looking over my shoulder, and my posture can best be described as a cringe. My shoulders and neck are so tight I can't straighten up.
Is there anything I can do to make sure I get sleep without the nightmares?
Is there a food that causes deep sleep?
Aromatherapy? (I don't know anything about it and have never tried it, but I'm willing to consider it if it would help.)
Would drinking wine or other alcohol before bed help or make it worse? Pot? I don't have access to prescription drugs.
Should I try to be more tired or less tired when I fall asleep? Does it matter?
I'm willing to try just about anything.
Have you experienced this before? Do you know any tricks to get rid of nightmares?