I am waking up in the middle of the night every night due to panicky stress dreams/half-dreams that are about my job. Is there a way to stop this without having to find a new job?
I started a new high volume, deadline-driven, extremely detail-oriented job 3 months ago which sucks because my personally suits none of those things, but I came into the job welcoming the challenge and excited to get out of my old job where I was miserable. I think
I'm warming up to the work, and I definitely like my coworkers/work atmosphere so much better. But it has all not been without it's hiccups, some bigger than others, which has been relatively stressful. Still, I am trying my best and plugging on - I hope to have mastered it within a few more months. I think I can do it, and I'll be really proud if I can.
The past few weeks though I've found myself waking up in this overwhelming state of panic 3 or 4 or 5 hours after falling asleep. They are dreams about work, but not full-on dreams - it's more like I fully convince myself in my sleep that I forgot to do something, missed a detail, screwed something up, got a date wrong, put a decimal in the wrong place, didn't check the right box, etc (all things that have happened at work before). It is usually never exactly one of those things, but I get this same vague sense of panic.
It's like I am making up extremely realistic yet un-detailed situations in my head that something has actually gone wrong at work, and because the dream was so literal (as opposed to nightmarish/surreal) I feel all the stress and panic lying in bed half-awake for the next hour or two tossing and turning and have to actively convince myself that it was all made up in a dream, that I somehow concocted a scenario while asleep. You know that awful feeling you get when you realize "Oh my god, I forgot to _____ the _____" - it's like that, just vague and confused and foggy in the way that stress-dreams can be.
I usually read or watch reruns of a funny sitcom before I fall asleep, so I make sure not to go to bed with work on my mind. And I definitely don't even dread work that much going to bed. So is there anything I can do to make this stop? It's happened almost every night for the past three weeks, including weekend nights.
I am committed to seeing this job through for at least a year, so no, I'm not going to just "find a new job" - and as bad as I've made it sound here ("MY JOB IS SO STRESSFUL IT'S GIVING ME NIGHTMARES") it's really not that bad when I'm there.