Dealing with Anxiety Dreams

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams

dAnxiety can affect all aspects of everyday life, including the time you spend asleep.

Quality sleep is paramount to good mental, emotional and physical health. It's good for your brain.

But what happens when anxiety interferes with good quality sleep?

Anxiety dreams are real. They are also called Dream Anxiety Disorder or Nightmare Disorder.

The advice of a licensed professional counselor is key to helping you understand anxiety dreams better.

In this article, we will explore the nocturnal world of anxiety dreams, and learn tips for dealing with anxiety dreams.

Available Anxiety Counselors

Courtney Fisher, LPC

We don't have to do all of it alone...

Aurora, Colorado

(720) 449-4121

Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

I'd love to stand beside you along your journey.

, Colorado

(720) 449-4121

Felicia Gray, MS, LPCC

Becoming a better you!

Pueblo, Colorado

(719) 696-3439

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams: The Power of Dreams

Even though their exact meanings are a mystery, dreams wield a powerful influence over us.

For centuries people have been fascinated by dreams and dedicated countless hours and pages to their study.

The interpretation of dreams is a fascinating study.

And yet, regardless of their fascination or meanings, anxiety dreams are real and pose a real threat to psychological health.

Most of us have had dreams that seemed so real you could still feel the sensations after you wake up.

People dream of hurting their hand, and when they awake, their hand hurts.

Even though we don't understand exactly how, the mind and the body are intertwined.

Even if an anxiety dream seems silly or insignificant, if it interferes with healthy sleep then it should be taken seriously.

If anxiety dreams make waking moments worse, and elevates your level of anxiety, then anxiety dreams need to be addressed.

If you suffer from anxiety dreams, then it is important to take them seriously and seek treatment from a licensed professional.

Never simply dismiss, or allow someone else to dismiss your anxiety dream as, "just a dream". 

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams: Why do They Happen?

Nobody knows how or exactly why dreams happen. That remains a mystery.

However, mental health professionals point to many possible reasons for why anxiety dreams happen.

Put simply, anxiety dreams are dreams that causes anguish, pain or distress.

Any event or set of circumstances when you are awake can cause you to have anxiety dreams.

As you may know, anxiety is unpredictable. There is not always a clear-cut, rational reason for why someone feels anxiety.

An anxiety attack or panic attack can just happen, without logical explanation.

Anxiety dreams are the same way. There are probable causes for anxiety dreams, but at the end of the day there is no rule book for why they happen.

Fear or stress can bring about anxiety dreams.

Especially prolonged fear or stress that does not seem to have an immediate resolution in sight.

Fear and stress can make you feel helpless and trapped, and these feelings can manifest as anxiety dreams.

Dramatic life changes can bring about anxiety dreams, especially unexpected life changes.

The loss of a loved one, the discovery of infidelity,or  the loss of a job or possible opportunity are all common causes for anxiety dreams.

Insomnia can be a cause for anxiety dreams.

It's a vicious cycle- not enough sleep causes anxiety dreams, or frequent anxiety dreams cause not enough sleep.

Insomnia causes many types of imbalance in the brain and prevents it from working at its peak performance.

Seek the help of a medical professional or a licensed counselor to accurately diagnose and treat insomnia.

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams: Nightmares

Nightmares are a form of anxiety dreams.

The brain keeps working when you are asleep.

Your brain is busy- processing the day's events, rejuvenating itself,and  restoring and regulating bodily functions.

Daily anxiety causes anxiety dreams.

Because anxiety has such a powerful effect on the brain, it has a powerful effect on your brain's activity when you are asleep.

Anxiety dreams are often nightmarish, inspiring terror. This terror and horror caused by anxiety dreams often bleed over into waking life.

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams: Getting Back to Sleep

In addition to the terror and pain caused by anxiety dreams, they wake you up and interrupt good quality sleep.

And anxiety dreams can make it difficult to go back to sleep.

When dealing with anxiety dreams, there are relaxing activities you can do to calm down, lessen anxiety and get back to sleep.

Sip a warm cup of decaffeinated herbal tea slowly.

Listen to quiet, peaceful music with positive lyrics.

Read a book with slow pacing and simple plotlines.

Lay on your back and take long deep meditative breaths. Proper breathing soothes the mind and body.

Make sure you keep the lights dim, even choosing something other than white light.

You should avoid watching TV or videos, as these can stimulate the brain and keep you awake.

However, videos with sound effects, nature sounds, or ASMR may be an exception depending on the individual.

If these relaxing activities don't work, try getting up out of bed.

Sometimes when you just lie in bed, not falling back asleep, it causes you to get more frustrated.

Walk around the house, and stretch your legs. Walk off your anxiety dreams. 

Dealing with Anxiety Dreams: Prevention

An important part of dealing with anxiety dreams is practicing good habits to try to prevent them.

There is no certain, proven means of preventing anxiety dreams, but here are some helpful tips.

Create a relaxing routine before bed.

Your relaxing routine should be as individual as you are.

Try turning off any electrical devices a few hours before bed. Try reading instead.

Journaling can be a relaxing, therapeutic way to calm the body and mind before bed.

Take a warm bath with relaxing essential oils like eucalyptus or bath salts.

Anxiety dreams are often inspired by stressful or traumatic activities or thoughts.

Avoid negative images, conversations, media, or thoughts before bed.

Avoid interacting with toxic people before bed.

Only you know what truly relaxes you, so create your own routine.

Conclusion

Anxiety dreams can be damaging to your mental, emotional and physical health.

Anxiety dreams often have a negative effect on your relationships.

Remember, there is no certain or proven way to prevent or avoid anxiety dreams. It's not your fault.

However, if you suffer from anxiety dreams seek the help of a professional counselor.

Allow a licensed professional to give you advice, and guide you towards the best solution.

Your psychological health is worth it. You are worth it.

Resources 

https://www.amazon.com/How-to-Get-Your-Sht-Together-audiobook/dp/B07LGGQG38/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3VQS50MKMVZBI&keywords=anxiety+dreams&qid=1657588897&s=audible&sprefix=anxiety+dreams%2Caudible%2C519&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/Prayers-Freedom-over-Worry-Anxiety/dp/B075JS8145/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3VQS50MKMVZBI&keywords=anxiety+dreams&qid=1657588932&s=audible&sprefix=anxiety+dreams%2Caudible%2C519&sr=1-2

https://www.amazon.com/Relationship-Anxiety-Solved-Attachment-Passionate/dp/B09NXQV7G4/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3VQS50MKMVZBI&keywords=anxiety+dreams&qid=1657588932&s=audible&sprefix=anxiety+dreams%2Caudible%2C519&sr=1-3

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October 7th, 2022