The average person dreams for about two hours every night, and as anyone who has experienced a vivid nightmare can attest, having a bad dream can certainly affect your mood the following day.
While there is still so much we don’t know about what causes, affects, and creates our wild collection of dreams, there are a few things you can do to ensure a pleasant night’s sleep and better dreams all night long.
Start with the following tips to ensure there are plenty of sweet dreams in your immediate future.
Playing soft or acoustic music, relaxing white noise, or sounds you enjoy, (like the sound of crashing waves), can influence your sleep and can trickle into your dreams.
Just make sure you only use sounds, and not screens, to enjoy some pleasant background noise. Watching TV before bedtime can actually hinder your sleep, and can affect your ability to rest well throughout the night.
That jittery and restless feeling you experience after a cup of coffee can linger for hours, and can affect your sleep. So try to avoid consuming caffeine after 2 p.m. to mitigate any effects on your sleeping patterns.
Foods that are rich in tryptophan can actually improve your sleep and your dreams, as tryptophan is an amino acid brimming with the natural mood booster serotonin.
Try including turkey, chicken, kidney beans, and salmon as part of your evening meal – which all have healthy doses of tryptophan. Avoid big helpings of fatty foods, like red meats and cheeses, which take longer to digest, and which can effectively lead to restless sleep, heartburn, and nightmares.
Your sense of smell is one of your most powerful senses, as it is linked to all sorts of inherent memories and emotional responses.
So before you drift off to bed, try sniffing something you find enjoyable and pleasant – like lavender, vanilla, or other calming scents that can also help you fall asleep faster.
When you are constantly stressed or worried about something, and you go to bed without it being addressed, it’s very probable that these concerns will spill over into your nighttime dreams.
Obviously, you can’t tackle every problem before you go to bed, but you can relieve your mind by writing them down. Numerous studies have shown that writing down your concerns before you head to bed can help provide stress relief, making it much easier to achieve sweet dreams.
If you have too many pillows, blankets, and other cluttered items on your bed, your sleep could very well be affected. This is because all those excess items can lead to a feeling of being suffocated or immobile, even when your eyes are closed.
So keep your bed free of clutter, with ample room to move. This way you’ll avoid feeling trapped throughout the night, opening up the chance for nightmares.
A bad dream can easily ruin an otherwise good day. But by going to bed in a more positive mood, you can reduce your chances of having a troubling night’s rest. Take advantage of the moments before bedtime to indulge in positive sounds, smells, and comfortable surroundings, and increase your chances for sweet dreams all night long.