Bad dreams can make for a very poor night of sleep for those who suffer from them consistently. Some may simply have an unpleasant dream occasionally that they may or may not remember. Others have such serious nightmares that they have a hard time functioning during the day. For those with a serious problem, it is possible to use meditation to prevent bad dreams. However, it may also be necessary to seek help from a professional if meditation does not seem to be working.
Stress is a known cause of bad dreams, which is also why they may often seem real. If we are stressing over a particular situation, we may dream that it comes to fruition. This is a major reason it is possible to use meditation to prevent bad dreams. By meditating before bed, you can clear your mind of these negative thought, thus preventing them from manifesting in your dreams. This has the double of effect of getting rid of negativity and relaxing the body so that sleep not only is more restful, but it comes more quickly.
Since dreams typically form from subconscious thoughts, it is not enough to simply not think about negative issues. Your subconscious may still have the thoughts, and this is a part of your brain you cannot control. Meditation can actually change your subconscious thinking patterns while at the same time relaxing the mind and body, preparing it for a better night of sleep. It is important to note that while you may be able to use meditation to prevent bad dreams, chemical imbalances can also lead to bad dreams. Low levels of dopamine can have an effect, and this can be corrected with vitamin B supplementation. Meditation is also known to increase serotonin levels, which promotes better sleep.
To use meditation to prevent bad dreams, try to do it at least a half hour before bed. Take slow, deep breaths with your eyes half closed. Pay attention to the air as it enters an exits your body. It may be helpful to play a CD with calming subliminal messages, but make sure there is no distracting background noise. Look for CDs with messages about sleeping well and waking up vibrant and happy. Anti- nightmare messages are also helpful. Through repetition of these subliminal messages, you may be able to successfully prevent bad dreams by changing the thinking pattern of your subconscious.