Having PTSD Nightmares? Some Things That May Help

Willow Place on June 6, 2022
Having PTSD Nightmares? Some Things That May Help

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health illness that develops as the result of experiencing extreme traumatic events. There are many symptoms that characterize PTSD, but one of the most extreme is PTSD nightmares. These are vivid and disturbing nightmares that may include flashbacks of the traumatic events, which can make symptoms of PTSD worse. So, for people with PTSD, managing these nightmares is something that’s important and crucial to healing and moving forward with recovery. 

Understanding more about PTSD nightmares and what causes them can help people experiencing them pinpoint coping methods and treatment strategies that may help. 

What are These Nightmares Caused By?

Everyone experiences nightmares from time to time. However, people with PTSD may experience extremely disturbing nightmares that differ from typical nightmares. Typically, nightmares can be about all different kinds of things. But, PTSD nightmares are a symptom of traumatic experiences that usually include factors that involve these traumatic experiences. So, people who have PTSD, even if they have encountered a number of different traumatic experiences, may have nightmares that develop as the result of these traumatic experiences and encompass some of the things that have occurred during these traumatic events. So, trauma is what causes PTSD nightmares. 

While trauma is the root cause of PTSD nightmares, there are some things that can make the likelihood of having these nightmares more likely. For example, being overly stressed as a person with PTSD can be a trigger for PTSD nightmares. And, people with PTSD are more likely to experience stress at higher levels. Therefore, it’s common that stress and PTSD nightmares go hand-in-hand. 

Some of the Methods to Control These Nightmares

Unfortunately, there is no cure for PTSD nightmares. But, there are things people living with PTSD can do to reduce the chance of these nightmares on a daily basis. Furthermore, there are some treatments that have shown success in reducing the severity and frequency of these nightmares. Some of the treatments and coping skills that can help people struggling with this symptom of PTSD can include: 

Prescribed Medications: Certain prescription medications have been successful in helping people who struggle with managing PTSD nightmares to control this symptom. While medications aren’t foolproof, many people who utilize these medications find that the severity and frequency of these nightmares lessen with this type of treatment. 

Refrain From Specific Foods and Drinks Before Bed: Some foods and drinks are known to increase the likelihood of vivid dreams and nightmares. So, staying away from these foods and drinks can help to reduce the likelihood of nightmares for people living with PTSD. Some examples include foods and drinks that are spicy, sweet, or contain caffeine. 

Creating a Routine for Sleep: Having a routine sleep schedule can help you get better sleep and enter into a deeper sleep, which can help to reduce the likelihood of intense nightmares. For example, people who stay up late or wake up early may experience more nightmares. Some examples of routine sleep schedules include going to bed at a specific time every day and waking up at the same time every day. 

Make a Comfortable Sleep Environment: A good way to induce sleep and stick to a sleep routine is to make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable. This way, you get to sleep and stay asleep longer. Some ways to do this include making your bed in the morning so that you have a welcoming bed to go to sleep in, turning out the lights, investing in comfortable bedding, and using sound machines. 

Getting Treatment and Psychiatric Help for PTSD Nightmares

Are you or a loved one struggling with nightmares that are a result of a traumatic experience? There is help available to you at Willow Place for Women. We are an outpatient mental health treatment center located in Asheville, North Carolina that helps women struggling with symptoms of a number of mental health issues, including trauma. Find out more about how we can help by visiting our website. 

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

Note: Your details are kept strictly confidential.