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Haviving horrible nightmares every night.

i always have nightmares I was just asking if you could help me or if you had any ideas to maybe stop me having nightmares. also my mum and dad have tried to help me lots of times

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Sam

Hi there,

Everyone has nightmares from time to time, and they can feel really scary. Sometimes people go through remember more dreams than normal, and if those are nightmares it can make it difficult to get to sleep.

We don't know why we have dreams, or what causes them to be a nightmare instead of something nice. You might sometimes dream about things that have happened to you during the day if they're on your mind. This can be especially true if you’ve watched something scary on TV or online, like a horror film. But nightmares can also happen for no reason.

To try to give yourself the best chance of a peaceful night’s sleep, it's important to have a routine. Stop watching TV and going online before bedtime, and try doing something relaxing instead. This will be different for everyone but it might be things like having a bath, doing a jigsaw puzzle or listening to music. Keeping the same routine each night will help you sleep better. The fewer new things you introduce just before you sleep, the better chance there is of a calm mind.

Another thing that can help is making sure you can sleep comfortably in your room. Check the amount of light coming in, the temperature and any noises you can hear. Sometimes we can take in things from our surroundings when we’re asleep and they become part of our dreams – like an alarm clock going off in your dream when it goes off in real life. The same can happen with nightmares. It might help to have a night-light or something reassuring in the room to make it feel more relaxing to sleep in.

Finally, after you've had a nightmare, you can try to find a way to cope with any thoughts or feelings it's left you with. One way to do this is to re-write the end of the story. If you’ve had a bad dream then try writing out what happened but changing things to be more positive. Remember that you made the dream up - so you have the power to make it anything you like.

I hope these ideas have helped. Childline has lots of advice about how to help with problems sleeping. If you want to talk about this more with someone, Childline counsellors are always here to listen over the phone or online.

Take care,

Sam

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