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    Stress Busting Tips to Prevent Nightmares

    Anxiety and stress may be the causes of recurrent nightmares. Here are two strategies that therapists use to help people relax.

    Challenge Negative Thoughts

    Ask yourself: Is this a productive thought? Is it helping me? If it's just a negative thought you're rehashing, then you must be able to say to that thought: 'Stop!'

    Learn to Relax

    Do yoga, meditation, or get some exercise to relax. Exercise is a terrific outlet for anxiety. Taking some slow, deep breaths may also be helpful for calming your anxiety.

    Behavioral changes like limiting screen time before bed and eliminating caffeine and alcohol can also help you get more restful sleep.

    If your anxiety does not improve after a few weeks, talk to your doctor. You may have an underlying medical problem (such as a sleep disorder) or a treatable psychiatric condition (such as an anxiety disorder) causing you to feel this way.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on February 24, 2016

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