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Mental Health
Akanksha Soni October 25th, 2023 · 6min read

How To Stop PTSD Nightmares & Sleep Peacefully?

Sleep is the most peaceful activity of our day. However, what if it becomes the scariest part filled with nightmares, it is a question of concern. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a condition when a patient can’t sleep and awakens due to recurrent thoughts and dreams of recent traumatic events, like field war, sexual abuse, and accident, loss of someone, or any other distressing trauma. These PTSD nightmares can even occur during day time because of memories or constant flashbacks.

PTSD dreams or nightmares may lead to anxiety or insomnia issues, and it is understood that a balance of emotions with the environment is tough to keep up. Researchers have found that some of the patients suffer so much that the sight, smell or sound may hurt them again and again, and they drown themselves towards suicidal thoughts.

How To Manage PTSD Nightmares At Home?

If you are processing through the phase on your own and confident enough to deal with it firmly, there are some ways to stop PTSD nightmares. Even though we recommend you to see a professional for PTSD treatment, there are some steps that you must try for yourself. You are stronger than you think, so go ahead.

1.Create A Safe & Cozy Place To Sleep

Even though a lot of people will tell you to change your place of sleeping for a few days or invite you to different places and you can do so for a day or two. But you cannot sleep in other places for the rest of your life, right? So, it’s better if you form a safe place in your home and ask someone to join in for a few days. It feels better when you have a few people around you.

2. Listen To Your Body

Always remember, the smallest things that your body loves to enjoy must remain in continuation. Your mind might not want to enjoy a small chit-chat session with your friends or be involved in an intimate relationship with your partner, but this is what your head is saying. To heal yourself overall and deal with PTSD nightmares, you must listen to what your body is asking you. However, make sure that you are not following the path of drugs or overconsumption of alcohol. Love your body and your mind will reflect with beauty.

3. Don’t Force Yourself To Sleep

Many patients with PTSD and nightmares harm themselves with forceful sleeping. One may not feel sleepy at night, but you can spend this sleeplessness with soothing music or guided sleep meditation for anxiety. You can take brief naps during the daytime but avoid triggering yourself with negative emotions.

4. Follow Healthy Ways To Keep Yourself Engaged

If you wish to escape from the PTSD nightmares healthily, blow off all the steam with habits like Yoga, walk or exercises that sweat off and helps you to relax. Moreover, Yoga is one essential workout that is highly recommended by professionals.

5. Bring A Change In Your Bedtime Routine

When you are dealing with PTSD dreams, it’s best to prepare yourself before hitting the bed. A self-care regime can relax your mind that includes a warm bath with lavender scented candles around, a mild shampoo, shower gel and conditioner. Sounds good? Now feel the same freshness in real life. Once done, hit the bed and spend some time with good books or creative activity. It is not recommended that you watch television or if you crave for it, watch something funny & enjoyable without a psychological or horror drama. Tell yourself that you are doing it for yourself!

Why Symptoms Of PTSD Nightmares Become Complex?

Understand that all the symptoms like flashbacks, elevated heart rate, heavy breathing or excessive sweating aggravate due to the below-mentioned conditions.

As per psychologist Edward Shelby and the collaborators, nightmares turn complex due to two processes called Rumination and Catastrophizing. Rumination explains when the person thinks the same thing again and again in your head whereas, in the case of Catastrophizing, the person starts imagining the worst possible outcomes.

Treatment For PTSD Nightmares

Choose to consult a medical professional if you are facing complex PTSD issues and do not afraid to ask for help. The treatment includes:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

One of the most effective methods for the treatment of PTSD, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or its sub-type (Cognitive Processing Therapy) helps displace negative thoughts from the mind and growing positivity within. It is a 12-week course that helps in finding the core reasons for the nightmares and feelings associated with them. You will gradually be able to bid goodbye to these thoughts with the help of a professional.

2. Eye Movement:

In this method, your therapist moves his or her hands in different directions to create a fundamental change in your mind and remove stillness in the eyes. It also helps in changing the reactions of your traumatic memories after a few sessions.

3. Apart from the therapies, some medications to deal with PTSD are provided by the professional and shall be consumed as prescribed.

Some Relevant Faqs About PTSD Nightmares:

1. Are bad dreams a sign of PTSD?

Believe it or not, bad dreams are one of the symptoms and sign of PTSD. Some of the patients experience traumatic events and flashbacks of the trauma experienced before.

2. Do PTSD nightmares ever go away?

Yes. As many other mental disorders could be treated, PTSD could also be treated with trauma-focused therapy. With the passage of time, PTSD nightmares simply move away.

3. Can PTSD change your personality?

If PTSD has reached an intense level, it can bring changes in a person’s individuality, emotional, and social life.

4. Is it possible to have PTSD without nightmares?

Yes. PTSD comes with different symptoms and sometimes PTSD stresses a person or creates negative mood swings without showing nightmares.


In the end, we would like to say that don’t hesitate, ask for help. You start to improve as soon as a positive thought, and a positive voice comes from within. We may not be able to change the past and trauma associated with it, but the future is in our hands. So rise today, rise now!

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