How to avoid nightmares and bad dreams to get more restful sleep?

Controlling nightmares remains largely uncharted territory, though there are few different schools of thought when it comes to managing bad dreams. For many people nightmares aren’t really a major nuisance, but if they do wake you up more than you’d like or you have trouble settling down afterwards, here are couple of potential ways to go about preventing them or reducing their severity.

• Practice good sleep hygiene

It’s not always possible to completely prevent bad dreams, but setting the stage for good sleep can help ensure you snooze more soundly and feel better rested. Sleep hygiene involves ensuring both your habits and sleep environment are ideal for quality rest.

• Talk or write it out

Some psychologists believe talking about dreams and getting social support to put them in perspective is key to reducing anxiety following nightmares. This might take the form of talking out dreams with a therapist, discussing them with a partner or in a group setting, or via independent journalling.

• Deal with daytime stressors

Other approaches can focus on routines or working on areas of your life that could be contributing to stress or fear. When you’ve had a tough day, take a few minutes to de-stress before bed. Try a warm bath or other techniques to see what helps you most.

My 10-year-old gets extreme mood swings. On top of that she has read about pre-teen mood swings, anger issues and generally the confused state of mind and she keeps telling me this behaviour is normal for her age. How do I handle it?

To help your child, regulate emotions and help her feel supported, here are some measures you can take:

1. Resist the temptation to end your child’s tantrum by giving her what she wants when she explodes.

2. Ignore negative behaviour and praise positive behaviour.

3. Give them space to talk about their feelings. Acknowledge how one can feel in these years and express the same in a safe space which turns out to be cathartic for many, especially children.

4. As parents, it is important that you make her feel that you support her unconditionally. This will increase the trust between you two and in turn allow her to share the reasons behind the mood swings.

5. It is important to have clear communication between you and your daughter. When she shares something make sure you listen to it to understand and not just to respond to what is being said.