You’re haunted by bad dreams.

Family Circle - - OFF DUTY -

SO­LU­TION: The best way to treat chronic, fre­quent or re­cur­ring night­mares, Krakow says, is with im­agery re­hearsal ther­apy (IRT). In a nut­shell, this in­volves chang­ing dis­turb­ing sce­nar­ios from night­mares into neu­tral or more pos­i­tive ones. Then you re­hearse the “new dream” just be­fore you fall asleep to help re­duce or elim­i­nate night­mares. Just three ses­sions of IRT can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove sleep qual­ity and re­duce the fre­quency of night­mares. If bad dreams are only the be­gin­ning of your prob­lems, you’ll need more than pos­i­tive im­agery for help. “Many peo­ple have night­mares, in­som­nia and sleep ap­nea—what’s called the night­mare triad syn­drome,” Krakow says. “It’s a triple whammy as­so­ci­ated with de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.” To re­store qual­ity shut-eye, all three con­di­tions need to be treated in­di­vid­u­ally.

If you sus­pect a med­i­ca­tion you’re on (say, an an­tide­pres­sant, beta blocker or cor­ti­cos­teroid) is mak­ing you wake up in the mid­dle of the night, ask your doc­tor if you can change the time of day you take it.

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