Meditation For Nightmares To Stop Bad Dreams

yoga and meditation for nightmares

In this guide, I will share a powerful meditation for nightmares so you no longer have to have bad dreams. 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that 50 percent of adults report having occasional bad dreams, and some have recurring nightmares, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

But why?

Nightmares are usually caused by heightened emotions. And as Dr Natasha Bijlani, [1] says, “Many people are likely to have noticed changes to their sleep patterns recently [due to stress].”

Maybe you have a scary dream about your teeth falling out, a nightmare about being bitten by a snake, or a dream about someone dying. Or you might even experience PTSD nightmares.

Meditation can help.

In my online meditation lessons, I have helped many people to use meditation for nightmare relief. Let me show you how.


Meditation For Nightmare Relief

  1. Lie down with good posture so your back is straight but relaxed.
  2. Close your eyes and focus on breathing. Watch your breath moving around your body for 20 minutes.
  3. Now bring to mind one time in your life when you felt safe, supported, and peaceful. It could be a moment from any time in your life.
  4. Visualize that moment in your life. What did you feel like? Where were you? Who was with you? Vividly bring this memory to life in your mind.
  5. Find one aspect of the memory that makes you feel exceptionally peaceful. Focus your mind on that for ten minutes.
  6. Repeat this meditation when you go to bed tonight.

More meditations for nightmare-relief

Anapanasati (Mindfulness of Breath): Helps to promote inner calm before bed.

Vipassana: Enhances emotional processing, which is pivotal for getting a good night’s sleep.

Loving Kindness:  Promotes feelings of compassion and interconnectedness, which can counteract the feelings of loneliness that many people suffer from.

Relaxing music: Try listening to relaxing music before going to bed. This will help promote inner peace and relaxation. Plus, it will reduce stress, which is often the cause of bad dreams

The Link Between Meditation And Bad Dreams

Although there has been no significant scientific research into the effects of meditation on nightmares, you can see a direct link when you look at cause and effect.

The Mayo Clinic tells THE DAILY MEDITATION that one of the leading causes of nightmares is stress and anxiety.

These two problems can cause hypervigilance, which makes it hard to sleep at night.

We know from research that meditation reduces stress and anxiety. Therefore, it should also reduce nightmares.

Yoga helps too.

Writing for Psychology Today, Seth J. Gillihan PhD [licensed psychologist, University of Pennsylvania] says, “Excessive muscular tension can feed back to our minds and perpetuate the feeling of unease. When we experience the relaxation benefits of yoga, we can lower our physical tension, which helps release the grip that anxiety can have on us.”

Does meditation cause bad dreams?

Some people believe meditation causes bad dreams. However, this is not entirely accurate.

Meditation makes dreams more vivid and often even lucid, according to research from Benjamin Baird at the Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness.

That’s true for both pleasant and unpleasant dreams.

You will want to be a little cautious if you use specifically use meditation to sleep because your dreams might be too vivid. And if that is the case, The Sleep Council [1] says you should reduce alcohol consumption, try to balance your hormones, and reduce stress.

Stress is particularly brutal.

In an article for VeryWell Mind medically reviewed by Shilpa Amin, [M.D., CAQ, FAAFP], Eleesha Lockett says, “Stress and trauma from childhood can cause recurring nightmares later in life”.

But meditation will help you have pleasant dreams

Meditation helps us to relax, enhances emotional processing, and reduces stress and anxiety. And thereby, it helps reduce nightmares.

Need help having pleasant dreams? Book an online meditation lesson with me today.


1: consultant psychiatrist, Priory Hospital Roehampton

By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. "My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation" - Paul Harrison

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