Whether it’s an ex, work or a frightening situation, sometimes there’s something we can’t stop dreaming about. And no matter how many times you try and get it out of your mind, you still keep falling back to the same dream? Yeah, we’ve been there.
It’s not just annoying. It can have a big knock-on effect on your health. If you’re worried about dreaming the same thing every night, you’ll put off going to sleep. Which means you’ll be getting less than your recommended hours, making you feel tired, groggy and unproductive throughout the day.
The less sleep you get, the worse it is.
Choosing not to sleep also isn’t a sustainable solution. Worst of all, when you do sleep, you’ll just fall right on back into the same old patterns and habits.
Want to stop dreaming about something? We’ve got the solution. Read on to discover how.
Why do I keep on dreaming about the same person or event?
Dreams are an incredibly complicated subject. They happen during the REM stage of sleep and are thought to help you process your thoughts, emotions, and memories.
Which means that whatever you’re dreaming is your body simply trying to process something. If you dream about something a lot, this could indicate a problem or worry in your life that you’re dealing with.
For some dreams, this may seem straight forward. For example, if you keep dreaming that you’re taking and failing a test, it would mean that you’re nervous about it and not being able to perform well.
If you’re dreaming about someone in particular, it might be because you miss them or that they’re important to you in some way.
Or, it could be less about the person themselves and more about what they represent. So if you dream about a work colleague, it could be less about them and more about any anxieties, worries or other feelings towards your work.
Common dreams and what they mean
Sometimes, interpreting dreams help people work through the causes behind them. Which means they’ll be able to stop having them and concentrate on other things.
To help, we’ve put together a list of 5 common dreams and possible meanings behind them.
Falling in your dream can mean a lack of control. This could be through a big change in your life, giving you anxieties or worries about what is going to happen or where you will go metaphorically.
If you enjoy the sensation, it might also mean there’s a lot of changes taking place around you but you’re enjoying the feeling of experiencing them all.
2. Being chased
Although the idea of being chased sounds frightening, some believe that this could be a positive thing. According to Lauri Loewenberg, being chased can encourage people to literally face a problem that they’ve been dealing with.
This is because the dream represents that you’re out of time running from, and ignoring, this problem, meaning you need to deal with it now.
3. Having a partner cheat on you
No, this isn’t a premonition of the future, but instead a lack of trust. Well, this one isn’t so surprising. If you’re dreaming of your partner cheating, it could be that they’re spending less time and attention on you than normal, meaning their affections are elsewhere.
Hopefully, they aren’t actually cheating.
Flying can have a couple of interpretations based on the particulars of this dream. If you’re trying to fly but can’t – it could mean that you’re trying to achieve a goal or next level in your life and someone is holding you back.
Alternatively, if you’re scared of flying it could mean that you’re afraid of the goals that you’ve set out for yourself and worried that you can’t reach them.
If you have a phobia of flying, it could just be that coming back to bite you.
5. Your teeth falling out
Yuck. Although this sounds gross, it’s actually a pretty common dream, which can have your teeth fall out one by one, starting to rot, or literally crumble in your hands.
This sounds more like a nightmare than a dream. But it represents anxieties you may be having about your appearance – or how others perceive you.
Because a lack of teeth also makes it harder to talk, this dream could also represent difficulties you may be having talking to someone or getting your point of view heard.
Is there any way to stop dreaming completely?
If there is, we don’t know it yet.
As mentioned before, dreams happen in the REM stage of sleep and this stage can’t be skipped. Which means you may never be able to get rid of dreaming altogether.
However, there are people who report that they don’t dream. Although it’s likely that they just don’t remember them if people are capable of not dreaming there may one day be a way to stop dreaming.
How to dream less about something and sleep better
Ready to stop dreaming about something? Follow these tips to direct your dreams in a different direction.
1. Keep yourself busy in the day
If your dreams are caused by general worries, the worst thing that you can be doing is sitting thinking about it all day. This means that when you go to sleep, your brain will have nothing else to process and will send you the same dreams again.
So, keep yourself busy and active. Clear your mind of your worries and fill it with other activities and thoughts for you to process during the night.
2. Read a book before going to sleep
Similar to the tip above, reading helps give your mind something else to process and think about during the night. Which means that you might be dreaming of your brand new story rather than relive your current worries.
If you can, choose reading a book over watching TV or any other screen activity. This is because screens emit blue light, interfering with the production of melatonin and making it more difficult for you to sleep at night.
3. Intentionally think about someone else
If you’re dreaming about someone in particular, like an ex, try to think about someone else before you go to sleep.
Know the saying “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else”? Although I don’t personally believe in this, it’s partly true. Focusing your thoughts on someone else can dislodge the other person from your mind – making them less likely to pop up in your dreams.
4. Confront your problems
We briefly mentioned this earlier. But if you can work out why you’re having these dreams, you can stop them by confronting the underlying problems behind them.
Can lucid dreaming help you control your dreams?
For those that are unaware, lucid dreaming is where you can recognise that you’re in a dream and start to control the world around you.
This means that if you’re having a common dream, you could start to train yourself to recognise these patterns and consciously change them. So if you’re having a reoccurring dream about your ex, you can dream yourself walking away from them and start enjoying something different.
Anyone is capable of lucid dreaming, it just takes practice. Find out how you can do it, with our guide to lucid dreaming here.
Enjoy Sweeter Dreams
There are a number of tips and methods for stopping yourself dreaming about something including:
- Keeping your mind and self busy, giving yourself new material to dream about during the night.
- Intentionally thinking about someone or something, else to replace what’s currently there.
- Identifying and facing the underlying causes of these dreams head-on: solving what problems or worries that are causing them.
If you want to take greater control, you can always try lucid dreaming and directly dictate exactly what your dreams should be about. Whether you want to ride a dragon into space, invent a new flesh-eating species of tree or become Batman, the choice is up to you.
The best part is that anyone can learn how to lucid dream. It just takes practice.
Whatever tip or method you choose to follow, you should be rid of these dreams and be able to clear your mind for a peaceful night in no time at all.