Advice for nightmares leading to waking up in survival mode & having flashbacks


a dream journal was the primary tool to help me break this vicious loop. when i started psychotherapy in 1972, i suffered sleep deprivation levels of nightmares and insomnia. at the suggestion of several members of my therapy support network, both pro and peer, i kept a notebook and pen next to my bed so that i could record my dreams, both good and bad, before i got out of bed. when i wasn't able to remember my dreams, i recorded the general senses i woke with. this helped me find the patterns to my sleep anxiety and process the emotions attached.

in addition, journaling before i went to bed helped me get an inventory on my anxieties of the day before they had a chance to wander freely through my dreams.

gentle empathy and support while you find what works for you, biglittle. daily restorative rest makes a huge diff in functioning levels.
Old post I know, but this advice has been SO HELPFUL for me over the past week or so. Thank you for posting this. When I actually acknowledge what I'm stressed out about, during the day and when I'm asleep, my nightmares don't have to try as hard to make me aware of what's going on with me.
I often journal as soon as I wake up. It sometimes takes an hour or more to process the dream and get myself right enough to face the day. It has become my norm... dream of monsters after me, wake up in a panic, take deep breaths, write in my journal, take a shower, have a cup of coffee in my favorite chair, then go get ready for the day. This morning ritual keeps me focused on the day, and keeps me out of panic mode.
I'm trying to follow your advice now and develop a routine like this. I need to figure out how to reset myself so my whole day isn't dictated by how my nightmares made me feel. Thanks for posting.