As a person that also doesn’t like to do medications, my suggestion even though it’s tough to do each day for me is heavy exercise. If I exhaust myself, I sleep heavy enough I don’t remember my dreams or wake up in sweats because my body chooses to repair vs. sweat, shiver and cause me mental distress. I wish you the best, you have a big support system here and are not alone!
So I swam (which helped with the dreams before the night before), and dusted off the rowing machine and wheezed through my favourite album.
And then woke this morning with another nightmare - full dream lucidity is coming back which is a bitch. Two traumas overlapped and linked into each other which was not massive fun. My trauma diary kicked me in the butt that’s for sure.
Back to the drawing board....
Not what you're going to want to hear, but exercise is one of those things that you have to keep doing.
If you can? It's the single most effective treatment for depression we know of. It should also, with time, help improve your sleep.
It also helps to take a whole of body approach to sleep. You can't add a whole heap of caffiene on the one hand, and then hope a bit of extra exercise will cover you (dang! I'm a coffee fan too!!).
Give it time. Also, it really is okay to be having bad dreams. For me? Having had a nasty one last night? I'm always grateful for my brain working through its trauma issues while I'm safely tucked in bed, and I can wake up and remind myself, "That wasn't real". I definitely prefer bad dreams to flashbacks that interfere with my daily function in a big way.
You'll get there. Things will normalise for you. Just give it time, and be gentle with yourself. Anyone promising you an overnight cure isn't being honest.
Every try 5-HTP w. B6? As far as "meds" go I find this one having few/no side effects. It is OTC.
Oddly it is said to cause increased dreams in some people and reduce dreams in others. When it works it works well. Start with 50mg 45 min before bed and up to 200mg. No idea if you take other meds or if this is contraindicated for you but might be worth investigating.
I also have low blood pressure but take Prazosin for my nightmares. It only will drop you like 5 points and it’s worked great for me. It’s low dosage. Would definitely try it I also take Effexor which raises BP so essentially offsets each other. Also on Buspar and Mirtazapine.
Thanks @Whirlwind - I will see if it’s available here if it’s OTC. @Rainman8772 - thanks too.
I do appreciate everyone’s suggestions.
I had a really bad experience on meds many moons ago, my eyes felt like they were bugged out, as large as those unseeing eyes of baby chick foetuses that you find when an egg has fallen out of a nest. And although I’ve historically lived with suicidal thoughts almost constantly, those pills threw me waaaay too close to the line, damnit on the line.
Thrown myself into exercise and trying to manage. Two hours sleep last night but no scary nightmare at least.
This isn't heavy duty meds but effective. I ended up having some stressed out supervisors take it and it worked for a surprising number of folks including myself.
Pardon me if I missed it but I have a long history with nightmares, but I was "disconnected" from them usually but every night was a nightmare stream of consciousness. This was my norm for decades. I mention this as later when I got flashbacks the lines bled and simply put I believe my dreams were my brain working on things. Even warnings at times. Are you in therapy? Have you journaled your dreams?
If not ive it a try among other things. My dreams today are 5% of what they were and I still can hardly believe it.