What do you do first after waking up from a nightmare?

I have recurrent nightmares of childhood trauma. I usually wake up kicking and punching the air. I get really bad panic attacks afterwards. How do you fix this problem? What do you guys do to avoid nightmares / calm yourself down after having one?
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  • I have not had this occur....But maybe seeing a therapist who specializes in PTSD may help....  To avoid nightmares, I suppose I would pray/set my intent just before sleeping to have good dreams....asking my angels (I believe in them) to protect my sleep time...Maybe listen to a guided meditation..

    Some say that maybe we are working through our traumas during those nightmares...I don't know about that.

    To calm down after, try repeating a mantra....

    Just my input. I'm def not an expert in this area.

  • Hard to me to weigh in as my nightmares tend to be calmed pretty easily - but you mention yours are from childhood trauma. Have you already sought counseling or anything to try and work on coping with that? I think the first step would be to address it in consciousness so you can hopefully work towards not having the nightmares at all.

    Wishing you luck and restful sleep!
  • I don't really have a lot of nightmares, but I know how scary and real they can feel... I guess that I just try to do really deep breaths while I remember myself that it was just a dream and nobody can hurt me in this moment. Telling my friends about it can also help to make me realize that it was just a dream and it didn't meant nothing.
  • If I have a nightmare, I usually wake my wife up and just have her hold me. Simple, I know. But it helps.
  • I kind of get nightmares like 4 times a week. I don't know the root cause of the problem but it's just so scary to walk from my room to the bathroom after that and it's scary to go back to sleep again. The thing really sucks but I don't know what to do.
  • After a nightmare I usually wake up and look around to make sure it was a nightmare.Then I just sit on the edge of my bed for a while and grab a glass of water and my inhaler after a while. I also turn the TV on to distract my mind a bit and the sound of people talking relaxes me, to be honest. But I don't think there's really a way to avoid nightmares though. Maybe meditation? Not sure. 
  • I hate nightmares, and I get them fairly regularly. I usually try to get up and watch something on tv or read for awhile to take my mind off it. If I don't sometimes I fall back asleep and the nightmare continues or I'll have a different one, that is the worst!
  • You van try meditation but I am not sure about it. What I am sure that it can help is hypnosis. I have seen several cases and I know this because I have been transcribing several of these and it was very helpful to those people. If you can you should give it a try.
  • I'm sorry you're going through that. I usually have nightmares when I'm not sleeping "deeply" (I don't know how to explain, but imagine if I need to wake up at a specified time to do something: I will wake up a lot of time before and I'm gonna be restless until the time for me to wake up comes, like I can't rest properly anymore- and those are the times when I remember most of my nightmares). I think it's a stress thing, and that can be your problem too. Another thing I suffer is sleep paralysis and that is really scary. I can't move and often the hallucination I get are footsteps, so I get really distressed. Doing some breathing exercises usually helps me, you should try them.
  • Honestly, I usually go to the bathroom. I find that when I have nightmares usually I get very close to peeing on myself. So I usually have to get up and run to the bathroom. Usually my heart is racing and I'm a bit disoriented. It always takes me a while to get back to sleep after I have a nightmare. Which luckily isn't that frequently. Maybe a few times a month. 
  • So sorry to hear about your nightmares if it's bothering you so bad have you tried talking to a medical professional about it? How about a therapist? When I have nightmares I turn on the lights for a little bit, turn on the TV and have a glass of water-- anything to offset the silence of my room.
  • I just sit up,take a few breaths to calm myself down and try applying a positive attitude.. eg. I'll smile at how very creative my mind is ... I made some research on dreams once and found that it is simply your brain's dramatisation of your thoughts or actual activities.. So if you're having so many nightmares, are you hovering a lot of negative thoughts ? Or is there a something you're afraid of?
  • Every time I wake up from a nightmare I'm just happy to be out of there, and I've seen some traumatizing things in there unlike anything I've ever lived or seen on tv (they are not trauma induced as far as I know, unless I have repressed memories of some sort). The worst part for me is to be in a nightmare, fully aware that I'm dreaming but incapable of getting 'out'. So I know that as soon as I wake up I'm safe.
    Nightmares are spiked by the pressures of everyday life and often times it's our subconscious trying to tell us something really urgently. I've noticed that there's a consistent symbolism involved and there's a way for each person to decipher this personal symbolism of their to come to a conclution or simply analyze themselves.
    There were periods in my life where nightmares were an everyday thing. There was no such thing as a normal dream for me at that time.
    As soon as I started doing an analysis and scratching the surface of my subconscious the nightmares became less and less frequent. I still have milder bad/stressful dreams from time to time, but nothing strong enough to make me jump out of bed.
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