I’ve been dealing with bad dreams on and off for years! My bad dreams even include sleep paralysis sometimes. Tinctures and teas can help calm us before bed and help us fall asleep but I’ve noticed that for me, they don’t necessarily affect the quality of my dreams so it could be helpful to try to incorporate some other techniques as well. I’ve found that dream herbs like Mugwort may increase the vibrancy of my dreams but they may not make them cheerier. Here’s some of the techniques I use to get rid of bad dreams. I find if I’m not doing any of these, bad dreams start to creep back in.
A really easy step is just to make sure you’re regularly clearing the energies in your room so you keep the vibe high. There’s so many ways to do this. Smoke cleansing, singing bowls, timshas, visualizing white light, and using salt are just a few of the many options. My favourite is to use a room spray with flower essences and essential oils carefully chosen for their protective and cleansing qualities. You can find my protective flower essence spray over in my shop.
There’s so many options for protective charms as well! I hang Rosemary and Motherwort over my bed but another popular option is dream catchers. Chances are if you belong to a tradition, there’s protective charms associated with it. Crosses, crucifixes, and religious statues are more good examples.
Dream satchels or pillows are a fun craft you can do yourself to help ward off bad dreams or spirits. You can personally tailor your satchel to your own situation, with herbs or other ingredients that are the most meaningful to you. There’s a great post on making them, with descriptions of some great commonly used herbs, over at One World Herbal Community.
There’s endless options for great crystals that could help ward off bad dreams. My favourites to have on my nightstand for filtering and absorbing negative energy and for protecting are Smoky Quartz and Black Tourmaline. Most black crystals will be great for this as well. Selenite can be great for cleansing the space around you and making it more high vibe. I also like having some Amethyst around to help with my dream recall so I can have more to work with if I’m trying to re-enter my dream later or interpret it to figure out which issues may relate.
Dream work can be useful for learning to control your dreams or to work with them. Lucid dreaming can help you feel like you have control over the bad things happening in your dreams. I’ve read some people say that this even helps with sleep paralysis but I’ve personally not had success with controlling a dream like that yet. Re-entering a dream is also a good way to try to change the outcome to something more positive and take back control. Robert Moss is an amazing resource for dream work and thinks that bad dreams are dreams that are unfinished and that’s part of why re-entering could help. Check out Conscious Dreaming by Robert Moss to learn more about this approach.
Grounding, centering, and shielding is a great trio to incorporate into your sleep routine. Grounding involves sending your excess or negative energy into the Earth to be neutralized and also drawing up Earth energy to replenish your energy. To do this, I personally picture my veins leaving through my feet and turning into roots that go deep into the Earth but there’s many different ways to visualize it.
Centering involves calling back the energetic pieces of yourself that you may have lost during the day so that you’re not scattered anymore. I see it like calling puzzle pieces back to an energetic ball in the centre of my body until it’s perfect and whole again. Shielding is my last step so once my energetic body is in order again, I imagine a shield around myself to protect it. You can set the intent for your shield like that it will protect you as you travel in the dream world. A common way is just to visualize yourself in a bubble. There’s lots of great meditations out there for each of these steps.
Sometimes bad dreams can be caused by what we’re experiencing during the day in our lives. Journaling before bed can be a great way to try to release your worries. If you don’t feel like you need to hold onto your waking stressors, they’re less likely to follow you into your dreams. Write them down and let them go!
If there’s underlying trauma, deeper unresolved issues, or trapped emotions that affects us on a level we’re not always conscious or aware of, we’ll still be able to access that in the dream world. Working with your preferred method of healing to get stagnant energy unstuck could help your dreams as well. I do Reiki before bed sometimes. If you’re interested in trying energy healing, check out my offerings. Depending on your own issues, working with a professional like a therapist could also be very helpful.2