Nighttime can be a really stressful time for some gardeners. When we finally slow down and try to relax, we are left with racing thoughts, anxiety, and fear. Other times, it's what we experience when we're asleep that makes us nervous about bedtime.
Nightmares, anxiety dreams, punishment dreams, post-trauma dreams, and night terrors - there is a whole world of weeds that can pop up when we are asleep.
What happens when we find ourselves scared awake from one of these dreams? How do we handle it?
Try a grounding technique
Often what makes nightmares so impactful, is how easily they can disorient us and make us unsure about if the terrible event we experienced was a dream or reality. Next time this happens to you, sit up on the edge of your bed, plant your feet firmly on the ground, maybe wiggle your toes a little. Feel yourself in your body, in your room, in your house.
Do a body scan
Laying in bed, start at your toes, wiggle them around, focus on just that part of your body, then move up to your ankle and do the same. Do this with every part of your body moving all the way up to your head. After you complete this scan, you should not only feel more relaxed, but fully in your body. This is a great technique to try before sleep too!
Listen to relaxing music
If you find yourself not able to shake the images, sounds, and feelings of a nightmare or dream, try focusing on someone else's voice or the instruments in a composition. This can help distract you from the thoughts swirling around your head and help you fall back to sleep.
Read a chapter of a book
The act of turning on the light and seeing yourself in your bed and not in your dream's environment helps bring you back to the present. Reading, similar to listening to music, will help distract you from the dream and can help you fall back to sleep.
Get a nightlight
Nightlights can function as orienting devices. When you wake up from a nightmare, look for the glow of your nightlight - when you see it, you know you are safe!
Try this craft for a DIY Tin Can Firefly Lamp!
Finally, if you are experiencing disturbing and terrifying dreams fairly often, talk to your parents or guardians! Sleep is so important to keeping our gardens healthy and talking with someone about the kind of stressful dreams you are having can help locate a larger issue.
Thanks for reading along, gardeners! Remember you can always reach out with your flowers and weeds. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tag @youareagardener. We really love hearing about how the book and the gardener mentality has helped you #PullYourWeeds!