bad dreams

A reader writes,

I was wondering if you knew of anything to rid of bad dreams? My boyfriend is always in a great mood before bed, but when he wakes up he is either depressed or angry and says he has bad dreams all night. Do you know anything that could be done for this?

I have to answer this from more than one perspective. 

On the one hand, there is always the good old “leave a glass of water by your headboard” cure for things that go bump in the night.  It is said to pick up any negativity and “trap” it.  (Other traditions would recommend things like protection amulets or dream catchers, which work on a similar principle.)  I have known people to have good luck with chicken foot charms for this, as well as a glass of water *under* the bed, and there are a number of herbs that are said to induce peaceful sleep among rootworkers, among them hops.  (These would be included in an amulet for hanging or to put in the pillow — I am not a medical herbalist and I don’t advise on consuming herbs unless they can be purchased at your local health food or grocery store as teas.)

However, from another angle, dreams can be seen as messages, from the subconsious about matters that need tending, or from the spirit world.  Thus I hesitate to try to banish them unless the sufferer feels that the message they are trying to convey has been heard yet still won’t go away (and dreams can in fact be unhelpful messages or even the sites for attack by a third party — “crappy sleep” is a helluva hex to put on somebody — or from the Invisible plane from another entity).  If the sufferer has trouble with recurring nightmares and/or anxiety dreams, he might consider a reading, or at the very least, a period of keeping track of the dreams to see what the patterns are. Dreamers can usually figure out their own dreams once they make an effort to keep track and learn the “vocabulary” and “grammar” of them.  But if he feels attacked by something outside of his own mind and subconscious, then protective mojo can certainly be warranted. But I would personally not attempt wiping them out without further inquiry into their nature, if I were in this position.  Protective measures could be taken to create “safe space” and keep out hags, third parties, and energy suckers, but if the problem is from within, these aren’t likely to work in the long run to solve the restless sleep problem.

And from a third angle, recurring bad dreams can sometimes be anxiety dreams, and working mojo for them would be something akin to treating the symptom but not the cause.  They can be indicative of a stress or trauma in the past or present that is not being properly handled or adapted to by the conscious mind.  Sometimes people suffer PTSD after a majorly traumatic life event, and this can manifest in nightmares.

Something as simple as dreaming of losing a beloved childhood toy can cast a pall over someone’s whole day when it hits the right (or wrong) chord.  Normally, this is nothing to be concerned about, if it’s not a regular occurrence. But if someone is having recurrent bad dreams regularly, I would investigate

1) life stressors and causes
2) psychic attack/spirit or hag attack

in that order.  The former is much more likely than the latter.  Just my two cents.  

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