6 Ways to Spark Sweeter Dreams
By Diana Kelly Levey
Ever wake up from the most amazing dream and feel bummed when you realize you weren’t just kissing your secret crush? Or maybe it’s a nightmare, complete with a madman chasing you, and you wake up scared, sweaty, and relieved it’s not real. Believe it or not, there are things you can do to affect the imagery that flows into your dreams. Here, six science-backed ways to set yourself up for dreamier zzz’s.
1. Sleep on your stomach
Ready to spice up your dream life? Sleeping in a prone position may lead to more erotic dreams, according to research published in the journal Dreaming.
That being said, people in the study who slept on their stomachs also had more dreams that involved persecution, like being locked up or tied up (you’ve been warned).
2. Set up a serene bedroom
The ideal bedroom that’s decluttered, quiet, dark, and cool (experts suggest between 60-67 degrees for adults) can help prevent you from waking up during the night due to sleep disturbances or temperature fluctuations.
That way, you’ll be able to stay in that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is when most dreaming occurs.
3. Hold the alcohol
You think that glass of wine before bed puts you in a dream-like state.
In reality, it can delay restful sleep while your body metabolizes the sugar, making it harder to get that treasured REM sleep, according to a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
If you curb the drinking a few hours before bedtime, you’re more likely to have healthy REM cycles.
4. Boost your melatonin
This is the hormone that lets your body know it’s time to start winding down and preparing for sleep.
There are several ways to crank up your production, like eating cherries or drinking tart cherry juice, and reducing light exposure, particularly from blue-light emitting devices like your cell phone.
Also, research reveals that keeping a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate melatonin and your circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock.
5. Consider taking vitamin B6
6. Eat a sleep-inducing snack
A bowl of whole grain cereal with milk or a banana smoothie might be your ticket to dreamland.
Bananas and milk contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps release brain chemicals that help you relax, like serotonin.
And research shows that serotonin plays a key role in dreaming.
Remember to keep portions small, and don’t drink too many fluids, or you’ll be waking up to go to the bathroom—and interrupting your dreamy love scene.
We wouldn’t want that.