Learn how to prevent nightmares after watching scary movies

Halloween is the season for all things spooky, but watching too many horror movies can take its toll in our brain and cause some unpleasant dreams. Here’s how you can prevent that from happening.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 10/31/2022

Your favorite horror flick doesn’t have to follow you into dreamland! Here’s how

Many people have nightmares after watching horror movies. Source: Freepik.

It’s Halloween season and the time to celebrate all things spooky and scary. There are things you can do to prevent nightmares after watching them. 

During Halloween, most video streaming platforms offer an array of scary movies to get everyone in the mood. While some are used to the thrill they bring, others can’t say the same.

Nightmares involving horror flicks are pretty common as a flight-or-fight response to being scared. 

The main problem here is that having a nightmare is a real obstacle to getting a full night of sleep. Not to mention how anxiety-inducing and unpleasant they can be.

If you feel stressed or anxious when you’re watching a horror film, chances are those same feelings will manifest themselves in your subconscient while you’re sleeping.

Not only that, but medical studies have shown that a nightmare can have a negative effect throughout your entire day.

So in order for you to enjoy your Halloween marathon without having to worry about your sleep, check out below how you can prevent nightmares after watching a scary movie.

Change the mood before going to bed to prevent nightmares

We’ve all had the experience of staying up late to watch a movie or TV show, only to have it give us nightmares.

Whether it’s the jump scares of a horror film or the suspenseful plot twists of a thriller, certain types of entertainment can definitely have a negative effect on our dreams.

So how can you prevent nightmares after watching a scary movie? One method is to change our mood before going to bed.

Watching a comedy or light-hearted drama can help to balance out the dark vibes of a horror flick. It can also prevent them from creeping into your dreams. 

Another option is to watch the ending of the movie first, so that you know how it will all turn out.

This can help to dissipate the tension that builds up during the film and make it less likely to cause nightmares.

Prevent nightmares by talking about the movie

Talking about the movie can help you demystify it. Source: Freepik.

In order to prevent nightmares after watching a horror movie, it is helpful to talk about the movie you just watched.

This allows you to process the events that you just saw and to understand how they may have affected you emotionally.

It also helps to discuss the movie with someone who can offer a different perspective, such as a friend or family member.

And if you find that you are still having nightmares after talking about the movie, it may be helpful to avoid watching horror movies for a period of time.

Avoid watching the movie at night

Anyone who’s ever watched a horror movie knows that they can be pretty disturbing.

It’s not unusual to have a few nightmares after watching one, especially if you watch it right before bed.

If you’re trying to prevent having nightmares, the best thing to do is to avoid watching the movie at night. 

Instead, watch it during the day or early evening. That way, you’ll be less likely to have nightmares because your mind will be more alert and less susceptible to being disturbed by what you’ve seen.

Also, try to watch with someone else. Having someone else there can help to diffuse some of the fear that you’re feeling and keep you from getting too freaked out by what’s going on onscreen.

Lower your anxiety before going to sleep will prevent nightmares

One of the best ways to prevent nightmares after watching a horror movie is to try to lower your anxiety before bed.

There are a few simple things you can do to achieve this, such as reading a calming book or taking a hot bath.

You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as these can promote wakefulness and increase anxiety.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

By lowering your anxiety and promoting sleep, you’ll be less likely to have nightmares.

Find ways to demystify the movie you’ve just seen

Don’t be afraid – its just a movie! Source: Freepik.

It’s happened to the best of us. We watch a scary movie and then we can’t seem to shake the feeling that something is lurking in the shadows, just waiting to jump out at us.

But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to prevent nightmares after watching a horror movie.

First, try to Demystify the movie. Demystifying the film by understanding its mechanics can help.

For example, studies have shown that jump scares – sudden, unexpected moments of terror – are one of the most effective ways to create suspense in a horror movie.

However, once you understand how jump scares work, they lose their power to shock and terrify.

A lot of the time, what makes a movie scary is the element of uncertainty. When you can’t see what’s lurking in the shadows, your imagination is free to run wild.

By Demystifying the movie, you can take away some of its power. 

You can also try to identify the source of your fear. Is it the killer in the movie or something else entirely? Once you know what’s causing your fear, you can start to address it.

For example, if you’re afraid of clowns, try to watch a movie that doesn’t have any clowns in it.

Finally, remind yourself that it’s just a movie. It’s not real life and there’s nothing actually lurking in the shadows waiting to jump out at you.

So next time you watch a horror movie, try to pay attention to the techniques the director is using to scare you.

Avoid eating close to bedtime

Eating right before you go to sleep can cause indigestion and make it more difficult to fall asleep. It can also make you more likely to have disturbing dreams.

So if you want to prevent nightmares, make sure you eat at least a few hours before bedtime.

You should also try to limit your intake of caffeine at night. Caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and can also increase the likelihood of having bad dreams. 

The best streaming services for horror movies

Now that you know a few tricks to prevent nightmares after watching horror movies, you can binge them in peace.

See below to learn which are the best streaming services to watch scary movies this Halloween season. 

streaming services horror movies

The best streaming services for horror movies

If you’re movie aficionado, why should you wait until Halloween to get your fix? Check out these best streaming services for horror movies.

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

Trending Topics


How to buy more for less: simple hacks!

Looking to save a few bucks? Here are our top tips on how to buy more for less. Whether at the grocery store or when buying clothes.

Keep Reading

Learn how to get airport lounge access

Wondering how to get airport lounge access? Here are a few tips and tricks to make your travel a little more comfortable. Read on for more!

Keep Reading

The Rarest Video Games of All-Time

If you like video games, you've probably already heard about some of the rarest video games on the market. Keep reading to learn more!

Keep Reading

You may also like


Are Italian watches really the best? Find out today!

Let's look at some of the most popular and well-regarded brands of Italian watches. Find out if Italian watches are really the best option!

Keep Reading

How celebrities manage finances: the lifestyle of the wealthy and famous

Wondering how celebrities manage their finances? This post takes a closer look at the rich and famous money-managing habits.

Keep Reading

See how to apply for the Citi Simplicity® Credit Card

Looking for a no-frills credit card? Check out the Citi Simplicity® Credit Card. Learn how to apply and see if it's the right card for you.

Keep Reading