Chrissy Teigen Tried This Hack to Stop a Recurring Nightmare and Get Some Sleep, But Does It Work?

published Mar 6, 2020
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Nothing messes with your sleep schedule quite like recurring nightmares, which can happen when you least expect them—and then they seemingly never stop showing up, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Chrissy Teigen is all too familiar with these recurring bad dreams, but she seems to have found a solution that works, and, naturally, she’s taken to the Twitterverse to share her findings.

Teigen recently told her nearly 12.5 million followers that she’d been experiencing the same nightmare for months, and it was causing her to lose sleep—big time. She wrote, “I’ve been having the same nightmare for months. If I wake up, I fall right back into it when I go back to sleep. And when I do officially wake up, I’m soaking wet and so sad all day. I’m tired!! Sleeping in a different room tonight.”

Sharing a video of herself looking sleepy in bed, she added, “I will let you know how it goes tomorrow, but I can’t let this win anymore. I truly can’t, I cannot do this nightmare again, I’m like trapped.”

Insider reports that she also addressed the situation in a series of posts on her Instagram Stories, telling fans a bit more about the terrifying dreams keeping her from getting a solid night’s sleep. She reportedly said, “…I think I have some kind of ghost or evil spirit and I have the worst nightmares. I will go to bed super early and I will sleep so long and I will wake up soaking wet because I have just the most terrible nightmare. It’s always the same nightmare.”

“I need to feel good and I can’t live this way anymore,” she added. “I cannot do this nightmare anymore. It’s driving me insane. It’s literally making me crazy. I have to stop. It has to stop.”

She then shared that she planned to sleep in a different room to see if that might help, telling her followers, “I’m tired of it and it’s ruining my life, so I’m sleeping in a different room tonight. We’ll see if this makes a difference.”

The next day, the cookbook author then responded to a tweet from a fan asking for a follow-up, and it seems Teigen was pleased to report that it actually worked. “It was SO much better,” she wrote. “I slept through the entire night, had no nightmare and woke up at a reasonable time. First time in MANY months!!”

Researchers have long studied the science behind recurring dreams and how they can impact our sleeping patterns, particularly when the dreams themselves are unpleasant. In 2018, Amy Mistler, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with specialty training in trauma and health psychology, shared some intel with Psych Central, revealing that nightmares are often the result of “daytime distress” showing up in our subconscious while we sleep. As for recurring nightmares, “When the brain produces the dream over and over, parts of the brain involved in facilitating the nightmare become stronger and more active. [Consequently] the nightmare will become more and more likely to come up when we are asleep,” she said.

She recommended Imagery Rehearsal Therapy, a technique focused on breaking the brain’s habits by “rewriting” the scary story to have a positive narrative. For more severe cases, working with a therapist that specializes in trauma can also help.

For those run-of-the-mill nightmares that are more of an annoyance than anything else, the Sleep Foundation recommends taking some measures to help yourself feel safer at night, including using a night light, sleeping near a loved one, sticking to a steady sleep routine, and avoiding anything too stimulating (high-intensity exercise, electronic devices, your beloved murder mystery shows) as you prepare to wind down for the night.

As for Teigen’s hack, well, it doesn’t seem like there’s much science behind switching rooms to prevent nightmares from popping back up. Anecdotally, it seems like people have had success by moving their bed to a different part of the room, per a Reddit thread from a few years ago. Either way, here’s hoping that Teigen was able to stop her recurring nightmare in its tracks and finally get the z’s she deserves.