I've not had a nightmare in many years now.
I have been beaten, raped, been a heroin addict, sent to prison and I shot my abuser. I was in constant turmoil, for myself as well as the things my children were subjected to and witnessed. For some reason, I did all my worrying and thinking at night, as I lay in bed. I was constantly drugged for many, many years, just trying to drown out the emotional pain as well as the physical pain that I endured. I would lay in the quiet of night and think and replay it all, over and over in my head. It would then carry on, into my dreams. I was tormented and often dreaded even going to sleep. I lay awake many nights, unable to sleep, the "Witching Hour," I called it. The nightmares would often stay with me throughout the next day, they were surreal and aboding. I do believe they had a huge impact on me. That's until I went to prison and began to read the Word, every night, in my bunk. It is never quiet in most prisons and where I was, everything echoed and was intensified. At one point my cell was located right across the hall from the Guards station. It seemed they partied every night and talked loudly, with no regard. Then again, I was a prisoner #OF6708 and I had no right to complain about the accomodations, did I?
I spoke with Pastor Dixie Welker, a wonderful,pleasingly plum woman, who was in our prison ministry. Pastor Dixie was a no frills straight to the point kinda preacher. She quickly became street/prison savvy and I do believe the Spirit led her to minister to us. She did not have it easy as you often had girls, who just wanted to get out of their cells and meet up with their girlfriends, who came to church. At one point, at the beginning of Dixie's appointment, at any given moment, you could look over and see two girls kissing and possibly worse. Once Dixie became privy to the goings on, she addressed it. She told us, she had nothing to say about homosexual behavior but had a nasty distaste for deviant behavior, especially in her church. If you were caught, in a deviant manner, you would be dealt with and possibly get a one-way ticket to the RHU, the"Hole."
Pastor Dixie, listened to me and made a life changing suggestion. "Read the Word before you go to sleep, it's like feeding your soul."
I've lived by her advice all these years and have not had one nightmare since. I also fall asleep praying. If it worked for me, it can work for you!