Pleasant Dreams Versus Nightmares

By Dr. Robert Wallace

October 23, 2019 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I dream a lot, but unfortunately most of my dreams are terrible nightmares. I've tried eating various foods before going to sleep to see if I can end them, but nothing seems to help.

My sister says she rarely dreams, but when she does, they are pleasant. Is there any way I can dream pleasant and happy dreams? — Anonymous, Jackson, Mississippi

ANONYMOUS: Unpleasant dreams are not caused by the food you eat. Your nightmares are probably caused by some fear that bothers you but is hidden during the day. These fears hide in the subconscious and show up while you are sleeping. Everybody dreams. Apparently, your sister doesn't remember hers very often, which is normal for many people.

Some people find that an afternoon nap can produce more pleasant dreams at night. Others have mentioned that keeping fresh flowers in the bedroom or sprinkling aromatic oils, such as lavender, on a pillow can help. Still others like to do nightly routines, which can include deep breathing exercises or meditation. Try a few of these to see if one of them may improve your situation. If you find that you are still plagued with nightmares, it would be wise to check in with your family physician to obtain further counseling and advice. Good luck, and I wish you pleasant dreams.


DR. WALLACE: I'm really hurt and confused, and I need your advice. My guy and I have been going out (on and off) for the past three years. We are both 17 years old. Our relationship hasn't been perfect, but at times, it's the best relationship a couple could ever have.

About a month ago, he started acting weird. I asked him if anything was wrong and he said no, but I knew something was bothering him. I discussed things with my best girlfriend, but she couldn't offer me any help. In fact, she started acting sort of weird, too.

Yesterday, I called him, and his mother said he was at church for evening services. As I wanted to talk to him about something that was time sensitive, I drove by the church. To my horror, I saw my boyfriend and my best girlfriend sitting together and holding hands. I immediately got out of there! I know they didn't see me.

My guy and I weren't officially going steady, but he has often told me that he sees us being together for "the long run," whatever that means. To find out that he is dating my best friend is a bit much! I now feel that I have lost my best friend, too.

What should I do about this big mess? I feel so sad and all alone knowing what I now know. I don't think I can go on acting like nothing has happened with either one of them. - Upset All Around, via email

UPSET ALL AROUND: I suggest that you start by ending your "best friend" relationship with your girlfriend. Things will never be the same between the two of you girls. And as for your boyfriend, it's time for you to start dating others. To wait for an off-again, on-again relationship to be on again would be a waste of your valuable time — especially now that you know how willing he is to go behind your back, despite his proclamations of staying with you for "the long run." It would have been different if he had spoken to you first and explained that he planned to date others in addition to you. At least then you could have decided to either do the same and stay in the "relationship" or cut it off. He did not do that, but he apparently has no hesitation in doing as he pleases in the meantime

If this young man comes calling on you again, it might be nice for you to be in a position to tell him you already have plans to go out with someone else. His reaction will be interesting and revealing.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Pexels at Pixabay

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