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5 of the Best Ways to Wind Down After a Horror Film (And 3 Things To Avoid)

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Just spent the last 2 hours screaming your head off in fear? Discover our top-recommended tips to wind down and allow your busy mind to switch off after the chaos of a horror film.

Horror films: why do we put ourselves through them? Thrill-seekers have long been attracted to the universes in which houses are possessed by an evil spirit or where dolls harbour vendettas against teens on camping trips. Horror films attract a predominantly younger audience whose hearts can withstand the jumps and palpitations that prevail throughout 90 minutes of torture. But how do we prevent the inevitable lack of sleep that follows after watching a horror film? From purchasing CBD edibles online to calm the nerves, to avoiding caffeine before bedtime, here are our top tips to decompress after a horror film and see you through a good night’s sleep.

Talk About It

They don’t say “a problem shared is a problem halved” for no reason– even when it comes to horror films, the act of articulating what you have just seen can enable you to make sense of it and alleviate its traumatising effects. You should spend at least some time talking about the film after watching it; you may even come to the realisation that it was completely ridiculous and not worth freaking out about. Alternatively, talking about it may offer different interpretations you hadn’t considered and allow you to intellectually unpack parts of the film you may have found most troubling. 

Watch Interviews

After indulging your thrill-seeking urges with a horror film, a helpful exercise is to search up the background of the film. Have a look at images of the actors involved in it, as well as how the film was made – because seeing the creepy little girl with the vacant expression who you’ve just witnessed committing several murders on the big screen, now in photos on the red carpet, really plunges you back into reality.

Try browsing Wikipedia to find information on the making of the film or surfing YouTube for some interviews with the actors or behind-the-scenes clips – all of these rituals serve as great reminders that the film is just a film.

Put on an Episode of Your Favourite Show

Be it a mind-numbing sitcom or a focus-diverting documentary about street food in Asia; it is a good idea to put on a TV or podcast episode so that the last thing you think about before bed isn’t the contents of the horror film you have just subjected yourself to. 

We don’t need research to tell us that TV and podcasts have a very good way of bringing up positive emotions and lifting our moods, affording us a form of escapism from reality. So, if you really can’t get your mind off a certain spine-chilling moment from a horror film, be sure to pacify your mind with some light comic relief.

Try Some CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, is another way to get relaxed and wind down after a scary movie. CBD is the legal component of cannabis, different from THC in that it does not intoxicate you but does produce similarly relaxing effects. 

CBD comes in various forms, depending on the way you want to consume it. For instance, you can take a couple of the best CBD capsules ,gummies or search for edibles online, as well as try out this supplement in the form of tinctures, drinks, suppositories or topicals. Famed for helping you sleep and possibly managing symptoms of anxiety, taking a little CBD before bed may just help you unwind after a horror film.

Get Moving

Watching a horror film can be enough to awaken your nerves and set you in “fight or flight” survival mode. A good way to combat the adrenaline rush is by getting some exercise – so long as it’s not late at night, try going for a run or dancing around to some music to release the tension.

Things You Should Avoid

Watching Another Horror Film

If you’ve just finished watching a horror film that has left you a little jumpy, then, for goodness sake, don’t hop straight into another. Too many scares in one night could really interfere with your sleep and increase your anxiety levels into the following day, so avoid the need to scare yourself even further and change the tone of your film or TV watching.

Surfing the Internet for True Horror Stories

While it may be an extremely tempting thing to do, don’t go searching the internet for true stories linked to the film you have just watched. Freaking yourself out even more severely with stories that corroborate the film can surely wait until a later date. If you go falling down Google rabbit holes, you’ll find yourself knee-deep in tales of how somebody’s brother’s ex-wife’s cat’s sister-in-law lived with a ghost. There are also several video compilations out there of things that “cannot be explained” other than by supernatural activity – do yourself a favour and avoid these like the plague after watching a horror film.

Drinking Caffeine

We all know that caffeine can put you on high alert and be a major barrier to sleeping soundly. Not only this, caffeinated drinks can increase your pulse and give you a racy heart. Try to avoid winding down with a cup of tea or coffee; instead, opt for a herbal tea such as chamomile or mint to aid relaxation and promote sleep.

Bottom Line

Naturally, not everyone will feel too affected by horror films. If you are a seasoned horror film spectator, you may even be immune to the residual feelings of fear that linger after the film has ended. Even if you are well-acquainted with the genre and don’t feel phased, it may still be wise to do one of the above exercises, if only to create some distance between yourself and the film.

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