What To Do After Watching a Scary Movie


Image from: Frightened Man / Shutterstock
Image from: Frightened Man / Shutterstock

By Kasha Patel
BU News Service

You’ve just binged on some of the scariest movies you can think of from The Shining to Psycho to Saw. And now you’re too scared to go in the bathroom because you might see “REDRUM” in the mirror. It was entertaining to be frightened during the movie, but you’d rather not be paranoid for the next few days. So what do you do next?

Don’t go to bed.

“It turns out that you are better off staying up than trying to go to sleep,”  Dr. Eric Hollander, professor of psychiatry at Montefiore/Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, said in TIME magazine, According to the article, sleep “tends to consolidate and lay down traumatic memories.”

This tactic is also a good way to address more traumatic situations. The Israeli army, which has the lowest percent of soldiers with PTSD in the world, tries to “keep traumatized soldiers awake immediately after a difficult experience and engage them in warm social contact,” stated the TIME article. Both activities help reduce the risk of getting PTSD.

So, after watching your movie, don’t go to bed right away. Instead, it may be better to do something less scary, such as watching a funny movie or thinking happy thoughts about your day, before going to bed. Watch the “Behind the scenes” special feature if you have the movie on DVD. Talk with family or friends, although try to stay away from talking about how scary the movie was because then you may relive the frightening experience again.

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