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Jessica Chastain conquers nightmares with cool down

By:
Jan 09, 2013 | 12:15pm EST

The Zero Dark Thirty star admits she suffered night terrors when she was a kid and researched bad dreams in a bid to avoid them - and she discovered that peeling back the covers, sleeping naked and making sure the bedroom is well air conditioned is the best way to guarantee a restful sleep.

She tells WENN, "As a child I had really bad nightmares. I was one of those kids who would leap onto the bed because I thought something would reach up and grab me and pull me under (the bed). I'd be afraid to take the covers down because I thought a face would be staring up at me.

"I actually had such bad nightmares as a kid that I learned that you get nightmares when your body overheats. Even now when I have a nightmare I wake up sweating. That's because your body is protecting you by creating a nightmare to wake you up. Once I realised that I was like, 'Air conditioning on and we don't need all these covers on the bed,' and I was fine."

But she still has the occasional rude awakening: "I moved into a new apartment in New York and my dog always barks when someone comes in. A few weeks ago I was sleeping soundly and my dog started barking like crazy. I sat up and thought, 'What's in the apartment?' Anything that wakes me up in my sleep scares me."

And her research for new horror film Mama didn't help.

The actress adds, "I got as many horror films as I could and I would play them in my dressing room; sometimes just in the background... I realised I only like watching horror films when I'm with other people."

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