Dreams are lovely, mysterious events that most people experience nightly. Although some research states that up to 60 percent of us don’t remember our dreams, and 90 percent of dream details disappear within 10 minutes, dreams are incredibly valuable.
Dreams Decoded: 10 Insider Tips
Want to know more? Check out these 10 insider tips about dreams.
1. Your Mind Is More Active During Dreams than When You’re Awake
In case you thought that dreaming means less brain activity, think again. Numerous sleep studies tracking the brain’s electrical activity during dreaming prove it. In addition, some research suggests that your mind is more active when sleeping after you have experienced something new in the past day or if you’ve gone through a major life change or significant event.
2. Dreams Help in Overcoming Fears
Are you a lucid dreamer? In a lucid dream, you are aware that you are dreaming. Thus, you can manipulate and control your dreams. This applies to learning how to overcome daytime fears.
Suppose you have an intense fear of the dark. You can’t walk down a dark path in the woods or enter an unlit house without feeling terror. In your lucid dream, you confidently venture down that path – while reminding yourself that you’re dreaming. You’re in control of the situation and know you have nothing to fear. You practice this repeatedly. Eventually, you’ve overcome the fear and are no longer terrified of walking the dimly lit path in the woods.
3. Improve Your Mood with Dreaming
When someone is depressed, they often have vivid or even violent dreams. Most experts agree that dreams are like a mirror for emotional states, while at the same time, they can affect them. Lucid dreaming means the ability to exercise control while dreaming. If you are a lucid dreamer, the theory is that you can control your mood in the dream.
Other researchers found that dreaming helps those with clinical depression recover quicker.
4. You Sleep Better When You Dream
Did you know that dreams help you sleep better? Researchers found that Sigmund Freud’s classic theory that dreams are the “guardians of sleep” is true. Furthermore, not only does arousal stimulate dreaming, and dreams help you stay asleep, but people who don’t dream have disrupted sleep.
When someone recommends you get a good night’s sleep, welcome your dreams. They’ll help you sleep better.
5. Emotional Healing Gets a Boost with Dreams
Many people who’ve experienced a traumatic event or have PTSD have highly charged, disturbing dreams. One of the health benefits of dreams that researchers have found is their ability to help gradually reduce the intense emotionality of traumatic memories.
Dreams strip the emotions attached to traumatic experiences by creating memories of them. This leaves the memories intact but minus the active emotion.
6. When You Dream, You Learn
If you want to retain something you just learned, sleep on it. While that may not be feasible if you’re learning a new language early in the morning and sleep is a long way off, don’t worry. Pay attention to what you’re learning now. All the unimportant and extraneous things during the learning process get stripped away when you sleep. What you remember, if you’re dreaming about what you learned, is what you need to retain.
Experts say it’s not so much learning as rehearsing. REM sleep helps in the decision-making process. This mechanism allows you to review the key points and rehearse what to do, thus helping you decide.
Harvard Medical School researchers found that learning something – and then sleeping on it – makes you 10 times better at the task you learned than if you don’t sleep or dream.
7. Dreams Help in Processing Memories
Researchers say that REM sleep may help improve memory. It does so by strengthening the brain’s neural connections. Practically, prioritizing sleep is essential if you are trying to solve a problem or learn an unfamiliar skill. You’ll find the answer or potential solutions to the problem or improvements in the ability to perform the skill in the morning.
8. Dreaming Helps Clear the Brain
Just as every home needs a good cleaning, so does the brain require mental housekeeping. This happens during dreaming. Scientists say that some parts of the dream process could be how the brain sweeps away unnecessary, partial, or erroneous information.
9. Even Nightmares Have Value
Who hasn’t reeled from the prospect of reliving nightmares experienced during last night’s sleep? Researchers, however, say that nightmares may serve a significant purpose in preparing you for something unpleasant or terrible that may happen. In a way, it’s like a dress rehearsal.
Also, some scientists say that nightmares are primitive protective mechanisms. If you experienced a terrifying or horrible event once, it may happen again. So, recurring nightmares about the experience may help keep you on your toes and vigilant.
10. Gain a New Perspective by Dreaming
Are you an artist, writer, philosophical thinker, photographer, or someone engaged in creative activities? If so, you already appreciate the value of dreaming to spur creativity. So, it should be a comfort to realize that dreams help you gain a new perspective.
Whether it is to go over what you did or learned today or mix and match ideas, images, thoughts, and actions to generate entirely new scenarios, dreams are invaluable in problem-solving and creating something new.