"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt
WHAT ARE DREAMS?
Dreams can be entertaining, disturbing, or downright bizarre. Everyone dreams even if we don't remember then the next day. Dreams are basically stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. Dreams can be vivid. They can make you feel happy, sad, or scared. And they may seem confusing or perfectly rational.
They can occur anytime during sleep. But most vivid dreams occur during deep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when the brain is most active. Some experts say we dream at least four to six times per night.
Dreams are necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health. Many experts say that dreams exist to help solve problems in our lives, incorporate memories and to process our emotions. Some dreams may help our brains process our thoughts and the events of the day. Others may just be the result of normal brain activity and mean very little, if anything. Much research is still being done regarding how and why we dream.
Often people report having recurring dreams...they are being chased, fall off a cliff, or appear in public naked. These types of dreams are likely caused by a hidden stress or anxiety. The particular reason behind your dream is unique to you. Although scientists can't say for sure what dreams mean and why we dream, many people find meaning in their dreams.
Nightmares, or bad dreams, are also common. Often nightmares are caused by:
Stress, conflict, and fear
Medication or drug use
If you have a recurring nightmare, your subconscious may be trying to tell you something. Listen to it.
Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were dreaming during your dream? This is called a lucid dream. Lucid dreaming is accompanied by an increased activation of parts of the brain that are normally suppressed during sleep. Lucid dreaming represents a brain state between REM sleep and being awake.
Some people who are lucid dreamers are able to influence the direction of their dream, changing the story so to speak.
Some say our minds don't actually forget dreams, we just don't know how to access them. Dreams may be stored in our memory, waiting to be recalled. This notion may explain why you may suddenly remember a dream later in the day -- something may have happened to trigger the memory. If you are a sound sleeper and don't wake up until the morning, you are less likely to remember your dreams compared to people who wake up several times in the night. But here are some tips that may influence your ability to remember your dreams: Wake up without an alarm. You are more likely to remember your dreams if you wake up naturally than with an alarm. Once the alarm goes off, your brain focuses on the annoying sound and turning it off and not your dream.
Remind yourself to remember. If you want to remember your dreams and make a conscious decision to do so, you are more likely to remember your dreams in the morning. Before you go to sleep, remind yourself that you want to remember your dream. If you think about the dream right after waking, it may be easier to remember it later.
If you are intrigued by your dreams or want to sort out the meaning behind them, consider keeping a dream diary or journal. Keep a notebook or journal and pen next to your bed and record your dream first thing every morning, while the memory is still fresh. Write down anything you recall from the dream and how it made you feel, even if you can only remember random pieces of information. Journal without judgment. Dreams are sometimes odd and may go against societal norms. Try not to judge yourself based on your dreams. Give each dream a title. This may help if you want to refer back to a dream. Sometimes the title you create can provide insight on why you had the dream or the meaning behind it.