Vivid dreams on the rise: How can we harness our night-time visions to benefit our waking lives?
Lingering in bed used to be a rarity, reserved only for the weekends. Then the lockdowns happened, and with them, a strange new development. Now we can remember our dreams, recalling them in more vivid detail.
Research from Kings College London has shown that 49% of those who find coronavirus stressful report having had more vivid dreams than usual, while the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre has found a 35% increase in dream recall.
Author and sleep expert Theresa Cheung explains that a lot of it is to do with our sleep patterns, “People have always had dreams, but the reason we’re remembering them more now is that our mornings have slowed right down. We’re now lying in bed without immediately jumping up, so we have the chance to stay in touch with that unconscious realm.”
Experts suspect the purpose of our dreams may be able to help us deal with emotional problems from daily life, to be creative, or to sort through memories and other thoughts, among other theories, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Most dreaming occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) part of sleep, the stage of sleep that most of us spend about 20% of the night in. while recalling a dream suggest that you’ve reached a REM sleep cycle at some point during the night, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve had more or less of that important stage of sleep. People tend to have most of their “dream sleep” in the second half of the night. “If you remember your dream, it could be that you simply woke up during it, so it’s fresh in your mind,” says sleep specialist Deborah Givan, MD.
Remembering your dreams is not only a bit of fun, but can also lead to a new level of self-understanding…
By harnessing the power of our dreaming mind, the theory is that we can harness positive and transformative change in our waking lives. Through our dreams, we’re asking ourselves ‘what do you think?” When you start becoming practised in it, it’s very reassuring, because you know that there’s some part of you – your intuition or higher self – that is always on your side. That can be a tremendous confidence boost, as it teaches us to trust ourselves.
Dreaming can be a powerful tool for personal transformation and growth…
Somewhere in every meaningful dream is the potential for personal growth. Simply giving it attention aids a subconscious process of integrating experiences and setting up scenarios for your personal development.
Your dreams give you clues about their meaning through the settings, characters, symbols, actions, reactions, and especially resolutions. The resolution of a dream is often where suggestions are made, advice is given, or new perspectives are revealed. Look at the resolution of a dream first for ways to bring your dreams into your daily life:
- Find personal ways to work with your dreams, remembering there are no right or wrong ways, only your way, and the more effort you put in, the more you gain.
- Tap into the inner power you have to create harmony inside yourself and outside yourself.
- According to psychologist Robert A. Johnson, the unconscious mind has two means of communicating with its conscious counterpart: dreams and imagination. Therefore, you can use your imagination to gain the same benefits as dreaming.
How do we understand our dreams successfully?
- Simply write them down – keep a dream journal next to you, and when you wake up, jot down what you recall.
- Look at all the symbols – these are the things that you saw in the dream. Write down these key words quickly, then focus on the atmosphere, settings and colours.
Red = passion
Purple = intuition connecting to your higher self
Green = new beginnings
Yellow = intellect
Black = hidden potential
Orange = creativity
Brown = about being more grounded
Ways to programme yourself for dream recall…
Words have power, say a mantra out loud before going to sleep
Tonight, I remember my dreams
I’m going to have a great dream tonight
Have an ordered pre-sleep routine for better dreams
Lavender has been shown to boost dream recall
Having a bath, a read and doing calming things before bed will increase the chances of sweet dreams rather than nightmares
Anxiety and medication can affect dream recall…
Remembering your dreams doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how restful your sleep is. Instead, recalling those dreams is a lot more likely to depend on several factors, from your current level of stress to the medication you’re taking.
Our dreams serve our best interests, so if you wake up panicking, take some deep breaths and remind yourself of this. Our Night Drops help to calm the mind, releasing stress and anxiety from the body.
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