Dreams, what do they mean & how do they work?
For centuries, people have questioned the meaning of dreams. The Greeks and Romans were convinced that dreams could predict the future. Since then, times have changed. Like counting sheep, the theories around meanings and interpretations of dreams are growing.
Do our dreams mean anything?
There are many different theories when it comes to dream interpretation and whether our dreams really mean something. While we often enjoy recalling our dreams the following day, it’s important to decipher if there’s any significance in their meanings. Here, we explore some leading scientific theories…
What happens while we dream?
Dreams are essentially stories we play out in our heads overnight; they can follow a simple narrative or be totally wild and abstract.. Scientists estimate that we have around 3-6 dreams in one night and around 95% of these dreams are forgotten the following morning.
Whilst we forget most of our dreams, this doesn’t mean that dreams are unimportant, quite the opposite. REM-sleep dreaming is the only time the brain is devoid of an anxiety triggering molecule. This is coupled with the fact that key emotional and memory-related parts of the brain are active during REM sleep.
This allows your brain to process potentially upsetting or anxiety-inducing memories in a stress-free environment. Dreaming, therefore, has the potential to reduce emotional reactivity helping you to process events in a more rational way. Who knew?!
Why do we dream?
Dreaming mostly occurs during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle of sleep. However, dreams can occur in non-REM sleep and REM without dreams. During REM sleep, your eyes move quickly in different directions. Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. You tend to have intense dreams during this time as your brain is more active.
What are the benefits of dreaming?
While we may not know a lot when it comes to dream meanings, more can be said about the benefits of dreaming. For example, the REM stage in which we dream also allows you to commit things you learn to memory, meaning dreaming will help with cognitive processes. Dreams also offer emotional benefits, such as introspection.
So, how can I dream BETTER?
Nothing can guarantee good dreams. But here are some tips for getting a better, deeper cycle of sleep, and upping the chances of having more fulfilling dreams.
Turn your bedroom into a dream pad
It’s all about training your body and mind to see your bed as a place for rest.
Dim the lights, draw the blinds and get snuggly. A soothing essential oil such as lavender and a good book should do you wonders.
Try a nightcap
This could be a relaxing tea with chamomile, or even better, INTU Sleep & Skin Renewal the super powder that packs a sleep aid for your body and mind.
Besides Lemon Balm and Passionflower, which has traditionally been used in Western herbal medicine to relieve restless sleep, it features a blend of magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate, the type that sends signals throughout the nervous system and brain to calm and relax your body, plus lowers cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone”, helping to relieve mild anxiety and depression.
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