Sleep and Dreams

  • All people dream when they sleep, including people who think they don’t (more…).
  • According to sleep and dream expert Rubin Naiman, good dreaming contributes to our psychological well-being by
    • supporting healthy memory
    • consolidating memories
    • retaining information
    • warding off depression
    • expanding our ordinary limited consciousness into broader, spiritual real
  • Sleep generally occurs in 90-minute phases repeated throughout the night. Each phase moves from non-REM sleep to REM sleep. At the beginning of the sleep cycle, the REM phase lasts only a few minutes, but in the last phase before awakening, the REM phase can last  up to 40 minutes, and these late-stage dreams often stay in our memories as we awaken.
  • Dreams are largely confined to the REM, or rapid eye movement, phase of sleep.  In REM sleep, we are also in a type of paralysis, and if this paralysis doesn’t occur for whatever reason, a deadly acting out of our dreams can take place.
  • The longer your REM cycle, the more intense your dreams (more…)
  • When someone is sleep deprived we see greater sleep intensity, meaning greater brain activity during sleep; dreaming is definitely increased and likely more vivid (Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis.)
  • It has been observed that dream deprivation causes effects such as:
    • waking dreams (visual and auditory hallucinations)
    • interference with memory and learning
    • a loosening of associations
    • impaired waking ability to do tasks requiring focused attention
    • difficulty maintaining a straight line of thought
    • creating irritability and suspiciousness.
  • High dream recallers are more reactive to environmental stimuli [during sleep], awaken more during sleep, and thus better encode dreams in memory than low dream recallers. (more…)
  • Whatever people are exposed to during the daytime will have an impact on their dreaming at night.
  • You can have a negative impact on your dreams if you’re surrounded or getting exposed to negative things throughout the day. But, on the flip side, you can also have a positive impact on your dreams if the last things that you’re thinking about are positive things. (Dr. Shalini Paruthi)
  • How to have better dreams: While we can’t have 100 percent control over our dreams, there are things we can do to influence them in a positive direction, experts say. Among them:
    • exposure to pleasant smells and sounds while we’re sleeping
    • avoiding spicy foods
    • not smoking
    • eating healthy and exercising regularly
    • improving our daytime thought patterns
    • In simplistic terms, if you want good dreams, sleep well and think happy thoughts. (Dr. Shalini Paruthi)
  • In Dr. Naiman’s view, your complaint of feeling tired the day after dreams disturb your sleep is not usually the result of dreaming, per se, but of attempting to deny, resist or fight the dreams. It is this struggle that can leave you exhausted. He notes that occasional bad dreams and even nightmares are a normal part of one’s dream life, also to keep in mind that even a negative dream can have a positive effect on one’s life.

 


About SLEEP

  • According to Antrobus, factors that can lead to poor sleep include:
    • consuming alcohol before bed
    • experiencing stress and having a disturbing day
    • keeping electronics like cell phones, televisions or computers in the bedroom
    • eating, exercising or consuming caffeine too late
    • having an uncomfortable bed or sleeping environment
    • keeping an inconsistent sleep schedule.
  • Dr Shalini Paruthi’s advice on getting a good sleep:
    • sleeping in a room that’s dark, quiet and cool (18 to 22 celcius degree)
    • taking a bath and reading a book before bed
    • practicing relaxation exercises
    • avoiding stressful or stimulating activities before sleep
    • napping early in the day (or not at all)
    • exercising earlier in the day
    • avoiding alcohol, sugar and large meals before sleep
    • maintaining a regular sleep schedule
    • going to bed when we’re tired.

 

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