You’ll be thankful that this is not an “Eat, Love & Pray” article about selling your house & leaving your job to travel around the world in a mobile home.
However, I do believe you should follow your dreams. By that I mean the crazy stuff that goes on in your head during the night: where you have hallucinations, where nothing seems to make sense, where a kid from high school shows up that you haven’t seen in years or where your feet grow wheels, or where you become a world champion hot dog eater overnight. You sometimes wake up feeling disturbed, perplexed, elated or if you’re lucky, you find you’ve come up with a new genius idea.
What I’d like for you to take away from this article is the knowledge of an ultimate brainstorming technique. One you can do during your sleep. It will enable you to use your dreams to help you resolve issues you have going on in your life and also get to know yourself better. For those who suffer from insomnia and a racing anxious mind in bed, this technique can also help you calm that down.
So, what happens when you dream in Rapid Eye Movement sleep? The prefrontal cortex, which is like the CEO part of the brain that manages logic and rational thought, almost shuts down completely. The motor cortex, in charge of movement, is deactivated by paralysing your body entirely to prevent you from enacting your dreams physically and doing yourself damage. Contrastingly, other parts of the brain are highly active and turned up in volume. This includes the enhancement of the back part of the brain that is involved in complex visual perception and the hippocampus which stores autobiographical memory. The amygdala which manages the deep emotional centres of the brain, is also highly active. This part of the brain generates and processes the day’s emotions and memories and associates them with the past. REM dream sleep also allows you to retain knowledge from the individual facts you’ve learned during the day and make connections between previously learned knowledge, combining them and ultimately creating wisdom. The emotional centres of the brain are 30% more active in REM dream sleep than at any other time of the day or night.
It’s fantastic, just like when the CEO is out of the office, our brain has free range to roam, process, do it’s own thing and make connections and associations completely uninhibited by rational and logical thought. That’s where sleep becomes a genius power for us to find solutions to issues that we struggle to resolve during wakefulness. This is because our logical thinking is deactivated. Up to 55% of emotions and concerns resurface in dreams at night. REM sleep dreaming takes a powerful sting out of difficult and even traumatic emotional episodes you’ve experienced in the day, offering emotional resolution when you wake the next morning. The longer you sleep in general, the more REM sleep you’ll have and most REM sleep happens in the second part of the night. That’s why, when you wake up ,you tend to be able to remember your most recent dreams vividly.
Here’s the recipe I’d like to share with you for harvesting your dreams to find solutions to issues that are troubling you. This is a technique that has been proven by Harvard Medical research. Over time it trains your brain to better remember your dreams too.
Dreams are truth tellers so they often confront us with the things we don’t necessarily want to see or things we hadn’t previously thought of before so we can work on resolving the issue at hand. They can also allow us to see things from other people’s stand points. We could even call it overnight therapy.
So try it. Follow your dreams closely. And do let me know how you get on.
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