What was your dream today? | Sunday Observer

What was your dream today?

 Studies made in sleep laboratories confirm that all of us dream for one or two hours every night. Ask your family and friends whether they have dreams and more often than not, you will get a negative response. It is because dreams are like vapour, if you do not consciously make an effort to remember, they will disappear into thin air by morning.

If you want to remember and recall your dreams, as soon as you get up write them down making a special note of the emotions they psyched up inside of you.

Dreams and sleep cycles

Have you ever wondered how dreams are processed in our minds? We begin with very light sleep, which is known as alpha; then move into a deeper sleep which is called theta and finally, slip into the deepest sleep level which is termed delta. Psychologists believe dreams occur when we move into the alpha sleep mode.

Moving from alpha to delta occurs in a cyclic pattern, which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

At the end of every 90 minutes of the sleep cycle, an individual reaches the alpha stage again, where for a period of five minutes the dream portal is kept open.

Throughout the night, with every passing alpha level, the time span to see dreams keeps increasing by another additional five minutes. Hence, if we sleep for eight hours, technically, we will have a good chance to experience dreams for nearly one to two hours on a daily basis.

What is a dream?

A dream is a mental image that flashes across your mind when you are asleep. When we dream, usually, our eyes start to move rapidly trying to keep pace with the images that are being flashed across in our mind’s inner screen. This phenomenon is known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

A school of Psychologists believe that dreams are inner release mechanisms that help us with emotional balance. In a sense, dreams act as guardians of our mental and emotional wellbeing.

How to unwrap dreams

Many of us, when we see a dream, tend to dismiss it as trivial because it does not appeal to our logical mindset. This is because, most of the time it is mind boggling to make sense of the symbols and images that accompany a dream. However, people who have studied about dreams say that usually 95% of your dreams will be concerning your life, your life’s current situation and relationships, etc. They hold the view that since dreams proceed from one’s heart or inner being, they will express things that are closest and important to your wellbeing.

According to researchers, a key in unwrapping a dream is first to identify and isolate the feeling that encompassed it. When you had the dream, were you happy with your heart pounding with excitement or did it give you a feeling of inadequacy where you felt cheated, exposed and unprepared? Did it bring hope or set off an alarm within you?

As a majority of the dreams reveal symbolically one’s emotional state, you should be your judge and find out what the symbols stand for in your real life. Many dream interpreters hold the view that dreams have to be interpreted in the light of the dreamer’s circumstances or drawn from within the dreamer.

Famous dreams

The above imply that we have to take responsibility for finding out whether dreams contain direction and guidance to our lives.

History claims that dreams have given direction to scientists, musicians, writers, and inventors, and they have changed the course of this world for the better. For example, the sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe based on a dream. Albert Einstein stumbled upon the principle of relativity, thanks to a vivid dream. Frederick Banting heard a voice instructing him through a dream on how to administer insulin.

The hit song ‘Yesterday’ was downloading into Paul McCartney’s being through a dream. And, the list goes on. Ironically, it is also said, President Lincoln dreamed of a casket just before his assassination.

Therefore, the next time you are faced with a daunting task or a pressing issue, do not let it get the better of you. Switch off your brain, give yourself a break; go to bed early and try to get a good night’s rest.

Then, you will give your inner self the much needed opportunity to draw out from the deep recesses of your heart, breakthrough solutions and beam them right in front of your eyes through dreams that have the power to change your life forever.

Of course, a phenomenon of this nature is hard to believe, yet, it is true to the core, simply because you are precious and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

(The writer is an HRD & Business Psychology Practitioner) 

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