Dreams have been a subject of fascination for thousands of years - but what's really going on in there? Why do we dream - and why do some of us experience vivid dreams whereas others can't remember a thing?
Dreams are associated with a phase of sleep known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) - which is essential to our mental wellbeing. During REM sleep we use huge amounts of energy to process the emotional events we've experienced, and make sense of things that have happened in our world. Ever gone to bed feeling unhappy or confused about something and woken up with the answer, or a totally different perspective? Eureka! That's thanks to your REM sleep phase having a good sort out for you!
Dreams can be bizarre sometimes because the brain doesn't always process things in accordance with our normal experience of reality - the brain uses metaphors and patterns of previous experience to make sense of the world. So yes, there is some 'hidden meaning' in dreams but it's likely to be different for everyone depending on your own experiences.
What if you can't remember your dreams? Does that mean you're missing out on essential REM? Don't panic - chances are you're still getting good quality REM sleep if you're sleeping well and waking up feeling fine - we usually remember our dreams best if we wake up during REM, so you're just likely to be waking in a different sleep phase.
If you wake up feeling more tired than you started or experiencing insomnia, chances are you are experiencing too much or too little REM - which can leave you emotionally and physically less able to function well. Part of my job as a Hypnotherapist is to help you get this back on track and once we do that, we start to feel healthier and more positive and can cope with the world better. Please get in touch if you'd like help with sorting out your sleep!