5 Healing Benefits of Dreaming

There are many reasons to dream on!

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If you are getting eight hours of shut-eye each day, you are spending a third of your life asleep! Although you may feel sleep is unproductive, it is essential. When your body rests, the muscular and immune systems are restored, and when you dream, you are repairing your emotions and mind. So lie down and appreciate your sleep while cherishing those dreams.  

When you sleep, chances are you will have three to five dreams per night. These may last from a few seconds to 30 minutes and become longer as the night goes on. While babies’ dreams form half of their sleep time, older adults only dream one fifth of the time they are asleep.

No matter how many dreams you may have or remember upon awakening, neuroscientists are uncovering the importance of dreaming. Here are five reasons why you should never let go of your dreams!

Dreams help you learn

The wise often say that if you are undecided, “sleep on it.” There is truth to this adage. After a good night’s sleep, you may wake up with clarity or you may even have a dream that elicits an answer.

Dreams, according to a Harvard study published in Current Biology, also improve memory. In this study, 99 people were asked to play a virtual reality maze and remember the objects in the maze. Half had a 90-minute nap right after and half (the control group) did not. 

Those who napped recalled more than the non-napping group, while those who dreamed of the maze, recalled the items ten times better. According to the researchers, dreaming reorganizes and consolidates memory.

A dreamy image of a man entering a maze that is in the shape of a human head.

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Dreams assist in emotional healing

Your dreams act as a night-time therapist. What one sees in a dream may not be real, but the emotions attached to the dreams are, according to Spirituality & Health Magazine.

In fact, at night the brain takes on stressful events and actually disconnects the emotion from the memory. Dreams can help us process these emotions, according to Scientific American, rendering them inactive. This is important as processing negative emotions helps to decrease anxiety.

Dreamy image of a woman in a billowy dress floating off a high cliff.

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Dreams offer you a better night’s sleep

Dreaming actually helps you sleep better, according to a study in Frontiers in Psychology. Sigmund Freud called dreams “guardians of sleep,” and this study shows his classic theory to be true. Researchers found that non-dreaming can cause sleep disruption. And as everyone knows, a good night’s sleep repairs the mind and body alike.

An alarm clock in the bedroom with a woman waking up early looking refreshed.

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Dreams help you overcome fears

Are you a lucid dreamer? Lucid dreamers are aware of being in a dream and can manipulate the dream like an artist painting a canvas. If you have a specific anxiety, you can practice facing it in a dream with nothing to lose, according to Psych Central.

The dream may assist to reprogram your brain so that you eventually lose the fear when you are in the waking world. So follow your dreams!

Dreamy image of a woman shouting into a megaphone while standing on a crescent moon in a starry sky.

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Dreams improve mood

You can go to bed in a sad mood, and after a night of dreaming you may wake up in a better place. A study in Psychiatry Research shows this to be true. They took 60 people who felt depressed before sleeping. Their dreams started out negatively, but toward the end of the night, they reported fewer negative dreams. The participants also woke up feeling in a better mood.

A woman wakes up in the morning smiling.

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