Dreams have fascinated us for thousands of years and many theories have been put forward about what exactly they are. Although much of the process is still a mystery, recent studies in dream laboratories have started to clarify a few things for us.
When do we dream?
We only dream during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of our sleep cycle, when our eyes move energetically behind our eyelids. During the rest of the cycle, our body carries out other processes.
Different types of dreams
Much of our dreaming seems to be a result of our brain subconsciously processing what’s happened during the day, so we may end up with a strange series of events that don’t seem to be necessarily connected in real life.
Other dreams give us feedback about wider themes going on in our life, such as fears, phobias or goals. We may even wake up with new insights or ideas to work with.
Many people believe that certain types of dreams can actually predict the future, and give warnings about events that may still happen.
Remembering your dreams
Some people regularly remember their dreams, while others don’t. Try setting the intention to remember and keeping a dream journal next to your bed. As soon as you wake up, even if it’s the middle of the night, write down what you recall – before your brain gets to work trying to analyse it or prepare for the day ahead.
Interpreting your dreams
Rereading your dream journal, especially over time, can give you clues about what your subconscious mind is working on. The tricky part is that the subconscious tends to work more symbolically than literally, so sometimes you need to do some work to interpret the true meaning.
Symbols are also extremely personal, so dreaming about a cat might mean one thing to one person and another to someone else. Have a look in your local bookshop or check online for a dream dictionary, or Google something like “symbolic meaning of ….” to get you started, then go with what feels right to you. Your dreams can enrich your life – why waste that awesome power?