Our brain is one strange organ. It not only controls our entire body, but also also controls our feelings, perception and emotions. What we see and how we handle while awake, is all decided by our brain. But then we go to sleep, and a different part of brain gets activated. One who can help us see the same things in new perspective. It sometimes shows what we desire and give us solutions. We dream!
Why do we dream?
Dream is the process taken care by the brain consolidating or processing all the information gathered during the day while processing signals of your mind and body during sleep.
Everyone dreams while sleeping. Studies reveal that on an average everyone dream around 3 to 6 times per night, with each dream lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. But only a few can actually remember what they dreamt. Others claim that they do not dream at all, because it is simply impossible to recall dreams. They actually do not remember even the tiniest of their dreams. This fact has baffled many for a long time. There had many researches that explored why do some people remember their dreams and others don’t.
According to these researches there are two types of dreamers-
- High re-callers: who can remember their dreams when they wake up
- Low re-callers: who vaguely remember their dreams
A group of UK based researchers used Electroencephalography to record electrical activity in brain. They found that temporal parietal junction , an information processing hub in the brain is the key to remember the dream. Another group of French researchers had the similar results. According to them out of 41 volunteers 21 were high dream recallers and 20 were low. These researchers used PET (Position Emission Tomography). The team led by Perrine Ruby form Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre studied these volunteers to find out the difference.
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Why do some people remember their dreams?
- Increased activity in the brain region helps in encoding dreams in memory.
- High re-callers have brains that are more reactive to stimuli (sound based) during their sleep and wakefulness.
- The increased brain reactivity might be the reason for waking up during night.
- Studies also say that “Creative People Remember More Dreams“
- The most vivid dreams occur during the REM cycle and in order to remember these dreams, it needs to be embedded in the memory storing part of the brain. This memory storing part can be activated only during wakefulness. Thus in order to encode these dreams, the person needs to wake up during the sleep cycle. Low re-callers do not wake up often during their sleep cycle, thus their dreams are not embedded.
How do our dreams affect our mental health?
Dreams are said to be a mirror into our psyche. Our subconscious parts of the brain takes charge and show us many things. Fantasy, erotic, even congratulatory ones are fragments of our brains. Chemical reactions! While some say that dreaming is a great thing, it proves that our brain is healthy. While others who are high re-callers might forget the line between dreams and reality.
Let’s find out some mental benefits of dreams.
- Relieve stress, help find a solution
Sleep is beneficial under stress. You are able to relax. A tense mind can never find any solution. While the brain might be active during your sleep, these dreams can always benefit, if you can recall them. Sometimes our subconscious mind can join the dots that our conscious one can’t, thus these dreams is the key to those problems that are stressing you out. A dream can also be a small vacation , where you can relax and live the part, you want to.
- Relive phobias and disorders
There are several things that are stored as neural response, somewhere in our brain. Dreaming can actually relieve these phobias while tapping into these responses. Sleep academy help people to let go of their scares and help live a healthy life.
- Influence our perception and thinking
Have you ever experience a complete 180 degree change in your mood when you woke up? Our dreams are the reason for it. If you slept upset but dreamt a happy dream , your mood will automatically be uplifted. Sometimes we see the same situation in different light after the dreams.
In conclusion, I would say that though recalling dreams have great benefit, constantly waking up between your sleep cycles takes a toll on your overall health. You can’t choose to recall those dreams or even decide what you want to dream. But you can only hope for a healthy brain and healthy thought process.
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