We spend almost two hours per night dreaming, yet oftentimes wake up with little to no recollection of our dreams. Occasionally, we might wake up with a clear memory of a dream questioning whether or not that was reality, this is known as vivid dreaming..
What are dreams? Dreams are essentially images and stories we create in our minds while we sleep, our brain activity is high during this time, meaning the brainstem to cortex is active while we are dreaming! You may have thought sleeping was a time for our brain to rest and relax, when in fact it’s highly active.
Dreaming can transpire in both rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep stages, however more vivid dreams tend to be experienced in REM sleep which recur approximately every 90 minutes only lasting 20-25 minutes at a time.
So is there any significance to having a vivid dream? According to a dream analyist, vivid dreams tend to involve a storyline, full of clear details, colors and produce strong emotions that feel like real life experiences. These dreams typically cause feelings of joy or comfort, oftentimes upon waking up wishing you could return to your dream. On the flip side, some dreams can be sad or disturbing, that may leave you wondering how your brain thought this up bizzare scenario – and guess what, that’s totally normal! Unfortunately researchers don’t completely understand the function or purpose of dreams yet, although it's thought to be a natural way for us to help process emotions, information and memories, whereas other researches claim dreams serve no purpose at all, even the ones we remember. If you experience vivid dreams there is nothing to worry about, for the most part people really enjoy vivid dreaming, only when these dreams become constant and negative, therefore disrupting your sleep should you be concerned and possibly seek help.
How to encourage healthy vivid dreams
- Sleeping early
- Healthy eating
- Using herbal sleep remedies
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine
- Keep a journal of your vivid dreams
- Take a sleep supplement
- Listen to relaxing music while you sleep
- Don’t drink alcohol as it can suppress REM sleep
Experts say when vivd dreams start to negatively effect you it could be a sign of the following factors:
- Stress or anxiety
- Sleep disorder
- Substance abuse
- Lack of sleep
“To understand the intricacies of life, study the antics of your dreams.”
Although we may not fully understand why we dream, we can assume vivid dreaming is a natural part of life that exists within the sleep cycle, and just like every other function in the body, it has a message for you and probably serves a significant purpose, we just haven’t discovered why that is yet! So why do you think we experience vivid dreams?