I talk about common and recurring dreams like teeth falling out in my book Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal. The book aims to join the dots between our sleep, dreams and our mental health, specifically how grief shows up, even if no one has died. I explore some of the big myths of sleep, offer a Sleep Cycle Repair Kit including mindfulness activities as well as some top tips to help you decode your dreams.
If you look at a dictionary definition for the word “dream” you will read a description like “a series of images experienced during the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement”.
This is a very scientific description and, for me, there is more to be offered by way of an explanation. That’s not to say that the science-y stuff isn’t important and there is a wealth of information available to those interested in that side of it.
Essentially, dreams and nightmares are good for you. We know this because research has proved the important role that dreaming plays in helping us store memory. Your dreams are also like a friend offering you a piece of advice which, like some friends, you may choose to acknowledge or ignore.
Dreams are a personal message – designed and encrypted especially for you so that only you can decode it. Many cultures believe that dreaming is necessary to our health and wellbeing and when it comes to our dreams I believe they are so much more than just the subconscious rattlings of the mind.
We all dream, every night, even if we don’t remember them.
Dreams can play an important role in managing stress.
Poor sleep can affect your dream content as well as your ability to remember them.
Your recurring nightmare may be offering you an important message
Stephenie Meyer dreamt the Twilight Saga?
Dreams have been described as the window in to our soul… Each of us dreams in a different way and every dream is unique to the person dreaming it. It’s almost impossible for us to have a clear idea of exactly what a particular person, object or place in another person’s dream looked like, as the detail is contained wholly within the mind of the Dreamer.
“An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter.”
The Electroencephalograph (EEG) was invented and it was discovered that electromagnetic changes in brain activity were measurable. Over time and using these ‘waves’ of activity, it was established there is a pattern the brain follows during sleep, which incorporates various stages. It is the stage of sleep referred to as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) that is usually associated with dreaming. Sleep research has shown that dreaming is essential to our health and well being.
“As fresh facts about dream and nightmare emerge, we seem tantalizingly close the heart of the ancient enigma; but each discovery reveals yet another puzzle to be solved.”
Sandra Shulman (Author of ‘Nightmare’)
I offer more fascinating insights about dreams in my book Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal. You can find out more in the video below or order on Amazon.