The REM stage of sleep is most closely associated with dreaming, but we do dream at other times during our sleep, according to some researchers. In fact, studiesshow that we dream almost as much in non-REM states as we do during REM states. So, any sleep can result in dreaming. If any sleep can result in dreaming, then let’s make the most of it and receive all the wondrous benefits!
Dreams are important for good health and we heal during our dreams.
Matthew Walker is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, the director of the university’s Center for Human Sleep Scienceand a member of the American Psychological Association. He claims two major findings.
First, dreaming is good for health
Dreaming is like overnight therapy. His research, and that of others, shows REM sleep dreaming can ease difficult, traumatic, emotional episodes experienced during the day, offering emotional resolution.
According to Walker and his colleagues, REM sleep is the only time when our brain has a break from the anxiety-triggering molecule noradrenaline. This explains why many of us just want to sleep in order to escape from a tough day.
At the same time, key emotional and memory-related structures of the brain are reactivated during (REM) sleep as we dream. As we’re free of noradrenaline during sleep, we’re able to process our lives and upsetting memories in a safe and calm way.
Second, dreaming boosts creativity and problem solving
Secondly, dreaming enhances creativity and problem solving, he says, highlighting that non-REM sleep strengthens individual memoriesand during REM sleep we work with those memories and extract key, recurring themes and messages to help us find solutions to problems.
The benefits of dreaming are real!
Without proper sleep many of us lose out on these benefits. Some people claim they don’t need much sleep, but according to Walker and his colleagues, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you want to improve your sleep, follow the tips in this blog post.