By Linda Tang, Owner/Creative Director of Dream Designs
We've all been told to follow our dreams. But what happens if we don't have one? Oftentimes people claim they don't dream or dream very infrequently. Recent scientific studies have proved this to be false. On average healthy human beings have 3-6 dreams each night and spend close to 6 years of our entire lives dreaming.
When I first woke up this morning I thought I didn't have any dreams last night. But after laying in bed for a few minutes, I started to realize that I did indeed have a dream, quite a complex one nonetheless. There are at least 6 characters in my dream, and the story is about a family moving to a new city and purchasing a house to live and work in. This dream clearly relates to a personal experience I had when I was a teenager, and kept me introspecting all day. I felt fortunate that the memory of this dream didn't escape me so I had the opportunity to process those events from over twenty years ago that helped shape me into who I am today. Dreams tell us what's going on in our unconscious mind. When you recall dreams, you become aware of that knowledge, which you can use to guide your everyday actions.
Even though we dream a lot, in general, we can't remember 90% of them. Dreams from earlier in the night are often related to events that took place on that day, and fade away as they play out. As our sleep progresses through the night, we get into deeper and longer REM cycles, and our dreams become more imaginative, complex, and surreal. This is perhaps why dreams are thought to be bizarre. We forget the ones that are more relevant to the waking world and tend to recall just those that are not.
So why do people say they don't dream? They do in fact, but most of them just can't remember. Memories of dreams can easily vanish in the morning if you are in a rush to get to work, get the kids to school, check your emails, watch the news, or some other tasks that demand your immediate attention. I remembered my dream last night because I happened to wake up this morning before the alarm went off and there were no pressing issues for me to address right away. It is so important to give yourself time in the morning so you are able to recall your dreams. Establishing a morning routine that's not abrupt and chaotic would help. Keeping a dream journal is even better because you'll be able to observe patterns that come up in dreams over time. Once you have dreams that you remember, don't write them off as unimportant or shy away from analyzing them. Dreaming is a natural and healthy function of our being. You dream what you dream for a reason. Neglecting your dreams is denying your own emotional needs. Over time they will persist and cause serious mental illness, such as depression and dementia, and affect your overall health.
Dreams are nature's most powerful source of healing, knowledge, and inspiration. The more dreams you are able to remember, the more materials you'll have to work with, and the better you'll be able to utilize the amazing potentials that your dreams have to offer. To find out how dreams can improve your life, please read my other blog titled "10 Ways Dreams Help You Live Your Life".