Why We Dream – Leon Nacson

We have, arguably, the finest brain in the known universe. If our brain spends a minimum of eight hours every day sleeping, and during that sleep we have a number of dreams, then dreams must serve a purpose.

There are a number of reasons why we dream. We manufacture memories, use dreams to regulate our moods, and resolve conflicts between our conscience and our daily actions. Sometimes we can even predict future events. Dreaming is an internal barometer that we can use to understand ourselves, and to learn how to add more meaning to our lives.

Many of us believe we don’t dream, but we all do – every single night! Yet we may not recall them. If you’d like to remember your dreams on a regular basis, try to go to bed hydrated. Drink plenty of water before sleeping – coffee, tea and fruit juices don’t count!

Also ensure that you’re not overheated. Electric blankets and fluffy doonas inhibit our recall abilities. If you can live without them or decrease their use, you’ll be able to remember dreams clearly and easily.

Make an effort to go to sleep when you’re feeling calm. You will definitely have a different kind of dream if you watch a loud movie and sip champagne than if you listen to some classical music and have a glass of warm milk before you retire for the evening! Choose your activities carefully. If you fall into bed exhausted each night, the chance of recalling your dreams is diminished – so take time to relax.

If you have an alarm clock, set it to an easy listening station rather than a heavy metal one! Upon waking, keep a dream journal or a small dictaphone at hand to record the dream scenarios, themes and symbols. The longer you leave the notation or recording, the less chance there is of remembering it.

When interpreting the dreams, eliminate everything that can be easily explained such as events related to a television program you saw.  Focus on the most interesting and insightful portions of the dream and record your emotions too. For example, dreaming of a reunion with old school friends may hint that it’s time to take a holiday and reconnect with people whose company you enjoy.

A major purpose of dreaming is to get enough sleep to regulate your moods. If you are interrupted by noises or movement during the night, you might dream a scenario to support it. For example, children often dream of being in the ocean before they wet the bed. Or your circulation may be affected while you sleep, resulting in pins and needles – and you may dream of your arms or legs being chopped off!

I believe that working with and decoding your dreams is the best way to understand yourself and be aware of what adjustments you should make in your life, to ensure your own happiness and wellbeing. I invite you all to dream on with me!

Four Fundamental Feelings Associated With Dreams:

1. FEAR: may be telling you that you are unable to cope with a certain confrontation in life.

2. FRUSTRATION: usually signifies a lack of fulfillment, as well as satisfaction.

3. JOY: indicates contentment, and suggests that happiness will follow.

4. DETACHMENT: is observing a situation without attaching emotion to it; you are unconcerned about the outcome.

Leon Nacson is one of the pioneers of the self-help movement in Australia. He the bestselling author of A Stream of Dreams. He has been extensively featured in international press and television media including Mornings with Kerri-Anne and can be heard on numerous radio stations throughout Australia as the resident Dream Coach.


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