Dream Facts: How Dreams Help With Stress, Problem-Solving

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
C.S. Lewis

Ever wonder how your dreams can work for you?  Learn the nine amazing facts about dreams recently posted on Twitter by Jena Pincott, science writer and author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?:

Control them, harness them… and lose weight while you’re at it? These dream facts demonstrate how your nightly “mind movies” might be put to work for you.

1. You Can Use Them For Problem-Solving: You’ve heard it before, and now it’s legit: Sleep on your problems to solve them. The catch? According to a recent study from the U.K.’s University of Lancaster, dreaming is only an advantage when it comes to solutions that require a Eureka-like flash of insight. (For instance: What word can form a compound word with canal, true and boat?) During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — the eyeball-jerking stage when vivid dreams often occur — the frontal cortex processes new information like the riddle above. As new experiences integrate with preexisting knowledge, memory networks are stimulated — and as a result, form new, random and sometimes wacky connections between unrelated concepts. Later, we wake up, stretch, and — we can’t explain how — the brilliant and now-perfectly-obvious answer just comes to us. (One we couldn’t see when we were doggedly trying to get at, for instance, the word love.)

2. You Can Dream Up The Next Big Thing: The automatic sewing machine, the computer-controlled anti-aircraft gun, Otto Loewi’s Nobel Prize-winning experiment on nerve impulses — all came as concrete plans in a dream, says Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard University and author of The Committee of Sleep. So: How do you increase the chances that you’ll have your own Nobel-worthy breakthrough? First, think of your problem right before you go to sleep, says Barrett. Conjure up an image of the problem you need to solve (your Mac’s frozen screen; your husband’s sad face). Then, whatever you do, don’t move when you wake up. (Even turning your head may displace the dream!) If you’ve had nonsensical dreams, think about whether the imagery or events could be a metaphor for something that relates in any way to the problem you’re stuck on, says Barrett. In her weeklong study, 50 percent of the volunteers had a dream about their problem and 25 percent actually dreamt up a solution.

3. Why, Yes! You CAN Be In Fiji By Midnight Tonight: Why, Yes! You CAN Be In Fiji By Midnight Tonight: You can try to control the content and stickiness of your dreams — if you believe the many new smartphone apps that are available. A recent tool, Sigmund, developed by Harvard and MIT graduate students, whisperingly repeats words that you pick out of a database (beach, flying, mermaid, queen) during your REM cycle (based on predictable sleep-wake times). Another app, Dream:ON, uses the phone’s motion-detecting accelerometer to gauge when you’re in REM (you’ll be stick-still), at which point it kicks in with the sounds of your pre-programmed dream (walking in the woods, frolicking at the shore, whatever). No one’s saying app-influenced dreams are exactly like the movie “Inception” — not yet, anyway.

Read more about the remaining six facts of how dreams help with stress and problem-solving by visiting the following link – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/dream-facts-dreams-dreaming-sleep_n_2623249.html#slide=2065084

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
Lao Tzu

Sweet dreams…

Posted by Pamela Louderback

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