No cognitive state has been as extensively studied yet as misunderstood as dreaming. The average person dreams three to six times per night for up to 20 minutes per dream. That’s up to two hours a night forming a big part of our human experience.
Researchers believe dreams play an important role in problem solving, incorporating memories and processing emotions. Many people come up with their best ideas whilst dreaming, suggesting it’s also a conduit for creativity.
Dreaming mainly happens during the light stage of sleep or what’s known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. That’s why light sleepers and people that wake several times during the night are more likely to remember their dreams. If you’d like to remember your dreams more, follow these top tips to help you:
You’re more likely to remember your dreams if you allow your body to wake up naturally. Focusing on the sound of an alarm pushes dreams out of your field of consciousness.
Try not to drink alcohol or take medication right before bed time as this can disrupt REM sleep and decrease dreaming.
Eating cheese or spicy food before bedtime can cause indigestion and alter your body’s metabolism. This in turn affects the brain’s overnight activity leading to dreams or nightmares.
Right before you go to sleep, make a conscious decision to remember. It’s amazing how receptive your mind can be when you ‘programme’ it to do something.
Certain herbs such as valerian root and chamomile, which are used to induce sleep, can bring on more vivid and fluid dreaming. With its gorgeous tasting combination of milk, honey and valerian, drinking Sleep Well half an hour before you head to bed may well mean you’ve bagged yourself a one-way ticket on the dreamland express!