New Discoveries Show Sleeping This Way Prevents Depression
Want to prevent depression, improve mental performance, and feel better?
Experts claim that the way you sleep holds the key. And the secret is all in dreaming.
Sleep researchers tell us that dreaming is critically important to our emotional and physical health. Dreams help relieve stress and pressure in our lives, contributing to both mental and physical health. Dreaming also helps us join memories, process emotions, and even relieve depression.
So how do you leverage your sleeping and dreaming into better health? Read on and I’ll explain the benefits of dreaming, and how sound sleep and sweet dreams can lead to improved health.
How Do Dreams Work?
Sleep takes place in stages. Most dreams happen during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement)stage of sleep.
Sleep studies show subjects have heightened brain activity during REM periods. When they woke during the first non-REM period, they recalled thinking about an unfinished piece of emotional business.
The sleeper then goes on to reshape the problem in their next REM sleep dream cycle. This happens over and over throughout the night.
Scientists say that sleeping and dreaming are like two different kinds of nourishment for your mind and body. You need both for optimal health.
Most REM dreaming occurs in the last third of the night. Loss of sleep during this time causes dream deprivation, which is harmful to your health. Another cause of dream deprivation is regular use of an alarm clock. When it awakens you early in the morning it is often waking you out of a dream.
Dreams process the information our senses take in during the day. If you think about all you’re exposed to during the day, it turns out to be a lot of information. What you think, see, and hear are all experienced through your senses.
When you sleep, all that information is digested and processed by your mind through dreaming. If you are not dreaming as you should, it has a negative impact on your emotional health. This in turn affects your physical health.
Dreaming Helps Depression
It has long been know that dreaming helps relieve depression in humans.
A recent dream study evaluated newly divorced women with untreated depression. Researchers found that the women who dreamt about relationship issues scored better on mood tests the next morning. They were also much more likely to recover from depression than women who didn’t dream about their marriage.
This demonstrates there was ongoing processing of dream material throughout the night. Eventually the depression lifted among those women who dreamed about their relationship. The bottom line? People who dream and remember their dreams heal more quickly from depression and other emotional problems.
Your Dream World
If you dislike or fear to dream because the emotional content seems negative, you’re not alone. However, “nightmares”, like all dreams serve an important function.
Dreams are a form of psychological exercise that contributes to emotional wellness. The more powerful the dream, the more exercise your mind is getting and the healthier it becomes. This in turn will lead to a healthy body, since they go hand in hand.
Sleep researchers say your dreams can provide you with insights that help you heal emotional trauma and stress. They also help you to sleep better and make you feel happier when you’re awake.
Thoughts you have while sleeping mingle buried memories, recent events, and hopes and fears into a powerful mix. This is a process that creates neural connections that could never be made through conscious, waking thought.
Brain scans show the areas of your brain that light up when you dream are the same ones you use for processing emotions and memories when you’re awake. So, your dreams help you work through unresolved stress and emotions that occurred when you are awake. This process reduces the stress you feel when you’re awake, leading to a healthier and happier life.
Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
To make the most out of your night in bed, you want to optimize your sleeping and dreaming. The best way to do this is by getting the proper amount of sleep. You should get to bed early enough to give yourself 7-9 hours of sleep. Here are some other tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
Love your sleep. Sleep researchers have found that healthy sleepers all have one thing in common. They love to sleep. In fact, they treasure and enjoy it. For them, sleep has become a source of pleasure. If you want to get back into a good relationship with sleep, you’ve got to find ways to start to enjoy sleep. This is a good way to shift your mental attitude.
Darken your bedroom. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as you can make it. This will help set your brain patterns for sleep.
Keep your bedroom cool. Studies have shown that a cool temperature will help you sleep better.
Get comfy. Make sure you’re sleeping on a good mattress. A mattress that’s not right for you will lead to less than ideal sleep. If your mattress or pillows aren’t comfortable, get rid of them and find some that are.
Avoid liquids before bedtime. This is especially true for alcohol and caffeine, which can ruin your plans for a good night’s sleep.
When it comes to dreaming and your health, you should do two things. First, get enough sleep. Second, embrace your dreams instead of trying to suppress them. Remember, your dreams improve your mental health. This in turn leads to improved physical health.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, practice some of the sleep tips mentioned above. Be sure to do these things first before resorting to medication. Sleeping pills are something you want to avoid if at all possible. They interfere with natural sleep patterns and can actually prevent or alter dreaming.