Experts estimate that a person spends around 2 hours of an 8 hour sleep period dreaming. Dreams can reveal a lot about your deeper subconscious when you start to analyze them. Although scientists do not have a definitive meaning for every type of dream, there are some common dream scenarios that experts apply meaning to. Dreams are unique to your mind, so think about how the dream relates to you and your circumstances.
What Are Dreams?
Dreams are visions, images, thoughts, sensations, and sometimes sounds that occur during sleep. Dreams occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which transpires about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. REM sleep is characterized by shallow, irregular breathing, rapid side-to-side eye movements, increased blood pressure, and heart rate.
You can have up to five or six dreams in a night, depending on how many REM cycles you go through. Dreams help in memory formation, integration, problem-solving, and consolidation of ideas. It’s thought that dreams are emotional processing because the amygdala is particularly activated during REM cycles.
On some occasions, you have lucid dreams or what is often called conscious dreams. It is a type of dream where you know that you are dreaming and can control some aspects of your dreams. On average, 55 percent of people have experienced lucid dreams at least once in their lifetime, and about 22 percent experience lucid dreams once a month.
What Your Dreams Mean
Dreams can be pleasant, scary, happy, bizarre, and awkward. For the most part, dreams are based on your own experience, activities, conversations, or issues in your life. But many dreams may be similar to other people, perhaps because of shared experiences or common fears. People often dream of someone chasing or attacking them, falling, arriving late, or flying. Some common dreams include:
- Falling– Some people dream of falling from high places like a tree or perhaps an elevated structure. This could be associated with feeling overwhelmed, like you’ve lost your footing in life. This is a prevalent type of dream related to fear. Consider the choices you have to make in your life and rethink the direction you are heading in.
- Losing Someone– Dreaming of losing someone you love can be emotionally and psychologically draining. This can be a terrifying dream experience and cause a lot of anxiety. If you dream of losing a child, you are losing your inner child and need to lighten things up. If you are losing a friend or spouse, this could mean it’s time to examine the relationship as there could be some distance that needs to be addressed.
- Being Chased– Dreaming about running from something or being chased can feel physically exhausting. Being stalked can mean that a part of your personality or aspect of your life needs to be addressed. It is a representation of the thing you are avoiding in life catching up with you. Consider the pursuer in your dream to reveal more behind the meaning.
- Losing Teeth– In some cultures dreaming of losing teeth can be a bad omen. But mostly, this can mean transitioning from one phase of life to another. Like a child losing their teeth, you grow out of one phase and into another. It could also indicate worries about appearance or the ability to communicate.
- Death– Dreaming about dying can mean that some part of you is dying, and you are grieving its loss. This can be a good thing if the failure does not serve you, and it’s time to move on. Whether you are the one dying or the death of a loved one, dreams about dying mean fear of change and anxiety about the loss of the familiar.
How to Stop Bad Dreams
Having bad dreams or nightmares can be distressing and bring many negative emotions. It can cause anxiety, fear, and stress, especially if it’s a recurring dream. For better dreams, psychologically address the various stressors and anxieties in your life.
Create a comfortable, safe, relaxing environment to sleep. Find the best hybrid mattress so you can have a comfortable and restful sleep. You can also talk about the dream with others to get their input and understand its meaning in your life.
Good Sleep is Essential
Sleep and dreams have unique health benefits. It is also good for your memory because it helps keep essential memories and get rids of unimportant ones. Research also found that people who have less time in the REM phase of sleep or the dreaming pages report more adverse health problems. Don’t forget to destress and relax before you sleep to have a sound and comfortable night’s rest.