We all know a good night’s sleep can do wonders for restoring energy, repairing wounds and generating new ideas. But did you know that by studying your dreams you can learn more about yourself and gain insight to solving problems?
Why Dreams Are Important
Dreams have a social and emotional component to them that help you adapt to your environment and relationships. Your interactions with others during each day are carefully catalogued in your brain, to be reviewed and interpreted in the dream state. When you learn how to study and decipher the symbols and messages in your unconscious mind, they can offer emotional support, solutions, and even warnings about future events.
Deep sleep and the dream state provide the time and quiet to ‘hear yourself think,’ away from any distractions. This is a time when your creative problem solver
can come out without wondering what anyone else is doing or thinking. No wonder people say, “Let me sleep on it,” when they are asked to make important decisions.
5 Ways to Use Your Dreams to Solve Problems
1. Clarify Your Problem
– Before you go to sleep, take some time to identify the most crucial aspect of your problem. Then state your problem in the form of a question or a request. Try to also notice if you have recurring dreams. If you do, your subconscious mind if reviewing and going over the same information in order to construct a solution to your most pressing problem.
2. Write it Down
– Make it as focused and concise as possible. Just as when writing out affirmations
, clear descriptions are easier for your brain to understand and act upon than overly complicated statements. “How can I make more money before the bill is due?” is an easier goal than, “Show me how to feel more worthy of better income." Write it down on a card or piece of paper, meditate on the question a few moments before setting it under your pillow or in your dream journal next to your bed.
3. Keep a Journal
– Dreams are part of our short term memory, so it’s important to write down the details of last night’s dreams—words, people, images—as quickly as you can to capture the essence of the dream. A study that appeared in the Journal of Sleep Research says that we tend to work out a problem in our dreams within the week following the time the problem first appeared. Keeping a dream journal from the start of your troubles can provide valuable information in the week to come.
4. Be Patient
– Sometimes the answer is waiting for you as you get out of bed the very next morning. Other times it takes days or weeks for your brain to connect the dots. But, if you pay attention and get better practiced at remembering the details or keeping a better record in your dream journal, sooner or later a cohesive picture will emerge.
4. Trust Yourself
– Most of all, trust your subconscious. Let it do the work for you. After all, it’s been studying your life 24/7, while you’ve been taking care of business, and it knows you and what’s best for you most of all.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, check out our sleep tips here
. Sweet dreams!