This Is How Our Dreams Actually Help Us With Real Life Experiences

Dreaming is one of the many ways the brain repairs itself.

Until now, many of us believed that dreams are just a series of images that play out in your mind while you sleep but according to researchers in the University of California, dreams can actually be key to helping us process and recover from bad experiences.

Of course, there are people who don’t dream at-all and for those that don’t, they won’t benefit from this psychological phenomenon.

For those of us that do, though, there’s some real healing happening overnight, even if our dreams aren’t always so settled.

How our dreams help us to process difficult events

In the study, the researchers found that people who report dreaming show greater emotional memory processing, suggesting that dreams help us work through our emotional experiences.

Additionally, our brains will prioritise these memories for processing over the more mundane parts of our lives.

Lead author Jing Zhang, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School, said: “Our work provides the first empirical support for dreaming’s active involvement in sleep-dependent emotional memory processing, suggesting that dreaming after an emotional experience might help us feel better in the morning.”

So, while the dreams may not feel restful as they happen, they could be the key to helping us recover mentally.

In hopeful news, this discovery could actually impact future sleep treatments.

Sara Mednick, professor of cognitive sciences and lab director at the University of California, Irvine said: “This research gives us new insight into the active role dreams play in how we naturally process our day-to-day experiences and might lead to interventions that increase dreaming in order to help people work through hard life experiences.”

How to induce dreams

According to the bed company Dreams, you can plan your dreams to make them more likely to occur throughout the night. They said: “Before you go to bed, you need to set your intention for what you want to dream about. #

“The clearer your intention, the more likely that you can direct your dream. So, think about what in your life needs clarity or attention and what you want to achieve by dreaming about it.”

Sweet dreams!