It’s fair to say dreaming is pretty much a time when we become overtly psychotic, and we’ll give you five good reasons why.
While you dreamt last night...
1. You started to see things that weren’t real – hallucination.
2. Your brain believed things that weren’t true – delusion.
3. You were confused about time and space – disorientation.
4. Your emotions fluctuated uncontrollably – affective lability.
5. Finally, you couldn’t remember anything this morning – amnesia.
Do any of these while awake and you’d need psychiatric help – yet while dreaming it’s perfectly normal. So, what gives? Dream (REM) sleep provides these two health benefits:
While we dream, our brain connects all the information we’ve recently learned with a backlog of autobiographical information. It builds new connections – so the brain can create a revised web of associations.
This helps you gain new insights about previously “unsolved problems” – because you’ve gained perspective for new solutions. There’s an old saying we’ve all heard regarding unsolvable problems – “you should sleep on it”.
When we dream, we start to heal from traumatic emotional experiences. Dreams help dissociate the bitterness from the memory experiences so we can awake feeling better about said experiences.
Dreams are like nocturnal soothing balms for our emotional struggles. You’ve heard the saying “time heals all” … what about “more time sleeping heals all”?