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'When we dream, we have the perfect chemical canvas for intense visions'

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https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/14/dreams-perfect-canvas-intense-visions-alice-robb-interview

theguardian.com

'When we dream, we have the perfect chemical canvas for intense visions'
Alice Robb is an American science journalist who has written for the Washington Post and the New Republic. Her new book, Why We Dream, encourages us to rethink the importance of dreams and to become dream interpreters ourselves. Writing a book about dreams turned you into a "magnet for confessions".

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Talking about dreams

People are compelled to talk about dreams. It is a natural impulse because dreams are emotional, affect moods, feel profound. 

What is unusual is that we live in a cultu...

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How to remember your dreams

Believe your dreams have value and tell yourself before bed you want to remember them. 

Keep a dream journal. Get into a habit, set things up the night before to reinforce your goal. 

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Lucid dreaming

In lucid dreams, you become aware you’re dreaming. You can take control of the plot. They can be anything from a brief moment where you’re in a nightmare and tell yourself: “this is a dream” and wa...

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Dreams maintain our mental health

Dreams are an opportunity to work through things that frighten us in real life, to play out worst-case scenarios in an environment where they have no consequences. 

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The role of dreaming in learning

Dreaming helps us consolidate new memories: we replay salient experiences from the day, reinforcing new pathways in our brains. 

In one study, people enrolled in a French-langu...

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Why dreams seem surreal

Most dreams are actually less bizarre than people think. When we dream, the logic centres of our brain – the frontal lobes – go dark, and chemicals associated with self-control, like serotonin and ...

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Don't neglect your dreams

Dreams offer the opportunity to think in a different way and show new answers to problems, 

They show us blind spots and help us home in on things we might be neglecting in our personal ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Everybody Dreams

Adults and babies alike dream for around two hours per night—even those of us who claim not to. 

Researchers have found that people us...

You Forget Most of Your Dreams

According to one theory about why dreams so difficult to remember, the changes in the brain that occur during sleep do not support the information processing and storage needed for memory formation to take place.

Not All Dreams Are in Color

While most people report dreaming in color, there is a small percentage of people who claim to only dream in black and white. 

In studies where dreamers have been awakened and asked to select colors from a chart that match those in their dreams, soft pastel colors are those most frequently chosen.

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Nightmares

Nightmares are broadly defined as frightening dreams that result in some degree of awakening from sleep. 

Nightmares themselves contribute to disrupted sleep not only by waking th...

Night terrors

Night terrors are very intense episodes of fright during dreams. These frightening episodes are often accompanied by screaming or yelling, as well as by physical movement such as leaping out of bed or flailing in panic. 

Research suggests that sleep terrors occur during non-REM sleep dreaming, while nightmares tend to happen during REM sleep. 

Recurring dreams

Recurring dreams are dreams that re-appear with some pattern of regularity. 

Studies suggest that recurring dreams may contain more threatening content than regular dreams. Research suggests links between recurring dreams and psychological distress in both adults and children.

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Vivid dreams

During the 2020 pandemic, many people anecdotally reported surreal and more vivid dreams than usual.

Some theorize that the onset of vivid imagery is a result of changing sleep schedules. O...

Stress about a global pandemic

The continuity theory of dreams hypothesizes that people dream about the stuff they're thinking about and doing while they are awake.

Some researchers believe that dreams have a functional purpose that prepares us for difficult or challenging situations when we awake.

Similar types of dreams

The biggest variables that influence your dreams have to do with your regular sleep cycles. If it is a very traumatic event, people will experience nightmares.

People are also thinking more about their dreams, which makes them remember their dreams better.