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I’m a dreamer!
I’ve always been one to experience dreams on the regular, and often remember them clearly. I couldn’t help but think they were pretty random; just a matter of the mind playing with my imagination. It wasn't before my late 20s and early 30s that I learned dreaming is so much more! It’s super beneficial to our wellbeing.
In this post, you’ll learn all about the complexities of dreams and sleep, and how they’re incredibly significant.
A few months back, I selected “The Body Keeps the Score” for Kristine’s Book Club (follow along here!) I learned a lot about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is basically the process of your eyes moving rapidly from side to side, while re-feeling trauma in a safe space. In this book, EMDR is considered one of the most effective treatments for PTSD; but what’s really interesting is how we do this treatment while we sleep! It's called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
REM is typically the phase of sleep when dreaming occurs. Like EMDR, your eyes move rapidly while closed. REM usually begins within 90 minutes of falling asleep, and cycles around every 90 minutes. It can benefit memory, mood, and learning abilities.
Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that people who spent more time in REM sleep had lower fear-related brain activity when they were given mild electric shocks the next day. The data also suggests that getting sufficient REM sleep prior to fearful experiences may even make a person less prone to developing PTSD.
I bet you’ve heard the expression, “I need to sleep on it”, before making a difficult decision. I think there are several factors as to why we feel clearer about something after sleeping. Spiritually, I've been taught that your soul leaves your physical body when you sleep. I don’t know about you, but this freaks me out a little! But I like the idea that our spirit guides come to us, and help heal/solve any problems. Either way, both body and spirit are hard at work when we’re in a state of slumber.
Personally, my spirit guide tells me it’s easier to work with us when we’re asleep because our egos are also resting. This allows us to be more open and receptive.
All that said, my number one piece of advice to anyone struggling with life is to rest and sleep! Trust me, if I can do it, you can too! There’s hope. To get you started, one of my favorite books is “The Sleep Revolution” by Arianna Huffington. And be sure to read my other blog post on how I’ve learned to deal with sleeplessness caused by PTSD here.
To summarize, sleep and dreams are so healthy and help you process your experience here on Earth. It’s crucial for your nervous system and your brain!
With that, I invite you to create a sleep routine, starting with journaling right before bed. Jot down what you’d like help with, and write out your dreams in the morning. If you don't remember them, note the first feelings that arise when you awaken!
I hope this post inspires you to take your dreams seriously. Pay attention to them and write out your reflections. They’re here to communicate, heal, and show you how to process everything in your life. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself releasing stagnant energy.-Kristine xo