Can Dreams Solve a Tough Problem?
A growing number of researchers believe dreams are the best way to solve a tough problem.
At the University of Maryland, Clara Hill, Ph.D., a pioneer in dream interpretation, sees dreams as a key problem solving tool. She believes that dreams provide the key to fundamental issues that standard therapy cannot unlock. People carry dreams around with them for years and years, but it’s only once they begin to work on the underlying problem that the dream breaks apart, she says. The dreams you need to pay attention to are those that haunt you.
HOW TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS
Try these tips to remember your dreams more vividly, and make the most of their problem-solving potential
Start on a weekend: Dreams are best remembered when you wake without an alarm — that way, you’ll likely wake from REM sleep, and your dream will be fresh in your mind, says psychologist and dream researcher Rosalind Cartwright, Ph.D. of Rush University Medical Center.
Enhance your recall: Before you nod off, tell yourself your dreams matter and you want to remember them. Stating your intention is the first step toward enhancing dream recall, says G. William Domhoff, Ph.D., a dream researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Stay on track: Make a question about your problem the last thing you think about before nodding off. As you drift to sleep, you’re very suggestible — it’s a bit like a hypnotic trance. Use this time to define your problem. Sum it up in one or two short sentences.
Write it down: Keep a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed. Upon waking, take a moment to lie quietly. Glance around the outskirts of your consciousness to see if a dream is lurking. If a fragment comes into your head, gently follow it backward, says Domhoff. We usually remember our dreams in reverse. So, like a loose piece of yarn, a dream may unravel if you tug gently on one end.
Keep still: If you wake up in the middle of a dream, mimic the body in REM sleep by staying still. During REM sleep, muscles are paralyzed. Use this time to think about the dream and trace its story line. Give the dream a title before you open your eyes, because when the mind is awake it’s more likely to remember a short catch-phrase than the visual images. Then write down as much as you can remember.
THE ULTIMATE DREAM EXPERIENCE
But there is yet another very powerful type of dream — one that is renowned for creating remarkable personal experiences — LUCID DREAMING. Unlike normal dreams, during a lucid dream you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming. During a lucid dream you may have a bi-location experience, find yourself speaking and understanding a foreign language, totally understanding complex scientific problems, or having a conversation with an old friend … the type of experiences are endless. To learn more about lucid dreaming=> Learn to Lucid Dream…