Have you ever wondered why or how we dream? The concept of a dream erupting in your head long after you’ve been asleep is unfathomable to some and continues to be a perplexing topic. Some people seem to dream often while others say they rarely ever remember having any dreams at all.
Although it is not yet known why the frequency in which we dream differs so much from person to person what we do know is that dreaming does not necessarily mean you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep. The correlation between sleep quality and dreaming is something that has been studied for years yet still not completely understood which is why we continue to examine the facts and really look into the phenomena of dreaming.
How Dreaming Might Affect Sleep Quality
A common topic of conversation when discussing how dreams can affect our sleep quality is nightmares. Have you ever woken up all sweaty and scared from having a terrible dream? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world and you probably think that due to that bad dream you most likely didn’t get a good night’s sleep but research has yet to prove this theory. Although it may not directly affect your sleep quality, it does however leave you feeling anxious, stressed and could make it hard for you to fall back to sleep which ultimately will affect how much rest you get. Nobody knows for sure how nightmares come about and what directly causes them but we can say that when your stressed, depressed or full of anxiety you are much more likely to experience one than when your calm and at peace.
On the flip side of things there are people that have really good dreams and it was thought that maybe good dreams caused you to get better sleep. Again, this can’t be proven but it is much easier to stay sound asleep in your slumber when you are having good visions and enjoying what you are dreaming about than when you are faced with a terrible nightmare. For years people have thought that there was a connection between having good dreams and getting good sleep but it really doesn’t seem like that is the case and if it is nobody would ever be able to know which comes first, the good dream leading to good sleep, or the good sleep leading to a good dream?
Studies on Dreaming & Sleep
Although you may think your dreams are changing the amount of sleep you are getting and how sound it is research says otherwise. Dreaming only stimulates certain parts of your brain leading to a lucid, awake like feel for the person dreaming it does not however change the entire structure of your sleeping pattern. Your body is a very well-oiled machine when it comes to sleeping, you do it all your life so naturally it is accustomed to making sure your body is getting the sleep it needs.
It is obvious that you can’t control what you dream about but there is a very strong connection between your dreams and what is happening in your real life. Lifetime events, especially big ones like a wedding, a big vacation or an important deadline at work, tend to find their way into your dreams at night most likely because you are always thinking about them. It is interesting to note what you dream about and keep a dream journal of some sort because the more you look into it the more you will notice this little synchronicity that happens to erupt. As you keep your journal make notes on the good and bad days you had and pay special attention to your dreams on those days to see how your real-life experiences are affecting your dreams.
In the grand scheme of things dreams are essentially a byproduct of your daily life experience, combined with your level of stress and emotional state at the time. Although there has never been an official study to prove that dreams are directly related to the quality of sleep you get per day, they can definitely affect your mind throughout the night and even onto the next day. Make sure you make sleep a priority as it is extremely important for your health and well-being and sleep tight tonight with sweet dreams!