When was the last time you dreamt when you slept?
For most people, they can't remember, and others may recollect a faint memory of when they were children, waking up in a whirlwind of emotions and images running through their head. Even I, being young, I remember always running to my mother's bed side asking her what my dreams meant as she used to help me interpret them. It was exciting, and also helped us understand things subconsciously, not realizing that sometimes our dreams were a reflection of what we were experiencing in our lives.
For most adults though, they haven't dreamt in years, and it's most likely due to the fact they struggle to get deep enough sleep to allow the body to recover properly from a day's work and activities, as well as tap into that subconscious part of the brain.
Generally, people dream for approximately 2 hours a night only, and it typically occurs during their Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Stage of sleep. REM is not evenly distributed through out the night, but rather usually occurs through the second half of the evening, typically before someone will wake up. This isn't to say that some people may experience it differently. During the REM stage, brain activity increases brain activity ramps up considerably compared to the non-REM stages, hence why we can feel, see and hear things so vividly when dreaming. On the flip side, if you do dream outside of REM, you might not remember it as well, and they often involve memories connected to something specific that requires the brain less work to innovate.
So now you might be asking, okay, well, what does all of this matter? Dreaming is cool and all, but why do we need to dream and is there even a purpose?
So glad you asked! Actually, yes, dreaming is important for our health, for it has been shown to help
- Build memory. Dreaming has bee connected to a better cognitive function, specifically memory and information recall. We can go as far as hypothesizing that this could potentially be protective against mental health disorders or cognitive decline.
Some scientists believe dreaming is utilized as an information dump of the brain to help divide important memories from non-important ones or even help people work through scenarios in their head.
- Ever heard how there is a gut-brain axis? Well, some experts call REM sleep as the "second gut", meaning when we reach REM sleep to dream, we're digesting all the information from the day before and filtering through it. It's like a process of assimilation which is also connected to our nervous system and how we emotionally cope.
- This brings us to our next point, dream is also recognized as the ability to process emotion we might not be able to tap into when we're completely lucid and on guard. Our bodies are smart, and just like how traumas can manifest themselves in the body, we need a method to clear them out or we can get sick.
So question now is, just how do we even get to experience dreams again if we haven't been able to for years?
Magnesium has been shown help reduce sympathetic activity within the nervous system and calm the body down to a point where it can allow itself to fully enter a deep sleep. If you think about it, sleeping is when we're at our most vulnerable state. You're not scouting your surroundings, smelling out for predators, feeling your environment, you're just in a state of rest and recovery, relinquishing full control to your body rather than your subconscious mind. By taking magnesium, it can help you achieve this calmer state, for most people are deficient anyway as you can read in this blog here.
So if you're struggling with getting your dreams back, don't hesitate to try some of our Upgraded Magnesium to feel the difference today!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach