Why Hypnosis and Dreams ?

The combination of dream work and hypnosis is truly a profound and transforming experience where the healing nature of dreams, and the potential of hypnosis as a therapeutic and personal growth tool, comes to the fore. This type of regression is recommended to anyone wishing to seek self-knowledge and actualisation. Even a sliver of a memory of a dream can be useful in this work. This is an exciting and ever so personal exploration of your subconscious mind where you get to unlock and know the secrets of your dreams.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why you sleep and dream

People spend about a third of their lives asleep and a quarter of that time dreaming. During sleep the metabolism slows down, the immune system concentrates on fighting infection, and the production of growth hormone increases, not only for growth but also for repair of body tissue. On a mental level, sleep deprivation leads to poor concentration, memory failure and irritability.

Sleep patterns

The sleep cycle is broken up into several distinct phases. The first is a period of "slow wave" sleep , when brain activity, breathing heart rater all slow down. Slow wave sleep goes through four stages, the last of which is the deepest, when the brain waves are slowest. This is the time when it is most difficult to rouse someone. After about 90 minutes, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep begins, when the most vivid dreams occur. Phases of REM sleep recur four or five times during the night between periods of slow wave sleep.

Each  REM phase is longer and more intense , from 15 minutes for the first up to 45 minutes for the last, which is often in the finla hour of sleep before you wake up.

Why you Dream

Studies have shown that if people are deprived of REM sleep they become irritable and lack concentration. They try to catch up on dreams as soon as they are allowed to sleep again by dreaming more than usual, even if this means having less  REM sleep. This suggests that dreams are in some way necessary for mental and emotional health. They may be a sign that the brain is "ticking over" , continuing to interpret signals from the outside world. They may be a form of wish fulfillment or a way of expressing and resolving emotional crises. Dreams may also be a way for the brain to sort information it has received during the day as well as considering ideas and grappling with problems.

When you Dream

It was once thought that dreams occur only during REM sleep, but research has found that dreams occur throughout the night during periods of non REM sleep, although they are less vivid and are usually forgotten.  In the lighter phases of sleep (stages one and two) dreams resemble the fleeting images and thoughts you may experience if you simply allow your mind to drift while awake ( as when you are in a trance, under hypnosis) .

Dreams from deeper sleep (stages three and four) are often fragmentary sensation, feelings and thoughts rahter than images. When people are stirred from these deeper stages of slow wave sleep they are often groggy, confused and unable to remember what they have dreamed. In  contrast , dreams during REM sleep have chraracters and storylines played out in a series of vivid images while people usually wake from REM sleep fully conscious and with  memories of their dreams.

The body also responds to different types of dreams. During slow wave sleep you may twitch, talk or even sleep walk, but during REM sleep you are virtually still. While the brain remains active, muscle tone is lost, resulting in paralysis. This means there is no danger of physically acting out a dream and also explain the sense of paralysis often experienced during a nightmare.

Why you Forget Your Dreams

Even though everyone has periods of REM sleep some people claim never to dream. This is simply because they do not remember them. But if dreams are important, why is this?
About a quarter of sleeping time is taken up with dreaming approximately two hours a night. That is a lot to remember especially if you recall your dreams only when you wake up during them or immediately afterwards. Most people lead busy lives, and wake up ready to get on with the day. Taking the time to think about what you were dreaming during the night would seem a luxury, but it is exactly what is needed to remember your dreams.

Dreams can also be difficult to remember - frequently chaotic and confusing, they flash incoherently from one image to the next. Memories of hem tend to be partial and imprecise, and it is always easier to remember dreams that are dramatic and colorful or those that have some personal significance.

If you want to remember your dreams , a good way to start is to get a dream journal and to keep it at arms reach by your bed. When you wake up try not to move at all and while keeping your eyes closed try to recall anything you might have dreamed of. This could be just one image or a sensation. Write  down what you remember and jot down any associations with that image or feeling that comes to mind.  This sends a signal to your subconscious that you value your dreams and want to remember them.  In time will start to remember more and more.

Also, if you can, try not to use an alarm for waking up...!

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