The REM stage of sleep is most closely associated with dreaming, but we do dream at other times during our sleep, according to some researchers. Studies show that we dream almost as much in non-REM states as we do during REM states. So, any sleep can result in dreaming. If any sleep can result in dreaming, then let’s make the most of it and receive all the wondrous benefits!

Some scientists report that dreams are important for good health and that we are healed during our dreams. Matthew Walker is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, the director of the university’s Center for Human Sleep Science and a member of the American Psychological Association. He claims two major findings.

First, dreaming is good for health

Dreaming is like overnight therapy. His research, and that of others, shows REM sleep dreaming can ease difficult, traumatic, emotional episodes experienced during the day, offering emotional resolution.

According to Walker and his colleagues, REM sleep is the only time when our brain has a break from the anxiety-triggering molecule noradrenaline. This explains why many of us just want to sleep in order to escape from a tough day. 

At the same time, the brain’s key emotional and memory-related structures are reactivated during (REM) sleep as we dream. As we’re free of noradrenaline during sleep, we can process our lives and upsetting memories safely and calmly. 

Second, dreaming boosts creativity and problem-solving

Secondly, dreaming enhances creativity and problem-solving, he says, highlighting that non-REM sleep strengthens individual memories and during REM sleep, we work with those memories and extract key, recurring themes and messages to help us find solutions to problems.

Walker and his colleagues go as far as to say that after sleep and REM sleep, our brains perform better. The scientists’ findings also show that dreaming improves creative problem solving

The benefits of dreaming are real, and without proper sleep, many of us lose out on these benefits. Some people claim they don’t need much sleep, but according to Walker and his colleagues, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you want to improve your sleep, follow the tips in this blog post. (link to 1st blog above).