Anyone who often has bad or restless dreams would certainly love to influence their own dreams. But what is the purpose of dreaming anyway and what things can dreams control? We’ll tell you – including 5 helpful tips
Why do we dream at all?
Our sleep is very important in many ways, but dreaming is also a key factor in whether we feel mentally healthy. Because while dreaming, the subconscious is brought to the surface in the form of dreams and processed in this way. In this way order is kept, so to speak, and nothing can build up, our nervous system regenerates. We dream the most in the last phase of a sleep cycle, in the so-called REM phase (rapid eye movement).
When we wake up from this sleep phase in the morning, we can often remember the dream very well, maybe we are even irritated for a moment and need a moment to sort ourselves out. When we wake up from a nightmare or have dreamed something that sticks in our head all day, we legitimately ask ourselves whether and how we can influence our dreams.
Can you influence dreams?
Our dreams are directly related to what we experience, what we feel and what we think. Accordingly, one can say that everyone has a direct influence on their own dreams. Controlling dreams, i.e. consciously determining or changing their content, is not possible.
Although there are approaches in psychotherapy or hypnosis, in our everyday sleep we cannot determine what exactly we will dream about or how dreams will end. But we can certainly influence our dreams. There are some circumstances that we can determine, which in turn affect our dreaming behavior.
5 tips on how to influence your dreams
How well and how long we sleep and also how intensely and what we dream depends, among other things, on our surroundings and our behavior before going to bed. It should be clear: It is our subconscious that processes what we have experienced in the dream. Nevertheless, we can do supposedly small things that can also have an impact on our dreams.
Tip 1: The right dinner
Anyone who eats too much in the evening must expect to have restless sleep. And this overload of the gastrointestinal tract can also have an effect on dreaming. In many ways, therefore, it is advisable to eat a light meal before bed. By the way: If you go to bed hungry, you increase the probability of dreaming about food.
Tip 2: Minimize noise
You probably know it: an ambulance drives by in front of the door and you build the siren into your dream. This can also happen with the alarm clock or the doorbell. Therefore, it can be helpful to avoid as much noise as possible, for example by switching your mobile phone to silent, keeping the window facing the street closed or setting a particularly gentle alarm tone.
Tip 3: Integrate smells
Smells can also influence our dreams. Do you know, for example, that you smell coffee in your dream, but when you wake up you realize that someone has actually made coffee in the kitchen? Our brain associates memories and emotions with smells. If you have a favorite scent, such as lavender flowers, you can try recreating that scent in your bedroom with scented oil or sachets to increase your chances of having a nice dream.
Tip 4: Be aware of negative dreams during the day
Is there that one dream that keeps repeating itself that is bothering you? Then you can support your brain to process the dreamed. If you can roughly remember the content of the dream or nightmare, regularly take a few minutes a day to consciously relive it. Maybe you sit down on your yoga mat or try to do a little meditation exercise beforehand. In this way you not only help your brain to bring the scene from the subconscious into consciousness – the dream also becomes less fearful for yourself.
Tip 5: End the day on a positive note
Whether we have nice or rather restless and maybe even frightening dreams depends above all on our well-being. A really helpful tip is to take two minutes in bed every night to end the day on a positive note. Think about what you particularly liked today, what was good for you or what you are grateful for. So you can fall asleep with a positive feeling and also influence your dream behavior accordingly.