Throughout centuries, the dreams were considered useless meanderings of the mind but Sigmund Freud brought to light their importance with his book The Interpretation of Dreams. Since then, much research has been done in this area.
In one of those studies, the subjects were allowed to have full eight hours of sleep but were denied their usual dreams periods, after being awakened at the beginning of each dream. After only 3 days of REM deprivations, some of the students developed strong excitability, irritability, disorientation, hallucinations, abnormal behaviour patterns and in some cases signs of psychosis. When the test was over, and they were allowed a normal night sleep, as a group, they spent a greatly increased amount of time in the REM states over the next few nights, as if they were trying to make up for the loss of dream time! This research showed how important dreams are for our mental and emotional well-being. Dr. Wm Dement mentions that ‘REM-deprived subjects showed anxiety, irritability and difficulty in concentrating’. Dr. Dement adds that ‘the pills people take to regulate their sleep cause profoundly disturbed sleep’; these and other drugs deprive us of the REM periods so necessary for balance and sanity.
How hypnosis can help?
Hypnotherapy can help in a variety of ways:
- Dream interpretation
You might have a repetitive, troubling or interesting dream or a dream you know it’s important but you are unable to decipher by yourself what it’s trying to tell you.
Also during the course of therapy many emotional processes can be stimulated that can be associated with other memories held in the subconscious.
The symbolism in dreams reflects a deeper meaning, representing unconscious conflicts, desires and issues. This process helps you to gain an understanding as to their meaning.
Dreams and their meanings are very person specific and as such are subjective in their interpretation. Because of this, dream interpretation is carried out by the client using a form of free association under the guidance of the therapist.
Not only we work on the interpretation of the dream but I also help you to deal with those life issues that are triggering the nightmares.
This will help particularly artists, writers, musicians, …
When we have a problem it is often suggested that we “sleep on it”. This suggestion probably stems from the observation that we sometimes appear to solve problems more effectively when we are asleep. It has been hypothesised that in sleep the neuronal connections within the brain ‘flow’ more freely than when we are awake.
Nobel Prize winner Albert Gyorgi stated it so well when he said: ‘My work is not finished when I leave my workbench in the afternoon. I go on thinking about my problems all the time and my brain must continue to think about them when I sleep because I wake up … with answers to questions that have been puzzling me.’
Elias Howe was having difficulties creating a needle that would catch the bobbing thread on the sewing machine he was trying to create. Nothing seemed to work. He went to sleep with the problem on his mind and dreamt of African natives with spears which had a hole in the point, as if to say, here is your answer, coming right at you! The new needle design worked perfectly. As a result, all of us now wear clothing made on sewing machines.
Thomas Edison kept a cot in his work area; whenever he faced a problem, he would lie down with his mind concentrated on the solution.
I could go on and on but the point is that we all have access to this source of knowledge when we learn to pay attention to our dreams. Not only dreams relate to the problems or concerns that were on our mind prior to sleep, but they give us insights and understanding on relationships, attitudes, the way we see ourselves, facts we were not aware of, warnings, etc.
Keeping a journal is an important tool for our personal growth; I’d recommend take time each evening to review the day’s events, actions, reactions, feelings, successes, failures, disappointments; include your hopes, fears, plans, expectations and especially goals. Next day as you awake, discipline yourself to awaken gently and immediately begin to recall all that you have dreamt and ideally write it down immediately with as much details as possible. Of course, not everybody has the inclination or the time to do this every morning; if so, become a weekend dreamer!