All posts by Gary M. Underwood

The Sleep Cycle: Stages of Sleep

On a daily basis, everyone experiences a significant shift in consciousness.

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Dreaming gives us yet another state of consciousness.

People have studied dreams since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Proper systematic dream and sleep research has gained currency over the past fifty years. As technology advances, so does our ability to analyze how and why we dream.

Three distinct characteristics of the state of rest that is sleep are:

  1. Reduced activity
  2. A drop in our responsiveness to stimuli
  3. Distinct brain wave patterns

REM and NREM Sleep

cycles of sleep

Back in 1950, a graduate student working alongside a researcher at the University of Chicago got the opportunity to monitor sleeping infants. He observed very noticeable changes in their eye movements.

There were stages where the eyes moved extremely swiftly then intervals with little to no eye movement at all.

  • REM: Rapid Eye Movement
  • NREM: Non-rapid Eye Movement

Following this observation, the researchers noted that when adults are awakened during REM sleep, they almost always reported dreaming. If they lurched into consciousness during NREM sleep, on the other hand, they usually did not recall any dreams.

Since the 1950s, this research has been expanded upon considerably.

We now know two facts:

  1. Dreaming is not limited to REM sleep only
  2. REM sleep is not synonymous with dreaming

This makes it extremely tough to accurately estimate the proportion of dreaming between these two stages of sleep. Some people who come to during REM sleep don’t outline any dreams. Others exiting NREM sleep will demonstrate some vague recall of an event.

To generalize, NREM sleep is more dream-free than REM sleep. Any reported dreams in the REM stage tend to be more vivid, longer-lasting and visual.

Complex measuring devices like the EEG, EOG and EMG help to monitor movements of the eye and electrical activity in the muscles.

The Stages of Sleep

Wakefulness

When we are awake, our brain waves include:

  • Gamma
  • Beta (high and mid)
  • Beta Sensory Motor Rhythm
  • Theta
  • Alpha

These beta waves are low-amplitude and high frequency.

As we reach a drowsy state, our breathing and heart rate slow down. Body temperature drops as muscles relax. We edge towards alpha waves.

Stage 1

The first, light stage of sleep is very brief.

Drifting off and moving through alpha and theta waves, we experience a state almost like daydreaming. It’s quite possible to fall into this kind of stage during the day, some being more prone than others.

During stage 1, we tend to get more hypnogocic hallucinations. Vibrant feelings like falling or hearing our names being called are accompanied by abrupt muscle contractions.

We then coast toward theta waves. This is a light period when we are neither properly awake nor asleep.

We normally fall asleep within 10 minutes although this varies considerably from person to person.

Stage 2

Another truncated period of maybe 20 minutes, we fall deeper into sleep during this stage.

Sleep spindles are very short bursts of brain activity produced during stage 2.

Our body temperature drops further and our heart rates slow up.

The K complex is another brain wave pattern experienced in this stage of sleep. It occurs in response to either an internal stimulus (stomach cramps, for example) or external stimuli like the sound of voices or vehicles.

Stage 3

This is a transitional period as we edge toward deeper sleep.

Delta waves – deep and slow brain waves – begin to emerge. When these waves make up 20-50% of any EEG tracing, we are in stage 3 heading toward dreamland.

Stage 4

This is also known as Delta Sleep.

Delta waves continue to build proportional to other brain waves. After the 50% mark has been reached, we are in stage 4, the deepest sleep of all.

Stage 4 lasts for about 30 minutes.

Problems like bedwetting or sleepwalking tend to manifest themselves toward the end of our deepest period of sleep.

It is quite difficult to be woken during this sleep segment. If you are roused by an alarm clock while in stage 4, there’s every chance you’ll feel groggy and disoriented.

There are virtually no eye movements during either stage 3 or 4.

Stage 5: REM

We now leave NREM behind and move into REM sleep.

As well as rapid eye movement, our respiration rate and brain activity both surge upwards.

Other body systems become more active while muscles relax. Voluntary muscles become paralyzed. The rise in brain activity leads to dreaming.

The body features an inbuilt method of self-paralyzing to protect us. If you dream of being trapped, you in many senses are, unable to move of your own volition.

Sleep Cycles

When we sleep, the above documented stages do not always happen sequentially.

Initially, we move from the first to fourth stage in order. Then, we repeat stage 3 and 2 before entering REM sleep. After REM, we normally go back to stage 2.

We experience 4 or 5 of these sleep cycles during the course of a night.

REM kicks in after about 90 minutes of sleep. The first REM cycle is often brief but becomes progressively longer. This can extend up to an hour at times.

Explaining Sleep

Although sleep has been extensively studied and researched, it might be clear that we need to sleep. What is not so clear is why we need to sleep.

What is not so clear is why we need to sleep.

There are 4 main theories:

Sleeping To Restore Depleted Resources

Over the course of a day, our bodies expend a great deal of energy.

When we sleep, our body has the chance to rest and recuperate.

In a study, subjects were monitored after running a 57-mile race. They slept for longer than normal afterward as you would expect. They also enjoyed much more deep sleep.

Sleeping To Save Energy

Linked to this idea is the concept that we sleep in order to conserve energy.

By taking ourselves out of commission for one-third of each day, we protect ourselves from exhaustion.

If we look back in history, in times where resources were more limited, sleeping was a great way to make these stretch further.

Sleeping To Clear The Mind

Each day, we are exposed to a colossal amount of information.

From the moment we wake until bedtime, we are bombarded with multimedia and a lot of this is clutter.

One school of thought suggests that we sleep in order to clear our minds of extraneous data. By sleeping and getting rid of this unwanted information, our brains are then more receptive to new learning.

Sleeping In Order To Dream

Almost every subject every studied has exhibited signs of dreaming.

Since we all dream, this separate state of consciousness is highly likely to serve some important function. We are just not clear yet on what that, precisely, that function is.

Perhaps we really do need to dream…

SoClean 2 Go: Review of Portable CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer

Things are looking up…

You have your new CPAP machine and your sleep has greatly improved…

But now you need to clean it! If you find that the grooves on the mask or hoses are tough to properly sanitize and your precious new sleeping aid is smelling musty…

Well, it time to consider picking up a SoClean 2 Go portable cleaner and sanitizer.

We will review this outstanding product here so you can see the many ways in which it will make your life easier while keeping your CPAP machine in great working order.

soclean 2 go

What Is SoClean 2 Go?

The SoClean is a fantastic automated piece of kit that will clean and sanitize your CPAP machine.

You can disinfect all your accessories with no need to take anything apart. The water reservoir, mask and hose can all be sanitized with 99.9% of bacteria, mold and viruses zapped away fuss-free.

Say goodbye to harmful, messy chemicals – you do not even need water – and keep your equipment dry while sparkling clean.

If you are reluctant to spend money on another product after investing so much in your CPAP machine, think of it this way… Would you buy an expensive car and avoid paying for maintenance? 

SoClean technology makes use of completely safe oxygen which is naturally activated. You can blitz your entire system without damaging yourself or the machine.

The design of the chamber means it will accommodate almost all face masks. Whether it’s a full CPAP mask or a nasal pillow, everything except a total face mask will fit in a treat.

How Does SoClean 2 Go Work?

soclean 2Activated oxygen is an extremely potent and completely natural cleaning agent. It’s been successfully used in hospitals, water purification and food production for many years now. SoClean 2 Go harnesses this fuss-free method of cleaning to great effect.

The oxygen molecule that we breathe has two atoms. With activated oxygen, a third atom of oxygen is added.

SoClean 2 Go will generate activated oxygen from the air in your room. By pumping it through your equipment – CPAP or BiPAP – all bacteria, mold and viruses will be zapped away.

A nice finishing touch is that a dedicated filter can convert this activated oxygen back into breathable air.

The procedure could not be simpler and involves no effort at all.

  • Pop your mask and headgear into the sanitizing bag with the hose still attached
  • Tighten the bag by pulling the drawstrings
  • Hit the POWER switch which is found under the unit. You’ll see a green LED flash for 30 seconds
  • Within 30 seconds, press the button above SoClean 2 Go logo. As sanitizing begins, the light will turn a solid green
  • The indicator light on top of the SoClean 2 Go will tell you when the cycle is complete
  • Although you can perform a quick clean in minutes, 2 hours is recommended for best results

Note: A red light on the LED means that you need new batteries.

Features and Benefits

  • Safe and Effective: By using activated oxygen, your valuable CPAP equipment stays safe and dry while all contaminants and dirt are cleaned away effortlessly. This is a 100% natural process with absolutely no chemicals involved
  • Ultra-Portable: The compact unit is extremely lightweight and ideal for traveling. You can even keep your accessories safely protected inside while you’re on the move
  • Battery-Operated: No need to worry about cords, power sockets or compatible plugs when you’re away from home. 8 batteries are included so you will be good to go straight from the box
  • No Disassembly Needed: When you are cleaning anything, taking it apart is the last thing you need. Sanitize all your gear without needing to remove the mask, reservoir or hose. You can even clean the water in the reservoir!
  • Universal Compatibility: SoClean 2 Go works well with all CPAP, BiPAP, VPAP or BPAP machines
  • Cleans Heated Humidifiers: If your machine comes with a heated humidifier, a tubing insert is thrown in. The chamber can be cleaned with ease. Specialized adapters are available for specific heating tubes so the SoClean 2 Go is truly versatile. One size fits all!
  • Works With Wide Range Of Masks: This cleaner will fit with nasal pillows, full, mouth or nasal masks. You can easily clean almost all masks
  • Huge Time-Saver: We all have so much to clean that saving time is essential. The automated cleaning cycle means that you need no effort to keep your CPAP machine in tip-top condition and free of all germs and viruses

Some Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will my equipment ever get wet? No. There are absolutely no fluids used purely activated oxygen. Water plays no part in the process whatsoever
  2. Can I use rechargeable batteries? Absolutely. Any kind of AA batteries work perfectly well
  3. What materials should I avoid putting in my cleaner? Activated oxygen breaks down both natural rubber and nylon. Most manufacturers of CPAP machines do not use these materials for masks, headgear, hoses or reservoirs. If in doubt, check up on this
  4. Is there any damage to me or to the environment? No. Activated oxygen is completely safe at the correct levels. The filter also converts this into safe, breathable air when it’s expelled back into your room
  5. The smell is too strong. What can I do? Make sure you use the Neutralizing Pre-Wash. Before popping on your mask, let your machine run for 30 seconds. This should blow out any lingering scent. Sanitize equipment alternate days instead of daily. This should minimize any unwanted odors
  6. Is it possible to wash my mask bag? Yes. Simply hand wash then air dry the bag

Why Should I Buy The SoClean 2 Go?

Everyone today leads extremely busy lives. Just keeping on top of cleaning the house can be an uphill struggle. Time is precious and with this superb piece of kit you will not need to laboriously disassemble and clean your CPAP accessories by hand.

Hygiene is absolutely crucial and this innovative cleaning system makes use of activated oxygen which is used in hospitals around the world. You can keep your machine perfectly safe while blitzing away any germs that could potentially harm you.

SoClean For Home

soclean for home

Although we are looking here at the portable SoClean 2 Go product, some of you might be wondering about the white-colored option which is simply called SoClean 2.

These cleaner are fundamentally the same except the SoClean2 is a standalone unit suitable for home use while the reviewed SoClean 2 Go model is for those people who travel frequently.

Since the core reason of purchasing an automated cleaner is to save time, we will save your time here and focus on the differences rather than listing a long series of similarities.

 SoCleanSoClean2Go
Suitable For Travel?NoYes
Programmable Timer?YesNo
Dimensions7.5" x 6.5" x 8.5"4.3 x 3.9 x 4.9"
Length Of Cord4'8"Cordless
Power Supply110-240 VACBatteries

Conclusion

Think of investing in the SoClean 2 Go as money saved rather than money wasted. Prevention is always the best cure and by keeping your CPAP machine in perfect condition you can enjoy many years of usage without needing to outlay even more money on a new machine. If you use this machine daily (as recommended by the manufacturer), it really does represent superb value for money.

If you have any questions about this product or anything else sleep-related, do not hesitate to get in touch. We try to answer all queries as swiftly as possible. We are always interested in feedback.

Foods That Help and Hinder Your Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to enjoy great health.

Sleep restores energy and gives us sound minds, not to mention making our whole body rest and relax from a stressful day.

If you find yourself having problems sleeping then you owe it to yourself to read as much as possible on this topic. See what foods can benefit your sleep and what foods hinder it.

Foods To Help You Sleep Well

1) Bananas

This fruit is considered among the very best for delivering a wonderful rest. Bananas contain potassium and magnesium which are both good for the heart. They also relax the muscles which promotes good sleep. Bananas also have vitamin B6 which is essential for the production of the sleep hormone Melatonin. They have carbohydrates and tryptophan as well which induce sleepiness.

2) Cherries/Tart Cherry Juice

Cherries – whether fresh, dried, frozen or juiced – also contain calcium and melatonin, the hormone that helps regulates our internal circadian rhythm. Tart cherry juice, though, gives only small improvements on sleep problems but at least it still helps with the issue. Two cups of tart cherry juice daily is recommended.

3) Complex Carbs/Cereals

Carbs are proven very good for sleep. So, try munching whole grain cereals made up of barley, buckwheat, quinoa and kashi. Cereals often go with milk which also gives a restful sleep.

4) Hummus

This a sandwich spread often used in crackers and salads. It contains L-tryptophan which encourages sleep and serotonin that helps relaxes the muscles. Hummus also has vitamin B6 that produces melatonin.

SONY DSC

5) Lettuce

Snacking on lettuce an hour before sleeping can make you have a good night’s sleep. This vegetable contains Lactucarium which has a sedating effect on the brain. Try matching lettuce with kale and spinach for these veggies have an elevated calcium content that will stimulate tryptophan to kick in.

6) Milk

You may well remember that as a little child your parents made you drink a glass of warm milk in the lead-up to bedtime. This is mainly because it is believed to prompt a sound sleep and kids need that rest to grow up healthy and strong. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid which releases serotonin that makes the brain signal sleepiness to the body.

7) Pretzels

Pretzels are low calorie snacks that helps bring about sleep due to its carbohydrate content. An ounce of this gives our body two percent of magnesium which is a mineral known to give quality sleep. It is also suggested that a lack of magnesium in our body can alter your sleep for the worse. It is not always bad to snack before bedtime then!

8) Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

Sweet potatoes are not just healthy complex carbohydrates that help with sleep issues. They can also make you release gas if you’re suffering from flatulence at bedtime. Its large potassium content aids in that sense too in that it also relaxes our muscles. It is also advised to include the skin when consuming sweet potatoes because more of its nutrients are contained there.

9) Tuna

This delicious fish offers a high content of vitamin B6 which produces melatonin and tryptophan that gives out to serotonin. These are all essential for promoting good sleep. Be sure to consume tuna two hours before your planned sleep time to make certain it’s digested fully. This forces the healthy components to work best.

10) Turkey 

This bird might have protein like chicken but turkey also has tryptophan which counteracts the effects of protein for sleep purposes. This explains why Americans tend to fall asleep as soon as they get into bed after Thanksgiving meals!

11) Valerian tea

 

vale

Valerian tea is an herb derived from the flowers of Valerian roots. This herb is used by doctors along with melatonin and serotonin to help regulate and increase the amount of sleep (especially for those suffering from insomnia). Unlike other teas, Valerian doesn’t have caffeine in it. This medicine causes drowsiness and sedates the brain and CNS. It is also used for anxiety disorders, migraines and stomach upset. Valerian tea should be taken an hour before bedtime but with the advice of a doctor. It should not be taken for longer than two weeks to avoid dependency on the herb.

Foods That Cause Problems With Sleeping

1) Bacon and Cheese Burger

This high fat, salt-packed food is definitely one of the biggest no-no’s if you are yearning for a restful sleep. Fatty foods provoke the formulation of acid in the stomach and thus cause heartburn and acid reflux. In case you can’t avoid bingeing, be sure to wait an hour or two before snoozing as it can also cause nightmares when sleeping if you are still full from eating.

2) Chicken

Protein is energy and thus it is essential to have it during the day where our bodies need to be up and running the whole time. Chicken in particular is very high in protein and consuming an excess of this meat tends to slow down digestion beyond 60% at night. Protein in chicken can make us feel energized and ready for action at bedtime. This may cause sleep apnea too if consumed right before sleeping as the body is taking time to digest the food. This may, of course, eventually lead to irritability and utter exhaustion the following day.

3) Coffee

As has been said over and over again, coffee is sleep’s number one nemesis. Its caffeine content will definitely hamper your chances of good sleep. This is best taken only at breakfast because of its active stimulant effects on the CNS, one thing that everyone needs in order to stay awake the whole day to perform well. Or better yet, do not drink coffee at all.

4) Dark Chocolate

chocolate_625x350_81434346507

Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is not that healthy at all. It causes more problems than regular chocolate when consumed before sleeping. This comfort food has a larger amount of caffeine than ordinary chocolate bars which may cause sleeplessness. Dark chocolate also has theobromine, a property toxic to dogs but very rare in humans (although if taken in huge amounts, it can lead to hyperventilation, palpitations, hypertension, stroke or even death).

5) Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are packed with even more caffeine than coffee. This boosts the waking factor of the body to keep you going even at those times you need to sleep. These drinks contain 80 to 242 milligrams of caffeine per drink. And, if you are into trying to have a good slumber, then it’s best to avoid taking these drinks at all.

energy-drinks5

6) Indian Curry

Curry is packed with delicious, spicy seasoning that adds zest to an everyday meal. Curries are often OK but Indian curry is proven to impair good sleep and, even worse, may cause nightmares due to the spices present in it which also elevates blood pressure. Indigestion and accumulation of acids in the stomach are the common culprits. Since a hot Indian curry is harsh to the tummy, it’s best to eat this sort of meal in the day as people are usually busy and won’t be able to  notice mild discomfort caused by the curry.

7) Soft drinks/Sodas

It is already a known factor that sodas contain caffeine so, needless to say, you should avoid drinking much of it at night. People nowadays are already used to pairing soft drinks with meals. And, if you are a food chain lover, chances are you’re guilty of this pleasure. Mountain Dew, for instance, has 71 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Pepsi and Coca Cola, on the other hand, don’t only contain caffeine but citrus and sodium benzoate at the same time. This stimulates acid production which may in turn cause acid reflux.

9) Water

You will probably wonder what this healthy drink is doing in this category. Water isn’t really bad and does not contain any of the components that lead to sleep disruption but, drinking too much of it three hours before bedtime will cause you to pee all throughout the night. So, best take a sip or two after dinner and get most of your intake during the day.

10) Wine

Contrary to what some believe, drinking wine before sleeping is not a smart move. It brings on sleep faster but it causes disruptions in your sleep. The alcohol in wine causes snoring and frequent trips to the bathroom that can make sleeping back difficult. And, moreover, it can make you feel restless with headaches the next day.

It’s Nearly Time For Bed…

So…

We hope that this handy selection of what to embrace and avoid has given you food for thought.

Take action in any way you can and give yourself the sleep you so richly deserve.

How To Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary For Sleep

We have previously looked at some great tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

One of the most crucial and simple steps of all in rejuvenating yourself with the sleep you deserve is having a bedroom which is conducive to relaxing and falling into dreamland as quickly and easily as possible.

Today we will walk you through some basic ways in which you can improve your chances of getting that fabled eight hours of rest even if you normally struggle with sleep.

Declutter Your Bedroom

The first thing to do is to try to remove as many distractions as possible from your bedroom.

minimalist bedroom for good sleep

It might not be possible or practical for everyone to achieve the kind of stripped-down pure minimalism pictured above.

As an example, though, it works well. The sole focus in this bedroom is an extremely comfortable bed with luxurious bedding and absolutely nothing to keep you from sleeping. No TV, no mess, nothing to stimulate you.

Without needing to go to such extremes – unless such minimalism is to your taste – simply try to get rid of anything unnecessary in the bedroom and see how this helps you to fall asleep more quickly and for longer.

Invest In A New Mattress

Comfort is key and, before thinking about bed linen, the most fundamental issue to address is your mattress.

Perhaps this is stopping you from getting the sleep you deserve…

If so, invest in a new one.

great mattress for sleep

One of the inbuilt problems with buying a new mattress is that what feels perfect in the shop might turn out to be less than ideal after you have properly tested it at home.

It’s fine to do your research online or at a store, whichever works best for you. Don’t get too hung up on the more esoteric features. You are looking for support and comfort.

Take your time and find a company that offer you the ability to return and exchange the mattress if it fails to live up to your expectations.

Now that you have something to sleep on maximized, it’s time to think about what you sleep in…

Get The Right Bedding

Go for some natural sheets in either Egyptian cotton or tree-fiber. Whatever your preference for color, choose something nice and soothing.

Although they are not cheap, think about treating yourself to a cashmere throw to go over the top.

cashmere throw

Choose a duvet cover in silk to cover a thick and luxurious duvet.

And go for as many pillows as you can with the focus on hypoallergenic products.

If you surround yourself with the finest fabrics, you will feel much more comfortable and more inclined to drop off rapidly into a restful slumber.

Close The Drapes

In order to sleep with consummate ease, you really need a darkened environment. Make sure that blinds and drapes are closed when it comes to bed time.

Intrusion from street lights or even the moon can seriously disturb your ability to fall asleep.

If you are particularly sensitive to light or live in a bright area, think carefully about getting some heavily-lined blackout drapes to help you on your way to dream land.

Think About Scent

In addition to a bedroom that looks nice and feels nice, it’s also key for your sanctuary to smell nice too.

One immediate tip is to spritz some lavender on your pillow. Lavender has been used for centuries to aid with sleep.

Another option is to use an essential oil diffuser and fill your room with the relaxing aroma of your favorite essential oils.

essential oil diffuserThese devices come in all shapes and sizes so choose according to your taste and the design of your room. They are inexpensive and represent the most effective delivery system for essential oils.

Reduce The Temperature In The Bedroom

If you are too hot and bothered, slipping into an invigorating sleep will be problematic.

When the temperature is lower, your body gets the message that it’s time to sleep.

Nobody is suggesting that you should be shivering as that will have the opposite effect but regulate the AC or heating so that it is slightly lower to kickstart your system into sleep mode.

An excellent way to lower the temperature of your own body is to have a bath before bed time. This is a win-win. A bath in itself is highly relaxing. Also, while you may heat up in the tub, your body’s response to this heat is to reduce your internal temperature.

Remove Or Ignore The Clock

no clock in bedroom

Most of us use a cell phone for our alarm today. If this is the case, consider removing all other clocks from the bedroom.

If you have a clock which you do not want to remove then turn it to face away from you in bed.

If you wake in the night and see that it is not so long until it’s time for you to rise, this has a negative effect and often prevents you from dropping off again.

It takes practice but will repay the effort.

Put On Some Socks!
socks in bedWearing socks in bed has been shown to help you to sleep.

The reason is not absolutely clear but it does work. One suggestion is that this operates on the same principle as having a bath… With your feet and legs warmed up nicely, the body’s internal temperature drops thus promoting a healthy sleep.

Get Rid Of Night Lights

If you have a clock radio with an LED display or an alarm clock with similar neon, think about ditching it.

Often, the body reacts subconsciously to even very dim lights and feels that it’s time to wake up.

In short, when it’s dark, your biological clock is inhibited and your brain gets the message that it’s time to sleep.

Work with this rather than against it and maximize your chance of avoiding insomnia.

Conclusion

If you pay attention to these handy hints and make your bedroom into a peaceful haven, you should notice a difference in any problems you have with sleeping.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about sleeping or sleep disorders.

Sweet dreams!

What Do Dreams Mean?

Dreams, Dreams and More Dreams

According to experts, dreams are forms of brain activity that involve a string of  imagined ideas, emotions, images, events and sensations. Dreams happen involuntarily in the mind while you are sleeping or sometimes even when you are awake.

Although we have a definition of dreams, even in this modern age no one can actually explain the exact reason why people dream. It’s still unclear how dreams ever get to transpire in one’s mind while sleeping just like you are watching a scene of yourself from a movie.

People who have researched this phenomenon come up with different theories. Some say dreams are the fulfillment of a person’s deepest desires to achieve something they cannot have in their waking state. Others refer to dreams as the subconscious mind’s enactment of what people unconsciously want to happen. Some believe that dreams are actually the opposite of what’s going to happen in real life.

Whatever is the real cause of dreaming, the fact remains that dreams can make you feel relaxed, happy, sad or even get stressed and scared while sleeping.

One important thing to note is that you can actually take control of your dreams. It is your dream. And in your dreams, you are the protagonist. You simply need to condition your mind and body before you sleep that it is just a dream.

And when you’re asleep and dreams start to happen, you tell yourself that you are dreaming and that you control everything. In that way, you can help prevent a bad dream from occurring.

For example, if you are flying in your dream and feel like you are going to fall, your brain is quick to act and tell your dream-self to keep on flying and you won’t fall in that dream. It is just a question of mind over matter tactics: conditioning your mind before you sleep.

dr

Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychoanalyst and neurologist, once said that dreams are the windows into the subconscious mind. He added that dreaming is also a way for people to release their sexual urges and desires while asleep.

There are actually several varieties of dreams that people experiences throughout life. We will now examine the most common of these types of dreams…

1) Lucid Dreams 

These dreams are due to the increased activation of some parts of the brain which are often subdued while asleep. Lucid dreaming is regarded as the state of the brain between REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and being awake. This is that kind of dream wherein the person is actually aware that they are dreaming. Controlling your dreams, as mentioned above, can be achieved during lucid dreaming.

With lucid dreaming, you can focus on anything that you want to dream about before you sleep. All you need to do is condition your mind and body. It is where a person experiences and lives their daydreams but in a dream.    

2) Daydreaming

Daydreaming is essentially living out your fantasies and imagination inside your waking mind.

This type of dream can happen anytime, anywhere while awake depending on the person’s liking. It is sometimes used as an escape from the real situations in life which don’t lead to happiness or contentment.

When a person daydreams, their thoughts are temporarily being transported to another world, the world of dreams. They become unaware of their surroundings for a moment and they think that what they are dreaming of is real. This is why some daydreamers can be seen smiling or seemed to be in a trance.

3) Nightmares

A nightmare is a scary, terrifying and distressing bad dream.

People who have nightmares experience frightening scenes in their dreams. This can sometimes be so horrifying that a person wakes up gasping for breath or totally scared and confused, often very grateful it was just a dream.

Nightmares occur more in women than men. Common causes include illness, medication, anxiety, stress and sometimes fatigue. Sleeping directly after eating can also contribute at times.

In children, however, nightmares are almost always associated with being chased by animals. Experts say that kids having bad dreams is completely normal and related to their development and environment.

4) Wet Dreams

wet dreams

This is a dream which mostly happens in pubertal boys and men. It is part of the natural process of growing up. Having wet dreams means releasing semen while dreaming and this is caused if a guy dreams of having sex. This dream can be carried over into their emotions resulting in night-time ejaculation.

There are reports about girls and women experiencing wet dreams too but very rarely do they get to have sexual orgasms like men while dreaming.

5) False Awakening Dreams

These false awakening dreams are most commonly called a dream within a dream. They occur in the middle of a dream.

It’s a type of dream wherein the dreamers think they are already awake and doing things. In fact, they are still asleep and dreaming not actually performing the deed. False awakening dreams usually happen to lucid dreamers. Actions carried out seem to be so real for the dreamer. This perceived reality renders them totally unaware that it was just a  dream.

Mostly, false awakenings get repeated multiple times and the same actions are executed repeatedly until the person finally awakens and realizes they were just dreaming.

One tip, though: if you are experiencing this type of dream, get up once you wake to avoid repeating it again. Walk around in or out of the room and do something like drink water or eat just to wake your system fully before going back to bed.

6) Recurring Dreams

This is a very common type of dream which contains messages about one’s self or life. It may be about something that is unconsciously bothering the person or something that they most long to do or have.

Most of the time, this dream is frightening and almost mimics a nightmare. This, though, is just the mind’s way of communicating through dreams that there are things we need to do or accomplish which in waking life we tend to dismiss or even forget.

Conclusion

However mysterious dreams may be, no one can easily say that they never felt better or happier when they are in dreamland. It is where one’s wishes and desires are attained.

Maybe, at times, it turns to be a bad dream but always remember that dreams can convey messages and that you should pay attention to them.

Dreams are free and in dreams we can be whoever and whatever we want but let us not live in dreams alone. Be attentive and try to do something to live those dreams.