Why are dreams so bad for your sanity?
According to research published by Oxford University in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, dreams can trigger a host of negative feelings and thoughts that can be hard to shake off.
“If we’re thinking about it, we might be seeing things that don’t really happen that can actually be bad,” said lead author and psychologist, Dr. Stephen Jones, PhD. “It’s not always a bad dream.”
Dr. Jones, a researcher in cognitive neuroscience, is the author of the book Dreaming in the Dark: How to Keep Your Mind Off of the Things That Really Make You Feel Good and Bad.
It explores the mind-body connection, the way the mind creates and perceives the world around us, and how the brain processes information.
Dr. Paul Schaffer, MD, PhD, a clinical psychologist and the author or co-author of the popular book, Dreams: The Neuroscience of Belief and Nightmares, said, “There are a number of aspects of a dream that are not necessarily bad, but are very stressful for the individual, for their physical health, and for their sense of self.”
These include: dreaming about the things that do not actually happen.
A nightmare of a friend or family member being killed, or a dream in which the dreamer is attacked by zombies.
A vivid picture of a nightmare.
“These are not bad dreams, they’re nightmares that occur in dreams,” Dr. Schaffer said.
The fear that these kinds of dreams may cause, as well as the difficulty in sleeping, can make it harder for people to fall asleep, Dr Jones said.
He said that people may have to sleep for hours and even days after having a dream, and even those who do not experience sleep deprivation will often struggle with the process of waking up.
Dr Jones added that the idea that dreams are bad, and that dreams have negative feelings, is not new.
In fact, many people, including psychologists and doctors, have tried to debunk the notion that dreams may be bad for you, or that a dream could have a negative effect on your mental health.
In his book, Dreaming: The Science of How We Make Sense of the Most Common Dreams, psychologist David Kelemen points out that theories of the mind’s nature, such as that it’s a “thought-form” that’s more complex than we think, and the idea of dreams as being a result of thoughts or fears are not true.
“In the same way that there is no such thing as a dream without a conscious or unconscious mind, there is absolutely no such distinction between the mind and the body,” Dr Keleman wrote.
“And we all have a certain level of awareness of the thoughts that we’re having, and we know that we can control our thoughts.”
The problem with the idea, Dr Schaffer explained, is that a person can have a dream and be awake, but not feel any of the problems that could come from a nightmare or nightmares.
The problem can be compounded by the fact that dreams can be stressful for both the person who is dreaming and those who are awake.
Dr Schaffer said that while it’s true that nightmares are stressful for people, and a person’s physical health can be affected by nightmares, the stress doesn’t necessarily translate into negative emotions.
“You can have an amazing time with a dream when you’re awake, you can have nightmares when you are awake,” Dr Schafer said.
“But in the end, it doesn’t matter if you have a nightmare in your dream, or if you don’t have nightmares, your emotional health will not be affected.”
Dr Jones explained that dreamy thoughts can cause the brain to “suck” information from the unconscious and store it in the brain, and then process it in a way that is hard for the conscious mind to see.
For example, a person who’s in a dream might have a vivid memory of a loved one, or even of being in a relationship.
“We often call it the mind wandering effect,” Dr Jones continued.
“The thought is that you think, I am going to forget it, and I’m going to have to re-remember it, because that’s how the mind works.
And the problem is that in the wake of that memory, your unconscious may actually have forgotten that memory.”
Dr Schaser explained that dreams do not have to be bad to have negative effects.
“What makes dreams really bad is that we all know that dreams really can be positive,” Dr Smith said.
This can include experiences that can make you feel good and/or bad, such the idea you’ll be with someone you love or a relationship you’re in.
“So, if you’re not in a romantic relationship, you don.
But if you are in a long-term relationship and you have these dreams, then that may actually make you more anxious and feel more like a failure, rather than someone who is in love with someone,” Dr Williams added. Dr Sh