The whole truth about dreams

What does our brain do when we dream?

Everyone dreams, and fortunately, because our brain, set freewheeling during sleep, does not “dream”, on the contrary, it works:


He created : these complicated dreams in which themes and characters that have nothing to do with each other collide or these grandiose images which astonish prove that the dream makes it possible to get out of a certain rationality, which is a condition of creation (pieces of music or paintings for artists, new theories for scientists or new solutions to our current problems, which we come up against in reality…). Dreams have always been conducive to creation and new ideas.


It regulates our emotions: the whole range of emotions that we often express in our dreams (fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, grief) allow us toevacuate states that we do not always dare to display in everyday life or that we do not have the opportunity to overcome. It is also the function of nightmares to put distance and to “cool down” the mini-traumas of life (conflicts, disappointments, etc.). For more serious problems (aggression, accidents, etc.), nightmares are often not enough to evacuate post-traumatic stress for which professional help can be useful.


He trains in “white”: researchers have argued that dreams are the product of our evolution, they allow us to practice our reactions to external threats in a safe environment. It is true that in a dream, one can flee a danger by jumping from a cliff or by rolling in a ball, like a porcupine in front of an enemy, piloting a racing car or flying…


He finds solutions: according to dream theorist Jacques Montangero, the dream is a solution-making machine : “The dream selects among the elements stored in our memory, images, sensations, emotions, thoughts, words… It then arranges them, until shaping a virtual reality which it finally offers, to the dreamer, as a subjective experience. What would allow, after analysis of the dreams, to have at the same time an idea of ​​the problems which agitate us and the solutions which are blown to us.

What do dreams tell us?

Contrary to what some say, a dream, by its very nature, of an imaginary hodgepodge, has no meaning. He blurs the tracks, the people, the symbols. It is thus that one is surprised – hardly – to see an uncle on the benches of our college attended 40 years ago, among some comrades of the time, in the company of a wolf on an old mattress… etc It is thus difficult to refer to the dictionaries for the interpretation of dreams: empty house, death, nocturnal animals, friend whom we console… None can give the key to our dreams as simply as we would define a word. It’s all a matter of context: dreaming that you are driving “at breakneck speed” and losing control of your vehicle can signify the aspiration for a new start as well as the expression of a deep feeling of insecurity. Wisely and from time immemorial, men have sought to learn from their dreams. They have a hidden meaning – therefore rarely obvious – that needs to be discovered. With a third person, it’s easier.

Who do you talk to about your dreams?


To a professional: windows open on our unconscious, according to psychoanalysts, dreams are the raw material of this discipline. This is how, “in analysis”, the patient is led to recount his dreams and, helped by the practitioner, to unravel the threads. They would therefore contain our deepest secrets: childhood traumas, “unconscious” desires. But this long work, often several years, on the past, is not the only way to understand what a dream has to tell us.


To a caring person: telling a dream to a friend, a relative or a psychologist is often a good way to find the key to your dreams. Absolute rule: be sure of the benevolence of this person, because an interpretation remains subjective, it can be, like the two sides of a coin, positive or negative. A person who does not wish you well will not give your dream a favorable meaning. Ethnopsychiatrist Tobie Nathan asserts that an interpretation is correct when it satisfies three conditions: it calms the mind, solves a problem and, above all, proposes action in real life. To dream would therefore be, for him, to move forward.


In practice : in front of this attentive and benevolent ear, you tell the story of your dream. In doing so, you will naturally come across images, characters, whose presence you will comment on yourself: “Hey, I don’t know why, there was my ex-husband with us…”. The third person, without being intrusive, can help you make connections with subjects that concern you or interest you. Like Denise who often dreams of a suitcase to pack in a hurry. Only a friendly and light dialogue can help him let the ideas that come to him emerge, unlike risky shortcuts that could lead to the conclusion that he is unwell in his current life. The more a dream comes back, the more life questions us and calls for a solution. It’s worth listening to it.

How to remember your dreams?

Everyone dreams but unless you make a special effort, you quickly forget the content when you wake up. It’s nothing less than cleaning up the brain to make room for new learning. Exactly like what happens with the quantities of things that we forget in real life. Our brain tries to store the most important experiences, so that it doesn’t become cluttered with too many memories. But techniques can help to “retain” the night:

fall asleep with a paper and pencil handyand with the firm promise to remember the dreams that will follow one another in the night.

write down dreams immediatelyas soon as you open one eye, without waiting for the end of the night, even fuzzy snippets.

– to recall a dream more precisely, and find its threads, remain for a while in the position adopted while sleepingtime to remember the details, then write it down.

true and false about dreams


We dream during the deep sleep phase


Fake: the majority of our dreams take place during REM sleep. This phase is called “paradoxical”, because our eyes move, our brain seems to be awake and our sex too, hence the male erections, which are therefore not always the result of erotic dreams, as we tend to think. .


Each sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes


True: even if this duration is variable, each cycle takes place as follows: a brief phase of falling asleep (10 minutes), followed by a phase of light slow sleep, then deep slow sleep (period during which is the most difficult to wake someone up). It is then that comes the phase of paradoxical sleep which completes a cycle, hence a tendency to wake up at this time, coming out of a dream. Four or five cycles are linked together during the night, giving us a chance to dream about every 90 minutes, or almost two hours in total per night.


We remember our morning dreams better


True: as the night progresses, the phases of paradoxical sleep, those in which one dreams, lengthen. At the end of the night, we therefore dream more. But certain factors can disrupt these stages: age, which sees this phase of sleep diminish, or certain substances, such as alcohol or cannabis, which can even suppress them.

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The whole truth about dreams


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