You might already know how important sleep is, and how sleep deprivation can cause a slew of health problems. But have you thought about your dreams? Do you dream? And can you remember your dreams from last night? Whether you can or not, if you’re not dreaming—and more and more people aren’t, according to new research—you’re putting yourself at higher risk for obesity, memory loss, and inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to autoimmune troubles.
In a newly published review of the research on dream deprivation, Rubin Naiman, PhD, a sleep and dream specialist at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, delved into the dangers of missing out on the rapid-eye-movement—REM—phase of sleep, and the potential reasons why we’re not dreaming as much. Dr. Naiman explains that you may feel your most restful sleep is when you don’t remember a thing—when you’re “out cold.” But dreaming seems to be crucial for the body’s repair systems and for the brain’s learning and memory consolidation processes. “We are at least as dream-deprived as we are sleep-deprived,” Dr. Naiman told ScienceDaily. “Many of our health concerns attributed to sleep loss actually result from REM sleep deprivation.”
I – Word Understanding
Slew – a large number
Delve – a careful and detailed search for information
Out cold – unconscious
II – Have Your Say
1. Do you regularly dream? What’s the last thing you dream about?
2. Recent studies suggest that dreams are connected to a our personalities while theory states that dreams don’t actually mean anything. There are however, some generally accepted/known dream interpretations. Do you know some meanings/interpretations of dreams?
3. So how does one fall victim to dream deprivation? Here are some factors:
a. Alcohol and cannabis
b. Medications – sleeping pills / anti-depressants
c. Late evening use of gadgets with artificial lights (tablet, smartphone, etc.)
d. Early alarms