Since the beginning of time, people have had dreams while they sleep and in recent decades, our fascination with them has led to a considerable amount of research about their content. On the one hand, we are disappointed when we wake up from a dream in which our fantasies have become a reality. Conversely, we are relieved to wake up in the real world when we have experienced nightmares. So it comes as no surprise that we would like to have relaxing dreams that fall somewhere in between these two circumstances.
Focus On Sleeping Peacefully
If you struggle with falling asleep, and many of us do, there are ways that you can overcome this issue and sleep peacefully in the process while at the same time having more relaxing dreams. Consider the following 12 steps (not necessarily in this order):
- Bathe or soak in a warm tub to help yourself relax.
- Dampen a soft cloth and cover your eyes to de-stress them and help you relax.
- Don’t do your homework or exercise strenuously prior to bedtime.
- Eat your dinner a minimum of 3 hours prior to going to bed.
- Have a cool glass of water next to your bed if you wake up thirsty and warm.
- Have a cup of hot cocoa or a glass of warm milk to calm your thoughts and relax.
- If you are hungry at bedtime, eating a banana or a slice of wheat toast that has been lightly coated with a low-fat spread will offset your hunger.
- If you find yourself worrying about something before bedtime, imagine that you are placing those worries in a box, locking it up, and wrapping it in chains. Then imagine locking the box away in a cabinet and sinking it in a lake.
- Lay your head on at least one comfortable pillow (two would be better).
- Make sure that your bedroom temperature is not too cold or too warm.
- Think about something you like or that gives you relaxing thoughts.
- When you go to bed, close your eyes and think of peaceful images such as clouds floating overhead or the sounds of a slowly meandering stream.
The more of the above steps that you consider following, the easier it will be for you to relax and drift off to sleep.
How To Have Relaxing Dreams
According to “Dreams can Solve Problems” (Miranda Hitti of WebMD/Sleep Disorders, News), our dreams can provide us with advice and insights about solving our problems. She goes on to say that you can use your subconscious to solve problems when you are conscious by controlling, inducing, influencing, or programming our dreams. The following 5 steps can help you to have more relaxing dreams while you sleep:
- Before going to bed, think about a particular problem you are having and ask your brain to work on solving it as you sleep – you should start thinking about this vividly and give your brain some strong suggestions or thoughts about the problem once you lay down.
- The British Cheese Board recommends eating cheddar cheese as a snack at bedtime – believe it or not, eating a small piece of cheese before bedtime can influence the types of dreams that you have while sleeping.
- If you have been trying to make an important decision or solve a specific problem, ask yourself a particular question about this – as you try to fall asleep, repeat this question in your mind. Although your dreams may provide you with the answer to your problem, don’t make your decision or take action based on the dreams you have about the situation.
- Put a movie in the DVD player and set it to repeat (if your DVD player has that capability) – you can influence the direction your brain takes by giving it input throughout the night and it may pick up on a certain facet of the movie that can influence your dreams and tweak your thoughts in a specific way.
- Turn on some classical music – as you drift off to sleep, this may influence how relaxing your dreams will be. To further enhance the effect, get a massage prior to falling asleep while this music is playing. Remember, whatever you can do to physically relax yourself is going to affect your brain in a positive manner.
On a closing note, keep a record of the dreams you remember in a journal. Be sure that you include the situations of the day that caused you to think about a specific problem and that gave you pause.
Photo: Lauren Treece