While sleep is commonly considered to be a time for recharging the body, the brain is actually quite active during sleep — dreaming. Our dreams may be soothing or scary, mysterious or helpful, realistic or fantastical. More often than not, people tend to forget their dreams, however, there are few, including me, who remember intricate details of every dream almost every day. From time to time, we wake up with no recollection of having dreamed, while at other times, we can closely recall our dreams because of their intensity. These are known as vivid dreams.
Even though they might be fun to talk about or make an interesting topic to brew conversations, vivid dreams often result in an overwhelming need to understand their significance. They can result in confusion and anxiety which disrupt our daily functioning and impair our concentration.
Vivid dreams essentially refer to those intense dreams that linger in your mind and seem to resemble real-life memories. They arise from the normal REM cycles the brain goes through during a typical sleep cycle. Unlike most dreams, vivid dreams can feel so intense that they affect your mental health and wellbeing.
Sleep disruptions during the REM cycles of sleep, stress, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse are factors which can cause vivid dreams. Apart from stress and anxiety, other mental health conditions such as depression, PTSD and schizophrenia, have been associated with vivid dreams.
Remembering your dreams once in a while is neither abnormal nor a cause of concern. Having said that, if you feel these dreams occur frequently and, more importantly, disrupt your daily activities and mental stability, it is advised to take measures to prevent it from repeating and to protect your mental health! Measures such as consulting a doctor, or even something as simple as changing the position you sleep in and following good sleep hygiene before you sleep can do wonders for providing a good night’s sleep. So remember, sleep soundly and keep happy all year round!