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5 things you didn't know about your dreams

5 things you didn't know about your dreams

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According Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, dreams serve to communicate everything that the conscious mind cannot accept. Thus, they are, for him, the way of expressing the repressed desires of people. However, research suggests that not only is it possible to control our dreams, but they help us erase bad memories.


  • 1 Sleep helps erase bad memories
  • 2 During the dream the information of the day is organized
  • 3 We can control what we dream
  • 4 Smells affect dreams
  • 5 More sleep, less pain

The dream helps erase bad memories

The sleep phase in which there is dream activity - that is, in which we dream - is based on a different neurochemical composition and provides us with a form of therapy, a balm that removes the 'sharp edges' of the emotional experiences lived during the day”, Said Matthew Walker, neuroscientist at the University of California in Berkeley, United States, as published by This was the conclusion of a study that revealed that, While we dream, brain chemistry linked to stress is deactivated (norepinephrine decreases) and the brain can process emotional experiences to 'erase' or 'soften' painful or unpleasant emotions stored in memory. "After sleeping the experiences of the previous day have reduced their emotional load; we feel better with them, we feel able to face them”, Explained the scientist.

During the dream the information of the day is organized

While the act of sleeping is a vital function, dreaming is not necessary for life, it is not essential to continue living. However, while the body rests, the "dreamer" brain is in charge of ordering the important information and "keeps" in permanent memory what it considers relevant.

We can control what we dream

When a person is able to alter the content of the dream story it is said that he experiences lucid dreams. A psychologist at Harvard University, Deirdre Barret, did a test with her students: she asked them to choose a problem that they had not solved and to think about it before bedtime. After a week, half of the boys had had dreams linked to that problem and 25% had found some answer on the matter. Thus, the best way to control our dreams will be to choose our thoughts before sleeping.

Smells affect dreams

German scientists presented an investigation at the American Academy of Otolaryngology that compared the effects of smelling roses and rotten eggs during the sleep period. According to their conclusions, the emotional tone of dreams changes in each case: It is positive in the first and negative when the smell is unpleasant.

More sleep, less pain

During the rest period, we go through different stages or phases. One of them is the REM (from the English phrase "rapid eye movement", due to the movement of the eyeballs under the eyelids), which is the period where we dream and capture a lot of information from our environment, due to the high brain activity At those moments, the chemicals that generate stress stop occurring. In addition, as concluded by a neuroscientific study at the University of California in Berkeley published by, painful memories are “softened”.