It may seem like a morbid question, but there’s a good reason for asking – and knowing – whether a dreamer can die in his or her own dream.
The answer is that you <em>can</em> die in your own dream, although sleep scientists agree this is generally not a bad experience for the dreamer. And <em>no</em>, it does not mean you will die in real life. But, why is it an important fact and helpful to know?
<strong>Epidemic: Insufficient Sleep</strong>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <a title="Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/index.html#References" target="_blank">quotes a 2006 study</a> by the Institute of Medicine that estimates up to 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, and it's probably safe to assume the number has increased in the last seven years. Combine that with the fact that <a title="Anxiety and Depression Association of America" href="https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/sleep-disorders" target="_blank">anxiety plays a central role</a> in many of these disorders and we can see why discussing and dispelling these kinds of myths can help.
No one is suggesting people are losing sleep because they’re afraid to face their own dreamy demise once their heads hit their pillows – it’s more of a comment on the benefits you should be able to expect from a good night’s sleep.
Everybody dreams, but most people forget most of their dreams or remember none at all. Even so, anxiety and “negative emotions” are the most common feelings in the dream world, and there is some evidence to suggest that troubling dreams can interrupt sleep and even throw off one’s sleep cycle.
Ideally, our dreamscapes should be a refuge; a place where we can feel safe and free that will allow us to wake up feeling happier and more refreshed. This would even include the dreaming death experience, which isn’t usually as scary as it sounds. But, how do we control our dreams?
Absolute control of dreams is impossible unless you’re some kind of mountain <em>yogi</em> who can melt things with your mind, but you can definitely tip the scales in your favor. There are three components: 1) your body, 2) your mind and 3) the physical space.
<em>Physical Space</em>: There are all sorts of things you can do to improve your sleep space. Make sure your <a title="Mattresses" href="http://www.atgstores.com/mattresses-mattress-sets_1028.html" target="_blank">mattress</a> suits your needs and body type, and rotate it if needed. Use “blackout” and <a title="Noise Reducing Curtains" href="http://www.atgstores.com/noise-reducing-curtains-drapes_1619_oa0345650.html" target="_blank">noise-reducing curtains</a> to create a dark, quiet place to sleep. For added help, also consider a sleep mask or white-noise machine.
<em>Body</em>: We’ve all probably heard the tricks that lead to more restful sleep, but as a reminder: Avoid nicotine, exercise frequently and cut back on food and caffeine before bedtime. Also, train your body to expect sleep by establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it.
<em>Mind</em>: The CDC says that most people who have trouble sleeping are distracted when they’re trying to fall asleep, largely by thoughts of work, finance and relationships. To calm your mind, try meditational tricks like focusing your thoughts on a soothing image or a good memory as you drift off.
<a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips leave you with sweet and memorable dreams.