What occurs in our minds while we are sleeping is a subject where new discoveries are occurring faster than one would imagine. We understand the basis that sleep allows us to regenerate and to grow. A large piece of the puzzle was finding out what type of activity occurs with our mind while our bodies are in this slumber. I began reading “The Science of Sleep: Dreaming, Depression, and How REM Sleep Regulates Negative Emotions” by Maria Popova because this topic has always fascinated me. I’m also interested in understanding negatives in life because like that cliché saying “Light cannot exist without darkness” and I feel it’s better to understand the darkness and what its cause is for each of us individually. Simply put, I’m a fan of process and understanding one’s process.
Turns out, our dreams aid in the creation of our processes. Towards the latter end of the article, Popova references Rosalind D. Cartwrights writing “ The Twenty-four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives” which discusses how dreaming is a part of our cycle in forming habits, both intellectually and physically. Each time we take action, it creates an experience which in turn creates a memory. Experiences continue to happen forming new memories which we then dream about. We sort the information while sleeping and rank it according to what we should remember and what can be placed on the back burner. As we sort the information, we create new memories while dreaming about our experiences. Ultimately, a pattern occurs where how we think determines how we act which directs what our dreams will be. The feeling of the mind never “shutting off” is quite real and a very accurate statement at that.
The more patterns I discover the happier I am because I believe that everything is interconnected to some level. Cause and effect. Action and reaction. I always knew that dreaming was the brain’s rating system but did not fully come to appreciate how it is a part of our habit building process. The influence of thinking positively and being mindful in your speech and actions holds even more validity when it is reinforced not only while awake and fully conscious in the experience but also while you are asleep! Ah, patterns and process, these are a few of my favorite things.