9 Amazing Facts About Dreams
Control them, harness them and lose weight while you’re at it? These discoveries demonstrate how your nightly mind movies might be put to work for you.
You Might Use Them to Help Solve a Problem
You’ve heard it before, and now it’s legit—sleep on your problems to solve them. The catch: dreaming is only an advantage when it comes to solutions that require a Eureka-like flash of insight
(for instance: what word can form a compound word with canal
?), finds a recent study at the U.K.’s University of Lancaster. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep—the eyeball-jerking stage when vivid dreams often occur—the frontal cortex processes new information like the riddle above. As new experiences integrate with preexisting knowledge, memory networks are stimulated—and, as a result form new, random and sometimes wacky connections between unrelated concepts. Later, we wake up, stretch, and—we can’t explain how
—but the brilliant and now-perfectly-obvious answer just comes to us. One we couldn’t see when we were doggedly trying to get at...for instance, Love