New dream research from Denmark has found that most people report having had “useful dreams”.
In addition, about 9% of people actually use their dreams to make important decisions about relationships, work, and even when to give birth.
Dreams Research on Weird vs. Useful Dreams
Considering how strange dreams often are, can there be such a thing as useful dreams?
A new study from Denmark shows that for most people the answer is yes.
Over the decades, many studies have examined how our daily lives appear in our dreams.
But a much less studied topic is the opposite idea: namely, how our dreams affect our waking lives.
Few studies have examined the role our dreams play on our moods, attitudes and life choices.
So a team of researchers in Denmark and Germany decided to undertake a formal study of whether and how how people’s dreams can affect their waking life.
Her dream research study was recently published in the journal Dreams.
For the implementation, the dream researchers Michael Rohde Olsen, Michael Schredl and Ingegerd Carlsson recruited 667 participants via LinkedIn, Facebook and a Danish university.
About 60% were women and 40% were men.
Their average age was in their mid-30s and they came from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
Useful dreams help solve creative problems, relationship problems and more
The researchers asked participants to fill out a questionnaire about dreams.
Example questions included how often respondents recalled their dreams from the previous night and whether they had ever experienced a “helpful” dream.
Other topics included how often they had a dream that influenced their mind and whether a dream ever caused them to consciously change their behavior.
The researchers asked also afterwards attitudes of the participants towards dreams in general. To do this, they used an assessment tool called the Dream Attitude Scale.
It asks participants to respond to statements such as “I find dreams interesting and meaningful.”
Those who reported having had helpful or useful dreams also answered how those dreams helped them.
Sample responses included help with creativity, problem solving, relationship issues, or personal insight.
Finally, subjects reported whether a dream had ever prompted them to take “meaningful.” Action.
The questionnaire contained examples such as termination, moving, buying a house, changing jobs or ending a relationship.
Respondents were also able to fill in their own answers.
Dream Research and the Dream Attitude Scale
Results showed that 62% of participants reported that they had had dreams that were helpful or useful.
Approximately 56% said they had dreams that affected their opinions about others, and 54% had dreams that changed their behavior.
People with higher scores on the Dream Attitude Scale scored higher in all of these categories.
In other words, people who are more interested in dreams are also more likely to listen to dreams when it comes to making decisions.
Similar to people who reported a higher level of ” Dream Recall” also reported having had useful dreams more frequently.
Interestingly, variables such as age, gender, and education played very little role in the results.
Dream Interpretation: Where are dreams useful?
Among the 62% of respondents who reported having had helpful dreams, the most commonly cited area of help was assistance with creative tasks.
This was followed by emotional problem solving, with “providing personal insights” coming third.
For example, some participants said their dreams “told” them that they were more worried about something than they were aware of.
Important decisions: From pregnancy dreams to secret love
Almost 9% of those surveyed stated that they had had a dream that made their “important decision” in your life.
As mentioned above, the questionnaire included examples of quitting a job, buying a house, leaving a partner or choosing a new direction in life.
But participants were also able to enter their own answers to important decisions that influenced their dreams.
Examples were starting therapy, choosing the day for the upcoming c-section and realizing that they were secretly in love.
Other dream-inspired changes participants mentioned were dealing with grief or heartache, recognizing an unmet need, gaining a better understanding of other people, breaking unhealthy lifestyle habits, and becoming aware of previously unknown people Driven.
Dreamers with “thin borders” are particularly sensitive
Of course, other variables not examined in the study could affect the results.
The authors suggest that so-called “thin borders” may make people more sensitive to the influence of dreams.
People with “narrow boundaries” tend to score higher on sensitivity, creativity, open-mindedness, and vulnerability.
You are also more likely to confuse fantasy with reality and tend to form relationships quickly.
Previous research has shown that people with thin borders are also more likely to recall dreams, have more intense dreams, and are more likely to have had recurring nightmares in childhood.
These factors may also affect their willingness to “listen” to their dreams.
Dream images can lead to actual change.
The results of this study represent “ enormous potential for “A large proportion of the population,” the dream researchers write, “are using their nighttime dreams to a much greater extent to solve waking life problems.”
The authors suggest that future research could actively seek positive attitudes towards dreams through education or training to assess whether this increases the likelihood that people will experience helpful dreams.
Study:“Conscious Use of Dreams in Waking Life (Nontherapy Setting) for Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, Attitude Forming, and Behavioral Change”Authors: Michael Rohde Olsen, Michael Schredl, Ingegerd CarlssonPublished in: DreamingPublication date: 24. September 2020DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/drm0000138Photo: by Bruce Christianson via Unsplash
Related posts: What does it mean to dream about bees? Bee dreams cover the entire spectrum of common dream scenarios.