You may have heard stories about people crediting dreams with providing some type of insight into their lives or even in some cases premonitions about the future.
—For example, horror writer Steven King credits dreams with giving him the inspiration for some of his novels.
—It is said that scientist Albert Einstein first got the idea that led to the Theory of Relativity in a dream.
—There are also stories that former president Abraham Lincoln dreamt about his own assassination.
A recent study described in this BBC News article supports the notion that dreams can provide information not readily accessible to your conscious mind. The University of California San Diego gave a group of volunteers some creative problems to solve. Some of the volunteers were told to stay awake to solve the problem while others were told to take a nap. The ones who napped improved their problem-solving ability by almost 40 percent.
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Sure, a rested mind works better, but scientists conducting the study came to another conclusion, suggesting that during the stage of sleep in which dreaming takes place, you’re better able to integrate new information with past experiences. In other words, your subconscious mind can identify patterns and reach conclusions that your conscious mind simply can’t. It’s not rocket science, but do you take advantage of your dreams and the rich source of knowledge that they possess?
Intuitive Action Item: If you’re unsure about a course of action, write your question down before you go to bed and let your subconscious mind wrestle with it while you sleep. When you wake up, write down whatever you remember from your dream. Even if you don’t remember your dream, ask yourself how you feel about the situation and see if you’ve had a change of heart.