Sweet Dreams: How To Have The Best Night’s Sleep According To Our Dream Expert
Dreams are one of the most fascinating aspects of sleep. While everyone dreams, the content of those dreams and the effect they can have on our sleep can vary dramatically from person to person.
From The Big Dreamy Survey, ahead of World Sleep Day (Friday 17th March), the team at DUSK discovered that 77% of people dream most nights, with Friday being the most popular day on which dreaming occurs. What people dream about and how much they can recall varies widely from person to person, so with so much mystery surrounding this intriguing topic, we decided to delve deeper into the curious world of dreams.
In this blog post, we will share our findings from this recent survey, alongside tips on how to get a blissful night’s sleep and how to create the perfect bedroom set-up to drift off into the sweetest dream.
What Are Dreams?
Dreams are images, thoughts or feelings that occur during sleep, with visual imagery being the most common aspect of dreams, however, it’s not uncommon for them to evoke all of the senses. Some of us may dream in full colour while others may dream in black and white, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dreams - they can completely vary depending on the person.
On average, most people dream for around 2 hours per night, which can happen during any stage of their night’s sleep. During the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, brain activity increases considerably, which is why distinct types of dreaming typically occur during this stage.
During REM sleep, dreams are typically much more vivid and, in some cases, can be unfathomable and peculiar. In contrast, when we are in the non-REM stage of our sleep cycle, our dreams tend to involve more coherent content around thoughts and memories which are grounded in a specific time and place.
The Big Dreamy Survey: What Are People Dreaming About?
From dreaming about relationships and friendships to sex, social interactions and even experiencing nightmares, in our recent survey, we discovered that there are some commonly occurring themes when it comes to the content of our dreams.
Over a quarter of the participants surveyed stated that they dreamt about ‘relationships’, closely followed by ‘not being prepared’ at 13%, then ‘being late’ (7.26%) and ‘having sex’ (6.45%). Surprisingly, 25% of respondents stated they dream about ‘friends’ over ‘partners’ and ‘parents’, while 35% said a ‘bad day at work’ or ‘an argument before bed’ (34%) is one of the main triggers for their nightmares.
Do you remember your dreams? Dream memory presents differently from person to person. Some of us are often able to remember dreams vividly, while others are unable to recall many details at all. Nearly 40% of participants surveyed claimed that they frequently remember their dreams, with 1 in 3 people admitting to arguing with their partner over events that have occurred in a dream (we've all been there!). Interestingly, 1 in 5 stated that they have even gone as far as to make an important life decision based on a dream.
Why Do We Dream?
It’s the million-dollar question that continues to spark much debate amongst sleep experts to this day. Why do we dream?
Different theories about the purpose of dreaming include:
- Building memories
- Processing emotions
- Clearing our minds
- Replaying past events
- Incidental subconscious brain activity
Do Dreams Have Meanings?
For years now, people have been asking what the hidden meanings are behind our dreams. There are many different theories that have been published when it comes to interpreting dreams and whether they have a deeper subconscious meaning. The following day, many of us may find ourselves recalling our dreams and it’s natural for us to want to decipher if there’s any significance in our subconscious thoughts.
To delve deeper into this common notion, we took the time to explore two leading scientific theories briefly…
Freud & wish-fulfilment theory
Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and famous author of “The Interpretation of Dreams”, believed that dreams are not random accounts as they derive from real life and the connections are constrained by unconscious desires. His theory stated that dreams revealed unconsciously repressed conflicts or wishes. Dreams are the imagery of a wish or impulse that has since been repressed.
The main idea behind the activation-synthesis theory is that we dream because the mind attempts to make sense of the brain activity that occurs whilst we sleep. The theory also states that dreams don’t actually mean anything as dreams are just the result of neuronal processes.
Dream Expert, Theresa Cheung Shares How To Get Sweet Dreams
Theresa Cheung, the author of The Dream Dictionary from A-Z and The Dream Decoder, says a perfect night's sleep with sweet dreams is possible if you know how.
Did you know that napping on the sofa can ignite vivid and creative dreams? ‘’Napping for just 20 minutes on a beautiful sofa can lead to extremely vivid and creative dreams’’ according to our dream expert, Theresa. Plus she states that ‘’overheating when sleeping increases your risk of nightmares, but you can reduce this risk with a temperature-controlled mattress.’’
Looking to remember your dreams better? Keeping still with your eyes closed on soft pillows such as the Feels Like Down pillows can boost your dream recall because any sudden movement when waking is the enemy of dream recall.
Theresa also shared, that ‘’the crisp soft whiteness of a duvet cover such as the Mayfair duvet cover can become your reality check, which is a self-help technique to induce lucid dreaming, the most exciting way to dream because you know you’re dreaming whilst you’re dreaming.’’
Furthermore, she says, ‘’you will sleep comfortably in any position on a beautiful bed such as the Ascot Ottoman Storage bed, because did you know that the position you sleep in impacts the quality of your dreams? If you sleep on your left side your dreams are more cathartic, on your right side more peaceful, and on your stomach more erotic and when sleeping on your back dreams tend to be more vivid and wild.’’
Theresa finished by saying, “Research shows dream recall is important for your holistic well-being. It’s been a dream helping DUSK with their Big Dreamy Survey and the results have been enlightening”
Five Expert Tips To A Dreamy Night’s Sleep
Sleep is an important part of your health but not all of us get the quality of sleep we need. Below we share some top tips for the ultimate night’s sleep.
1. A snug environment
When it comes to your bedroom, you will want to keep it clutter-free, quiet and as dark as possible. Ottoman beds and stunning storage pouffes are a great way to add style and sophistication, keeping your bedroom tidy and clutter-free, whilst also giving you extra storage to store bedding, throws, books and more. Use a silk sleep mask to prevent light from encroaching and disturbing your sleep, and ensure the room is well-ventilated to keep the temperature comfortable, this will ensure you get the right amount of sleep to feel fresh the next day.
2. The ultimate routine
When it comes to a luxury night’s sleep, you will want to nail your perfect bedtime routine. Avoid a long lie-in on the weekend although these may be tempting, they can disrupt your sleep throughout the days ahead. Set out a relaxing bedtime routine, whether that be a pamper evening with a face mask, a steam shower and your skincare routine or a couple of chapters read from your favourite book - anything that helps you unwind will ultimately enhance your sleep.
3. Evening snacks and drinks
When it comes to getting to sleep, some of us may turn to an evening brew or even a glass of wine, but this can be a mistake when looking to get the ultimate night's snooze. Drinking too much caffeine and alcohol can initially make us nod off, but overall will lead to poorer quality sleep and can cause us to wake up dehydrated. When it comes to food, it is best to eat a few hours before bed, as this gives your body time to digest. But some foods do help us sleep, such as yoghurts or a turkey sandwich.
4. The perfect amount of exercise
Regular exercise, daily walks and even a relaxing session of yoga can be beneficial in so many ways, including aiding a blissful sleep. It makes us feel better and fitter and can help reduce our body temperature if done at least 3 hours before bed - which signals it is time to sleep.
5. Dealing with stress
When we are dealing with worries, anxiety or a stressful day nightmares can occur. After a long day, we may find ourselves lying awake, tossing and turning, going over things in our heads. The key to a beneficial sleep is to try and address these issues during the day, talk things through, make a list and write your worries - anything to try to get your thoughts out of your head before it hits the pillow. Top tip: if you can’t sleep after trying for 20 minutes, get up and go into a different room until you feel drowsy, then go back to bed.
How To Build The Perfect Bed For The Sweetest Dreams
From our dreamy survey over half of the participants said a cosy bed was one of the most important things when it comes to getting the perfect night's sleep. A comfy bed and clean sheets came out on top as the most popular things to help you have the sweetest dreams, over a great book, a warm bath or sex.
To get a good night's sleep you certainly need to start with a decent mattress that offers enough support, but also shapes itself to your body to keep you snug at night, our Pocket Sprung Hybrid Mattress is perfect for this!
On average we spend just over 2,900 hours in bed every year, so it goes without saying that your bed needs to be one of the most comfortable places in your home. With that being said, choosing the best duvet cover is a huge part of making those hours the cosiest and most relaxing they possibly can be. Choose a Feels Like Down duvet to drift off in comfort, or slip into a heavenly slumber beneath our breathable feather and down duvets - why not opt for our all-seasons duvets which are perfect for year-round comfort?
Linen sheets and beautifully crafted duvet covers will help to keep you cool in summer and snug in winter, ensuring a blissful night's sleep with the sweetest dreams. Therefore, you should invest in good-quality bed linen that you will feel the benefits of as soon as you tuck yourself in after a long day will certainly enhance your sleep routine. Plus, make sure you remember to wash bedding weekly so you’re crawling into fresh sheets for a blissful snooze.Looking for more top tips? Find expert advice and insight in our DUSK bedding guides.