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What would happen if we suddenly stopped dreaming?

| | April 3, 2018
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Rowan Hooper, the managing editor at New Scientist, reports that chronic dream deprivation is damaging our waking hours in numerous ways.

This trend is wreaking havoc on our immune and metabolic systems, leading to a variety of diseases and obesity. Forget about focus: the devices that keep us up late at night are ruining our sleep patterns, which has long-term consequences on our memory system.

We might think this is just a sleep problem, but dreaming is inseparable from our nighttime sojourn through the darkness. Dream problems and sleep problems go hand in hand.

Memory consolidation is a critical reason for dreaming at all. The combination of sleeping and dreaming acts as an emotional stabilizer. We’re able to integrate the day’s events in a place where, physically speaking, we’re vulnerable—our ancestors didn’t have locks on their doors. Incredibly, we heal from emotional trauma more quickly when we sleep, and dream, properly.

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Except we’re not getting enough sleep to cycle through the stages to take advantage of this circadian anti-depressant. Instead, we get depressed and turn to substances like alcohol and pharmaceuticals to nod off. This only makes things worse.

As with finding the motivation to hit the gym, we need to motivate ourselves to get to bed earlier, without screens or other technological stimulation right before trying to slip into sleep.

Read full, original post: The serious health consequences of not dreaming

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