Tag Archives: Joyful Dreams

Grateful Dreamers Sleep Better

Saying thank you for a good night’s sleep

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird (Eulampis ju...
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According to researchers in a 2009 study conducted at the School of Psychology in Manchester, England, daytime personality traits such as neuroticism, anxiety, anger, and stress, negatively impact one’s quality of sleep. Conversely, positive personality traits, like expression of gratitude, can improve the quality of sleep.

People who fall asleep focusing on gratitude, the study says, sleep better and longer, and have a more positive outlook in the morning.

What do you have to lose? Go to sleep thankful.

Ten Wonderful Things

In my book Joy in Every Moment I suggest a variety of a simple gratitude practices. This is my favorite bedtime gratitude practice:

  • As you fall asleep think of 10 Wonderful Things about the day that just passed.
  • Be sure to look for small wonderful details, in addition to the big ticket items. You can feel just as grateful for the sight of a hummingbird hovering above the bird feeder outside your window as you can about getting a promotion at work.
  • As you think of each Wonderful Thing, re-experience it in your imagination, calling to mind all of the sensory details of the experience (taste, smell, sounds, texture, visual details, etc.)
  • Hold each experience in your mind for the length of several gentle, relaxed breaths.
  • Feel your heart fill with gratitude as you recall each of these wonderful moments.

From now on, rather than counting sheep, use this practice to count your blessings as you drift into sleep.

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Learn to improve your sleep and learn from your dreams. Contact me for a dream consultation.

Citation:
Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. Wood AM, Joseph S, Lloyd J, Atkins S. School of Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, UK. 2009. alex.wood@manchester.ac.uk; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19073292

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Joyful Dreaming (CV)

In 1902, in England, Hugh Calloway (aka Oliver Fox) discovered lucid dreaming*. This is a form of dreaming many discover spontaneously on their own, and others read about, study, practice and perfect it. Lucid dreaming is the hybrid dream state in which one is conscious he or she is dreaming, and so has the combined benefits of the malleable dreamscape and the ability to exercise volition to explore the dream as s/he wishes. Fox was 16 when he stumbled into lucid territory. I was about the same age when I first discovered lucid dreaming, too. Calloway, A student of science and electrical engineering, reported that the quality of his dream changed once he became lucid. According to his report:

“Instantly the vividness of life increased a hundred-fold. Never had sea and sky and trees shone with such glamorous beauty; even the commonplace houses seemed alive and mystically beautiful. Never had I felt so absolutely well, so clear-brained, so inexpressively free! The sensation was exquisite beyond words; but it lasted only a few minutes and I awoke.”*

*excerpted and adapted from “Our Dreaming Mind” by Robert Van De Castle

Cover of

Cover of Our Dreaming Mind

In ordinary dreaming people describe anxiety and fear among the most common emotions experienced. But in lucid dreams, one often achieves states of bliss, joy, and delight seemingly unattainable in wake life.

Just the other night (11/18/11), I became lucid in a dream. A dream guide led me to a section of ground that was spongy and textured. I lay down on that ground and felt utter delight and playfulness as I rocked back and forth experiencing pure fun and pleasure.

The guide I met in the dream had been sent to help me with some problem or other. As I was playing in the dreamscape he said apologetically, “Sorry, Tzivia, that’s all I can do for you.” I laughed in response. Whatever help I might have thought of asking of him: Help with money, love, or work … no longer mattered. “This is enough!” I replied.

Awake I realize how much help this dream guide truly did bestow on me. So often I (and perhaps you, too) focus on all the problems that need to be solved in my life. The dream was a reminder that in the midst of our difficulties we can drop down and play, delight, experience joy, focus on happiness.

When joy is all the world can give — it is certainly enough.

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Joyful Thanksgiving Day Bubbles 2011

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