Dreams May Useful in Resetting Our Emotional Compass - Yoshitoshi Taiso
Dreams may not be the secret window into the frustrated desires of the unconscious that Sigmund Freud first posited in 1899, but growing evidence suggests that dreams — and, more so, sleep — are powerfully connected to the processing of human emotions.
According to new research presented last week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle, adequate sleep may underpin our ability to understand complex emotions properly in waking life. “Sleep essentially is resetting the magnetic north of your emotional compass,” says Matthew Walker, director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
REM sleep appears to not only improve our ability to identify positive emotions in others; it may also round out the sharp angles of our own emotional experiences. Walker suggests that one function of REM sleep — dreaming, in particular — is to allow the brain to sift through that day’s events, process any negative emotion attached to them, then strip it away from the memories. He likens the process to applying a “nocturnal soothing balm.” REM sleep, he says, “tries to ameliorate the sharp emotional chips and dents that life gives you along the way.
Can Dreams Improve Our Emotional Life?
adapted from Time.com, by Tiffany Sharples
Boulder, Colorado—an innovative company has taken one of life’s most unpleasant experiences (being startled awake by your alarm clock early Monday morning), and transformed it into something to actually look forward to. “The Zen Alarm Clock,” uses soothing acoustic chimes that awaken users gently and gradually, making waking up a real pleasure. Rather than an artificial recorded sound played through a speaker, the Zen Clock features an alloy chime bar similar to a wind chime. When the clock’s alarm is triggered, its chime produces a long-resonating, beautiful acoustic tone reminiscent of a temple gong. Then, as the ring tone gradually fades away, the clock remains silent until it automatically strikes again three minutes later. The frequency of the chime strikes gradually increase over ten-minutes, eventually striking every five seconds, so they are guaranteed to wake up even the heaviest sleeper. This gentle, ten-minute “progressive awakening” leaves users feeling less groggy, and even helps with dream recall.
Gentle Chime Alarm Clocks for a Progressive Awakening
Now & Zen – The Chime Alarm Clock Store
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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