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Dreams are windows into the bizarre world of our subconscious. Of course, it is beyond our control, but choosing what to dream about may not be confined to movies like Inception. In fact, scientists are testing ways to make yourself dream, called dream incubation. How does dream incubation work? Can you actually make yourself dream about something? Let’s explore!
You can think of dream incubation as planting the seeds of a dream. Over time, focusing on a specific thought before you sleep will make it the subject of your dream. This technique can be used to solve problems as well. Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist, specializing in dreams, asked 76 participants to focus on a problem before going to bed for a week. She found that almost half of them dreamt of a solution to the problem. Answers that come in dreams have helped scientific discoveries as well. The story goes that the famous chemist Dmitri Mendeleev came to his breakthrough with the table of elements in a dream. He recounts that the answer was just beyond reach in his brain until “all the elements fell into place” in a dream. He woke up and immediately noted it all down, giving us the basis for the periodic table we know today. So, if you have problems bugging you, “sleeping on it” may be the solution.
How can I make myself dream?
You should try dream incubation if you want to find solutions to problems using the “unseen” parts of your mind, increase your creativity, or simply have fun adventures while you sleep. The methods for dream incubation are relatively simple. You need to focus on a specific subject to dream about and spend a few minutes thinking about it before sleeping. Repeating a particular thought out loud might also help. After waking up, immediately note down everything you remember. Do not force or stress yourself over it and let your dream come naturally. Even if you don’t remember anything, try following the emotions you have at that moment. Many times, those emotions may help you remember what you dreamt about. When writing your dream down, try to give as much detail as possible. Be patient. Gaining control of your dreams requires a lot of practice, but the benefits are definitely worth it.
Dreams have provided many great scientists and artists—Salvador Dalí leading the list—with inspiration and ideas. Although the concept seems magical, science says it is possible to make yourself dream about what you want. To do that, practice plays a critical role, and this is where keeping a dream journal comes in handy. Writing your dreams with the help of Dreambook, our online dream journal app, can help you achieve your dreams’ control. You can use Dreambook to save, track and analyze your dreams without restrictions. So remember to stay persistent and patient and have fun exploring your subconscious.