The idea of dream control is fascinating, the stuff of science fiction movies. But it turns out dream control isn’t such a farfetched concept after all. Modern brain imaging technology has taught us more about how different parts of the brain are activated during dreaming.
Certain parts of the brain are more active during REM sleep cycles:
Visual cortex controls visual experiences
Motor cortex controls motion and movement
Other areas are less active:
Prefrontal cortex responsible for logical, rational thought and reasoning, impulse control
This may explain the vivid, visual nature of dreams and the ability of some people to “dream up” creative solutions to problems in their sleep, while the logical thinking part is napping.
How to solve a problem in your sleep
Directly before you go to bed, think of the problem.
Write it down.
If possible, have an item or collection of items that you connect with the problem. If you’re having financial troubles, some bills or coins. For a personality conflict, a photo of the person you’d like to get on better with.
Keep a pen and paper beside your bed too.
When you wake up, write down what you can remember of your dream immediately.
Keep up this practice for 2 weeks, and see how many problems you can solve!
One study found that within just one week, half the participants dreamed of their chosen problem and a quarter dreamed of a solution.