It’s time to get your mind out of the gutter. You need to wake up!
You are not alone in this struggle with insomnia. Millions of us suffer from chronic sleeplessness or sleep deprivation, and millions more have tried everything they could think of to fall asleep but nothing seems to work.
Sleep is one of life’s most precious gifts, and yet so often we waste it. Sleep deprivation leads to many negative consequences: obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes…the list goes on.
If you’ve ever wondered why you feel tired after only a short nap or how long it takes you to fall asleep each night, now is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this topic.
The good news is that there are several natural substances that can help you fall asleep faster. These include melatonin, caffeine, alcohol and even chocolate!
But what about those drugs? What happens when these substances interfere with the effects of sleep? How do they affect your ability to dream? And perhaps most importantly: Do they really work?
These questions will be answered in this article. Together we will look at six substances that can help you fall asleep faster, but first, let’s take a look at one of the most popular: alcohol!
Alcohol is known for causing sleep problems, but what about its effects on dreams?
In this article we will discuss how drinking alcohol can affect your dreams. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to affect dream intensity or dream memory. Let’s get started!
Alcohol is a psychoactive drug most commonly found in beer, wine and spirits. It is legal for adults in most parts of the world, but using it has great risks: drinking too much alcohol can lead to addiction and major health problems.
Many people use it as a sleep aid to help them fall asleep, but does it really help you enter the dream state?
Research has shown that alcohol does not appear to affect the intensity or clarity of dreams, but it can certainly affect how long you spend in the dreaming state. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down various functions of the body, such as your heart rate and breathing. It is well-known that drinking alcohol shortly before bedtime can lead to difficulty falling asleep and decrease the amount of time you spend in REM sleep.
Although alcohol does not appear to affect the intensity of your dreams, it can very well affect dream recall. In other words: although you might spend the same amount of time dreaming while under the influence, you are less likely to remember those dreams.
One theory states that the brain will tend to forget dreams that don’t make sense or are hard to remember, making dream recall difficult.
The next time you go out drinking with friends, pay attention to how long you spend in the dreaming state. You may find that you don’t dream for very long after all!
A cup of coffee first thing in the morning and a soft drink during lunch breaks… It’s no secret that caffeine is everywhere! This common stimulant can be found in tea, coffee, energy drinks, chocolate and even pills.
While it might help you feel more awake when studying or working, what happens when it comes to your dreams? Will it help you dream more or will you suffer from sleep paralysis?
Let’s find out!
Research suggests that a moderate amount of caffeine has little effect on your dreams. Having a cup of coffee or tea right before bedtime is unlikely to change the nature of your dreams.
As for large amounts, or consistent abuse, that’s when things get interesting…
It appears that drinking several cups of coffee or cans of soda every day can lead to sleep disruptions, including nightmares and sleep paralysis. This is due to caffeine’s effects on the central nervous system.
Although caffeine can initially act as a stimulant by increasing your heart rate and breathing, it is likely to have the opposite effect when used on a regular basis.
During the day, your brain releases stimulants (such as dopamine and glutamate) that excite the different regions of your brain. However, at night, your brain stops releasing these chemicals in order for you to sleep.
Caffeine, a common endogenous stimulant, blocks the effects of these natural brain chemicals. While this has little effect when you have it in your morning coffee or during the day, at night it prevents your brain from slowing down and producing the chemicals necessary to encourage sleep.
The more you drink, the more your brain will produce these excitatory neurons.
Unfortunately, sleep paralysis is a common result of drinking too much caffeine during the day. During deep sleep, your brain paralyzes your body in order to prevent you from acting out your dreams.
If your brain is over-excited due to large amounts of stimulants, the paralysis might take longer to set in and last longer than usual when you inevitably begin dreaming. This can cause you to be conscious but paralyzed– leading to terrifying nightmares with no way of escaping!
Does it cause lucid dreaming?
While heavy caffeine use might lead to sleep paralysis, it’s unlikely to cause lucid dreams. Caffeine increases the activity of the brain and nervous system without putting more sleep. When you fall asleep, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that helps initiate the sleep state. Without it, you’ll have a very difficult time getting any meaningful rest. In addition, your brain needs time to slow down when sleeping in order to experience dreams.
Caffeine’s ability to excite the brain and nervous system will prevent sleep and dreams from occurring. While it may cause vivid nightmares, it won’t help you control them.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker or have several energy drinks every day, you might want to think about cutting down. Not only is it hard on your body, it can severely affect your sleeping habits and abilities.
Plus, you probably won’t be able to experience lucid dreams!
Sources & references used in this article:
Lucid Dreaming, Waking Life: Unlocking the Power of Your Sleep by E Riley – 2020 – books.google.com
Haptic Space, Oneiric Theory and Surrealistic aspects in the cinema of David Lynch by J Long – 1998 – Storey Publishing
365 Ways to Develop Your Psychic Ability: Simple Tools to Increase Your Intuition & Clairvoyance by AD Zwaaneveld – 2013 – dspace.library.uu.nl
Foucault and the Strategies of Resistance in the New Journalism of Capote, Wolfe, and Kovic by A Chauran – 2015 – books.google.com
A Sangoma’s Story-The Calling of Elliot Ndlovu by LE Kiely – 2008 – fsu.digital.flvc.org
Again the Three Just Men by M Reeder – 2012 – books.google.com
Filter by Month by E Wallace – 2014 – books.google.com