This health video looks into your dreams and their meanings.
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Michael Walver: I was being chased by this barbarian figure down a street, and he was throwing axes at me. Jennifer Matthews: It's where the impossible becomes possible Keelin: I reached forward, and I started to dig into the face, and it broke apart as if it were made of wet clay. Jennifer Matthews: And the make-believe becomes real. Dr. Jeremy Taylor: Anybody who says, 'I don't dream' is simply confessing that they've gotten out of the habit of paying attention to this aspect of their experience. Jennifer Matthews: Adults spend at least one-quarter of their sleep time in REM, otherwise known as dream sleep. Dream researcher Jeremy Taylor says dreams are essential. Dr. Jeremy Taylor: The basic truth of the matter is that all dreams, even the nastiest nightmares, come ultimately in the service of health and wholeness. Jennifer Matthews: In dream groups like this one, people share dreams and listen to others' reflections on them. What the listeners discover can spur healing for the dreamer. Keelin learned the healing power of dreams after her father died from a heart attack when she was just 11. Keelin: Dreams became a way for me to feel that connection because I think when people that you love pass away, where else are you going to find them but in your heart and in your dreams? Jennifer Matthews: Keelin's dreams aren't the typical dreams though. They're lucid. Dr. Stephen LaBerge: Lucid dreaming just means dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming at the time. Jennifer Matthews: Stanford's Stephen Laberge has proven lucid dreaming is possible. He designed this mask to alert people when they hit the dream state. As eyes dart back and forth in REM sleep, lights are triggered to let the dreamer know, 'hey, you're dreaming'. Dreamers then direct how their dreams will end to help them work through real-life problems like depression and anxiety. Dr. Stephen LaBerge: It seems there must be a greater benefit to dreaming that can be attained by knowing what to make of it rather than just leaving it as a neglected resource. Dr. Jeremy Taylor: The generic message of every remembered dream is: Wake up; pay attention. Jennifer Matthews: But what happens if you can't remember them? Studies show people who take vitamin B have up to a 90 percent increase in dream recall. Alarm clocks can make it difficult to remember dreams, and some anti-depressants can significantly block dream sleep. SSRI's like prozac can reduce it by up to 50 percent. Most experts say, at the very least, dreams can tell us more about who we are. Dr. Stephen LaBerge: I think it's one of those areas of life that is a potential waiting to be discovered, to be cultivated in the way that if you choose to cultivate that in your dream garden, I think you will be happy with the fruits. Jennifer Matthews: Many believe the dreams we dream are a mirror into our unconscious - others say dreaming is simply poetry of the soul. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.