Sleep Journal and Reflection Project

Subject: Mental Health
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1305
Topics: Stress, Emotions

Physical and psychological health is linked to the nature of dreams encountered by an individual and has enormous consequences for the well-being. Dreams are successions of ideas, images, sensations and emotions that typically occur involuntarily in one’s mind during certain phases of sleep (Wallace, 2014). While many psychologists may disagree with the contemporary state of dream interpretation, individuals may still consult dream experts to find out the meaning of various dreams. I believe there is concealed meaning to many dreams that many of my friends and I have encountered. According to Towers (2017), unlocking the concealed meaning of one’s dreams is significant because it can positively change one’s life. Although many of the dreams encountered may not be remembered after waking up, some of the details encountered during the dream can be useful for working out the real meaning of the dreams (Wang & Zhao, 2013). 

The dream journal that I kept had approximately ten days. During the second day, the seventh day and day nine, I could not recall the details of my dreams. During day one I imagined flying. Later in my dream, I began to fall but had a safe landing after a friend supported me. In day five and day ten I dreamt taking up an exam test. The exam taken during day five was friendly and easy to handle. The exam that I took during day ten was stressful and made me uncomfortable while handling almost all the parts. The nature of the test made me wake up worried at around 2 am. After regaining sleep at around 3:30 am, I slept comfortably and could not recall another dream that night. On day three I imagined having met a famous person who at some point appeared to be a celebrity and sometimes seemed to be a successful business leader. Although I was very enthusiastic after meeting the famous person, I was in a hurry to attend a function which I was to present my research findings in a group discussion. During day six, I had a brief dream where I was trapped in a building. I could not tell where the exit was situated. I had to wake up briefly but later regained my sleep. The details of the other dreams that I encountered could not be recalled clearly by the time I was waking up. During the eighth day, I dreamed of enjoying a meal with my friend and later found myself in a family discussion where I was selected to represent the family in an unidentified high leadership position.  

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From the dreams that I encountered, it is evidenced there is the real connection between my psychological and physical health. Individuals suffering from stress, depression as well as physical health issues report recurring dreams than average (Towers, 2017). The physical health is thus highly interconnected with psychological health and may not be separated. The reason is that I made a comparison between the dreams that I had and the experiences that I had encountered during the day as well as the physical health status and found that there was a clear relationship. Anxiety affects thoughts and may also affect the subconscious mind (Wallace, 2014). The dreams are influenced by the thoughts experienced during the day and may create further vivid and unbelievable dreams that are either anxiety related or cheerful. Therefore, there is a pattern and correlation between the physical health and psychological experiences that take place later during the dreams (Towers, 2017). For instance, during day five and day ten, I dreamt taking up my test. During the day five, I spend most of the time in the library studying and was very tired and stressed because I wanted to cover a lot of content. Correspondingly, during day ten, I was under pressure to finish the assignment. I overworked myself until I was fatigued and was very tired by the time I went to sleep. Consequently, there is the direct connection between body health and psychological health of an individual (Wang & Zhao, 2013). Similarly, during day eight, I recall having taken the best meal during the day, taken enough water and fruits. I also relaxed with my friends and had healthy discussion regarding our future careers. Essentially, mentally fatiguing assignments may cause individuals to reach exhaustion rapidly and hence negative psychological effects that may be manifested through dreams (Towers, 2017). Though the dreams were not directly correlated with the physical experiences that took place during the day, the pattern of events that happened during the day and later in the dreams was synonymous. 

Fatigue, diet, stress, and exercise had an enormous effect on my dreams and sleep patterns (Wallace, 2014). Although stress and fatigue are can help to keep individuals alert and energetic, they can cause anxiety and tension thus causing sleeping problems. On the other hand, exercise and effective diet are useful in blowing off steam and reducing stress. Additionally, loose and flexible muscles are less likely to be painful and tight as a result of stress. Frightening dreams are more common to people with mental health, stress, depression, and fatigue (Wang & Zhao, 2013). There is the valid connection between the stress, feeding habits and the nature of dreams that an individual can encounter. For instance, I found a connection between the dreams that I encountered during the night and the nature of the activities and experiences I encountered during the day. Although the link between mental health and dreams is still a complicated phenomenon, links between stress, depression, fatigue, and dreams are well documented (Wallace, 2014). Negative psychological effects may be manifested through dreams as a result of fatigue, diet, and stress taken during the day or in recent days. However, it is advisable to have exercises at least two hours before one retires to bed so that the body temperature can return to normal. Likewise, a healthy diet, especially which has low in sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, may promote health as well as reduce stress. Lack of sufficient energy and a feeling exhausted is associated with diminished physical or cognitive functioning (Towers, 2017). Fatigue, sleepiness, and dreams that are encountered frequently coexist and are as a result of sleep deprivation.

In future, the experiences that I have encountered as well as those that I have learned in this course and research will have a huge impact on my psychological and physical health. I have already established a connection between diet, physical and psychological health (Towers, 2017). Consequently, I will ensure that I have taken healthy food as recommended quality food to ensure that I will remain healthy. Health life will stabilize my psychological and mental health and thus may be able to regulate the dreams that I would encounter. Besides, I will ensure that I have exercised adequately and consulted the specialist on the best exercise, practices, and schedules to ensure that I have remained healthy. The reason is that there is a connection between exercise and psychological experiences manifested through dreams because exercise reduces stress. Because there is a connection between fatigue, stress, depression and the dreams as well as the sleeping patterns, I will devise ways of overcoming or preventing fatigue, stress, depression (Wallace, 2014). The reason is that it has been established that frightening dreams are more common to people with mental health, stress, depression, and fatigue.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Towers, J. (2017). The little book of dream symbols: The essential guide to over 700 of the most common dreams. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads. 
  2. Wallace, I. (2014). The complete A to Z dictionary of dreams: Over 12,000 definitions: be your own dream expert. Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications, Inc. 
  3. Wang, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2013). Seeking the common dreams between the worlds: Stories of Chinese immigrant faculty in North American higher education. Charlotte, NC: IAP, Information Age Publishing, Inc.
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