Awareness campaign

World Dream Day: having sweet dreams is now easier

Dreams have always been the most fascinating and mysterious part of our nights. Over the years, this phenomenon has not only caught the attention of scientists and researchers, but it has also led to the creation of an annual celebration: World Dream Day, held every year on 25 September. 

Good or bad, abstract, or surreal, recurring or fleeting, dreams are to be considered a primary element of sleep quality and synonymous with our psychophysical well-being. The latter are, according to several studies1, unconscious indicators of our quality of sleep at night. During the night, our mind experiences dreams in the REM phase, characterised by rapid eye movements that follow the images produced by the mind. The REM phase is essential for maintaining an efficient nervous system because it activates the connections between neurons, improving memory and cognitive activity. This phase is only useful if alternating with the non-REM phase – the dreamless deep sleep during which the nervous system resets. Old age, poor lifestyle, daily stress, and an excessive caffeine intake prevent the physiological alternation of the two phases. Even dreaming becomes difficult and fragmentary, which is why dreams are an indicator of regular and regenerative rest. The falling asleep phase is not only determined by exogenous factors, but also favoured by the nervous system's production of melatonin – a hormone that is activated in the body when the sun goes down. When we are tense or stressed, or as we get older, the levels of melatonin in our blood tend to drop. It becomes difficult to relax and to drift off into a restorative sleep, our eyes are often open well before dawn and we can’t remember our dreams. 

In these situations, it is important to act and modify our daytime and night-time habits to support the organism and the production of melatonin; certain behaviours can facilitate sleep, improve its quality and help prevent the onset of disorders. The main habits include waking up at the same time every day, avoiding exposure to bright light and blue light before bedtime, exercising regularly and away from bedtime, eating meals regularly and not going to bed hungry. 
Getting enough quality rest is essential for good health. Sleep is key to be able to cope with our days, carry out activities and make decisions. That’s why it is essential to treat it with utmost respect, reserving an adequate number of hours to sleeping to take full advantage of its benefits. 

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