Creativity Pathway #115: The Relevance of REM

This week I continue my five-part series on dreaming, its importance, and its relevance to our creative consciousness Click. Although most of us forget our dreams, we typically dream for approximately one-fifth of our sleep time. During that time, our biggest, most creative dreams come during a period of Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. Interestingly, the REM phase of sleep is also known as “paradoxical sleep” because our levels of brain activity, adrenaline, pulse rate and oxygen consumption are so similar to those levels during our waking periods.

Many dream researchers believe that, because of the unique elements in REM sleep, it could be designated as a third form of human existence. The Hindu tradition also asserts that humans have three levels of consciousness: waking, dreamless sleep and dreaming. 

Researchers have found that REM deprivation may lead to irritability, fatigue, memory loss and poor concentration. In fact, when we are sleep deprived, the REM state has been shown to force it’s way into our waking states. Perhaps this is because our bodies have a physiological need for dreaming. Perhaps, especially if we have limited our waking consciousness to concentrated states of planning, logic and analysis it is in the night that we nourish our soul’s hunger to create.

In The Dream and the Underworld, James Hillman tells us that, “a dream tells you where you are, not what to do; or by placing you where you are, it tells you what you are doing.” This alludes to the importance of “being with” a dream, rather than analyzing a dream. Shifting from the intention to interpret, identify, hypothesize, figure out and understand TO the intention to nourish, explore, imagine, appreciate and connect with our dreams.

Coaching Challenge: In what ways can you delight in your dreams this week? How might you consciously explore the creativity of your unconscious? Embrace the possibilities for enriching your dreams by exploring them with paint, dance, mime, song or sculpture.

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Creativity Coaching Programs and to arrange for a complementary Creativity coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Erika.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Erika Jackson (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH  •   U.S.A.

Telephone: 614-565-9953 • Fax: 208-977-7793
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