The benefits of daydreaming
Our story Dream On…,in the summer issue of Best Health, explained why daydreaming is actually good for us. Here are more reasons why letting your mind drift can help you be healthier
Help to solve problems
A University of British Columbia study found that when we daydream, brain areas linked to complex problem solving—once thought to be dormant during daydreaming—are actually more active than when we focus on a routine task.
Daydreams for better sleep
Understanding your daydreams can help you fall asleep at night. “People daydream very elaborately before they go to sleep,” according to Professor Emeritus Jerome Singer from Yale University, a pioneer researcher on the topic. “There’s a continuity between daydreams and night dreams.”
If you have problems falling asleep, it may be that when you’re trying to sleep, your daydreams are too structured—maybe you’re thinking about work, or planning something detailed, or trying to solve a problem. Instead, set aside time before you go to bed to think through these issues. When you want to fall asleep, let your daydreams become fanciful, free, strange and wild. Soon you’ll be swept out of conscious control and into the land of sleep.
For a healthy mind
Daydreaming is part of a healthy mind—studies show people with autism or Alzheimer’s disease have problems with daydreaming.
Here’s what some of us at BH daydream about…
I wonder what kind of men my three sons will be. I picture them as adults who are smart, kind and funny—and, obviously, they still adore their mother. —Jennifer Walker, Senior Content Editor
Fast-forward to me at age 62, cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs at their Stanley Cup parade. —Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief
I’m sitting with feet up in our future cabana, birds chirping, breeze wafting in, dogs sleeping peacefully (Daydream #2) at my feet. —Ruth Hanley, Copy Chief
I’m strolling along a beach on a hot day, cool waves lapping over my toes.
—Margaret Nearing, Senior Editor
I day dream about vacationing in Italy, revisiting Florence, Rome, Portofino...the daydream takes me to Capri, where I’ve never been, but fantasize about. —Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor
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