[kml_flashembed movie=”http://ianwallacedreams.com/wp-content/uploads/flash/midnight-sea.swf” height=”180″ width=”240″ /]The BBC reports some findings that have been documented by Dr Robert Stickgold of Harvard Medical School and Dr Erin Wamsley in the academic journal Cell Biology.

‘They found people who dream about a new task perform it better on waking than those who do not sleep or do not dream. Volunteers were asked to learn the layout of a 3D computer maze so they could find their way within the virtual space several hours later. Those allowed to take a nap and who also remembered dreaming of the task, found their way to a landmark quicker. The researchers think the dreams are a sign that unconscious parts of the brain are working hard to process information about the task.’

Even though these researchers may now be confirming this experimentally, this is a phenomenon that I have witnessed again and again during the analysis of over 100,000 dreams.  Before Stickgold and Walmsley did their study, I wrote about dreams and learning in Songs of the Seahorses in my e-book ‘How To Dream‘.

Dr Erin Wamsley goes on to say that the study suggests our unconscious brain is gathering and encountering tremendous amounts of information and new experiences every day. Although she observes that ‘It would seem that our dreams are asking the question, “How do I use this information to inform my life?”‘, our unconscious self is not just looking to process information like a computer working through a stack of raw data.

We dream to remember who we really are and to understand who we can become. We dream to reconnect with all the talents and ideas that we possess but that we tend to neglect and ignore. We dream to play around with our potential futures and possibilities. Our dreams collect and connect all the remembered fragments of what we have experienced and what we hope to experience, and weave all those memories and hopes into a meaningful story.