We all see dreams. Sometimes our dreams can be comforting and cozy scenes to spend night at, and sometimes they can take us to some really horrible and terrifying places. Most of us would think that there can not be an element of control, except just a small part: some studies have shown that our dreams are usually reflecting the events that we lived through the day. However, today’s scientists are convinced that we actually can control and rule our dreams. Moreover, it was recently discovered that it is possible to use the environment of our dreamworld for training our personality and developing very important skills like decision making, being more resistive to negative effects of stresses, as well as numerous other cognitive skills.
Very often, when our sleep enters the phase of lucid dreaming, we find ourselves being still technically asleep but already very close to actually being awake. That is the time when we are very close to controlling our dreams, and those who can actually be in command of their dreams have quite a lot of advantages. As the studies in Bonn University have shown, being able to manipulate and control own dreams makes a dreamer wake up with a very clear mind and with a slight feeling of euphoria.
Besides, a group of scientists at Yale University led by Dr. Peter Morgan, found out that those people who can take control over their dreams have better function of the brain’s ventromedial prefrontal cortex: in particular, such people have shown much better performance in such activities as playing card games or gambling. This way, a group of Dr Morgan can to the conclusions that using controlled lucid dreaming as a therapy can assist greatly every person in developing better cognitive skills, improve own social control, master more effective decision making skills, and so on.
Other benefits that those who can control their lucid dreams can take advantage from include less risks of developing mental problems and psychological disorders like inability to focus, a lack of social skills, behavioral problems, and many others. Those are the findings of a group of Austrian psychologists led by Georg Gittler and Evelyn Doll, which were published in International Journal of Dream Research in October, 2009. According to Doll, those individuals who have the abilities to control their dreams usually have a more realistic self-esteem, tend to act with more of self-confidence and generally have greater satisfaction with life.
Sleep disorders can be considered a group of professional diseases of modern police officers. According to the findings of experts from the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, up to 40 per cent of today’s police officers in the United States and Canada suffer from chronic sleep disorders like chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, and many more. In addition to that, the cops who displayed the signs of mentioned sleep disorders also suffered from such psychological problems as depression, anxiety disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and so on. As a result, they were more prone to making constant professional errors and showing incompetence in one or another issue related to fulfilling various administrative tasks.
In the report about the study published two months ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Michael Grandner, one of the study leaders, says that the discovered phenomena can be explained by constant social pressure and too stressful environment that modern cops have to work in. Also, it is quite common for today’s police officers to support their image of ‘tough guys’ and always behave with courage and braveness, that’s what can cause sleep disorders, chronic insomnia and related health problems. Dr. Michael Grandner underlines that the mentioned problem can soon grow into a great public concern as it would play a role in jeopardizing public safety. This is why every each police department should do everything possible to assist the officers in treating their sleep disorders.
The study involved analyzing health condition, specifically psychological health and sleep problems, of over 5,000 police officers aged 38-39, from such regions as Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and some regions of Canada. According to the published information, about 40 per cent of the participants have shown positive results as to at least one of the most common sleep disorders. At that, regular observation and working with questionnaires demonstrated that up to 60 per cent of those who were suffering from sleep apnea or chronic insomnia were regularly displaying fatigue-related errors like falling asleep while driving, and so on.
At that, the scientists noticed that police officers from Massachusetts had relatively low incidence of sleep disorders like sleep apnea. It turned out that those police officers had one hour exercise time (paid) for every shift. Besides, it was a common practice to undergo special fitness tests, including such exercises like chasing a suspect, dragging a body, and so on, and the results of such tests were taken into account when determining the amount of financial bonus for the job. Experts point on such program as a very effective model for all national police departments.