There’s nothing quite like spending time in dreamland. It is the only place where you can be BFFs with Beyoncé, take unlimited boutique fitness classes for free, and ensure PSL everything is totally healthy and nutrient rich. But unfortunately, dreaming is becoming a lot more scarce, according to what one doctor is calling a “dream deprivation” epidemic.
Dream loss is silently leading to many health issues, from diabetes and obesity to depression. —Dr. Rubin Naiman
Sleep expert Rubin Naiman, PhD, wrote in a press release that dream loss is a public health hazard no one’s talking about—and it’s silently leading to many health issues, from diabetes and obesity to depression. According to a recent study, dreaming only occurs during REM sleep late in the night or early in the morning, and because beauty rest isn’t necessarily a high priority for many folks, dream frequency is taking a hit.
Aside from people not particularly caring about their bedtime, there are also a handful of factors Dr. Naiman notes can affect your sleep quality. There are the obvious problem-causers, alcohol and marijuana, in addition to others like prescription medications, light from your phone, and city lights, which can all disrupt REM sleep, Psychology Today reported. Even alarm clocks are culprits, often interrupting your dreams right when things start getting…dreamy.
To get back to dreaming (and keep your mental and physical health in check), Dr. Naiman wrote you need to focus on restoring your REM sleep. The first step? Kick those shut-eye-stealing factors out of your life. That means maintaining a low stress level, prioritizing those eight crucial hours of snooze time a night, and not giving so much power to your alarm clock.
As Dr. Naiman puts it, we’re “at least as dream-deprived as we are sleep-deprived.” So don’t waste another second, draw the shades, tuck yourself in, and save your Instagram scrolling for the morning. Queen Bey, SoulCycle, and pumpkin spice lattes are all waiting for you, after all.