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Dreams Often Have Meaning. Here's How To Interpret Them.

Updated: Feb 17

Dreams can be like movies based on your memories from long ago — or last week.

DrLullaby's founder, Lisa Medalie, PsyD, DBSM contributes to this HuffPost article, explaining how emotions play an effect in your dreams and how to better ourselves by learning what our emotions in our dreams reflect in our normal life.


Your experiences and emotions drive your dreams.


Most dreams have some kind of emotion in them, which usually comes from real emotions you’ve experienced, said Lisa Medalie, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist at the University of Chicago.


“Many of my patients will explain that, in times of stress, they experience more anxiety-provoking dreams,” Medalie said. “Based on my clinical experience, it seems that daytime emotions play some role in the emotional undertone of dreams.”


Dreams show the possibilities, not the answer.

“Many people’s dreams evoke emotions that they struggle with during the day,” Medalie said.


You can learn from your dreams by paying close attention to the emotions you feel when you wake up from them, she added.


“Knowing that dreams are a reflection of our waking life, I suspect our dreams can then inform us of the emotions we are not yet well managing or tapping into during the day,” Medalie said. “We can then think of how we can address our emotional struggle more directly from there.”


If you wake up feeling anxious from your dreams and exercise helps to reduce your anxiety then maybe the takeaway is that you need to exercise more, Medalie said.