Skip navigation
D. Dream On

Narrator: Your dreams can be a key to self-awareness. This is Science Today. Psychologist Virginia Tonay of the University of California, Santa Cruz says that our dreams are more than midnight entertainment -- we can use them for a very specific purpose:

Tonay: To get more of an awareness about who we are. And I think that that's important not just because it's part of the personal growth movement or anything like that, but because if we know who we are we tend to treat other people better. So if we know how much of what's going on between us and others is really us, and how much is really them, then we tend to have more integrity in our interactions, we tend to project less, we tend to have fewer conflicts. Also, we tend to be happier knowing who we are. We tend to be more satisfied with ourselves and to construct a life for ourselves that more closely matches who we really are.

Narrator: Tonay suggests keeping a dream journal, which over time will reveal important patterns.

Tonay: Studies that have been done on people over time show that people tend to have the same themes come up again and again in their dreams, and those themes relate to what's going on in their life again and again in the same kinds of patterns.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.