There are many reasons for vivid dreams and no one knows all of them by a long shot. No one knows if an overactive imagination affects dreams nor even just an active imagination. Our dreams are affected by our daily actions as well as our emotional state at any given time, but what might cause vivid dreams?
Some Possible Causes for Vivid Dreams
Our physiology affects our dreams, sometimes in terms of content and sometimes in terms of vividness or strangeness. That means that what we eat, especially just before bedtime, can affect our dreams. My cousin swore that cheap burgundy wine caused nightmares. He met another man who had the same experience.
Drugs affect our dreams. Sleeping pills tend to suppress dreaming. Hallucinogens can create vivid dreams at lower doses. Higher doses can cause simply bizarre dreams and possibly horrifying nightmares.
Many claim that meditation causes more vivid dreams and can even enhance lucid dreaming. The more dreams an individual is able to recall, sometimes through meditation or visualizations, the more likely that individual will have more vivid dreams.
Vivid Dreams and Imagination
I am unaware of any studies on the relationship between vivid dreams and imagination, certainly not an overactive imagination. The problem with the term “overactive” is that it is pejorative. It suggests something abnormal. But Albert Einstein had this to say about the imagination: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
There may be a connection between vivid dreams and imagination. From my personal experience with dreams and dreamers I have found that those who exist more in the imaginal realms of art, music, and other creative spheres, do tend to have more vivid dreams.
Using the Imagination to Have More Vivid Dreams
While I do not believe there is any evidence for a causal connection between an overactive imagination, or even an active imagination, and vivid dreams, it may be possible to use the imagination to create more vivid dreams.
Our dreams are quite open to suggestion. It is possible to ask for a particular dream or even a particular type of dream and get a positive response from our dreaming self. One can use suggestion to program to have a vivid dream. One can use the imagination to support this suggestion by visualizing vivid scenes, either real scenes or imaginary ones.
The best way to increase the power of our imagination is to use it, exercise it like a muscle. The word itself contains the word “image,” but it also contains the word “mage.” A mage is a magician. The imagination is the realm of magic and the miraculous.
If you’re interested in having more vivid dreams, just tell yourself before you go to sleep that you are going to have a vivid dream and you will remember it in the morning. Or you may do a visualization before bed in which you practice seeing vivid and memorable scenes with your mind’s eye.
One might also engender vivid dreams by paying more attention to the vividness of your daily surroundings. How many times to you ignore a beautiful garden or a beautiful sky. We are surrounded with vivid scenes throughout the day. By becoming more aware of the daily vividness of life, we might increase the vividness of our dreams.