Dreams are creative: Finding answers to problems in your sleep

Do you have challenges to overcome? Do you need solutions and strategies? Maybe you need a business idea or an answer to a family situation?

In this article we will explore how creative ideas can come through our night dreams. Maybe the answer you need is just a sleep away!

Read on to find out more!

Scientific breakthroughs in dreams

Did you know that the lockstitch sewing machine was invented because of a dream? This may surprise you – but actually there are plenty more examples of this type of thing happening.

Psychologists acknowledge that ideas can come through dreams.  Here are a few examples from my search on the subject, to wet your appetite:

In ‘13 incredible things that were invented in dreams‘ at shortlist.com, Dave Fawbert describes some amazing scientific breakthroughs and inventions that came through dreams.  For example:

  • Einstein’s Theory of relativity
  • The structure of the benzene ring

If you prefer a video, here is a short Youtube video with some scientific discoveries inspired through dreams:

Creative ideas in Dreams

In ‘8 Famous Ideas That Came From Dreams (Literally)‘ at huffingtonpost.co.uk, Carolyn Gregoire lists some creative examples from the entertainment world, such as the following:

  • Christopher Nolan’s film: Inception
  • The Beatles’ song: Yesterday

My personal favourite example, given that my son has type 1 diabetes, is that Frederick G Banting discovered the full connection between insulin and diabetes through a dream – and won a Nobel Prize for it.  ‘Frederick G Banting – Insulin and Nobel prize‘ by Lisa Shea at lisashea.com

These articles make fascinating reading!  You could also do your own search, as mine resulted in many other articles that I didn’t have room to include here.

Current examples

In addition to the historical examples, I love looking out for similar stories in the current media, and I regularly spot them.

The latest one I saw was this: I have recently been enjoying The Chosen TV series about the life of Jesus, and I was interested to see that one of the team was given a creative solution to a technical problem during the night.  You can hear the story in this video:

Are dreams more than our subconscious?

It is generally acknowledged, in the scientific world and in the creative arts, that dreams can be helpful, and that creative ideas can come through dreams.

However, I suggest that we can take it one step further.  I believe that many of our dreams come from God; or at least from the spiritual world.

I explored this idea in ‘Everybody Dreams: Could they be messages from Heaven?

Could these creative ideas come from God?

The first time we meet God in the bible, it is in the guise of being our Creator in Genesis chapter one.  This is His introductory personal statement to the human race!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Therefore, if the bible tells us that God is inherently creative in nature, then it makes sense to me that good creative ideas and solutions to problems come from Him – even if they are subsequently picked up by our subconscious mind as we sleep.

Overcoming mental blocks

I like to give credit where credit is due. 

Most of the good ideas and helpful realisations that I have had, did not come from me.  I know they didn’t – because I know I’m not that clever!  In fact, they often involved a major shift in thinking that surprised me.  And so I give due honour and thanks to God for His help.

It’s not just me though; I have friends who tell me it’s normal for them to dream of solutions to problems they are facing.

In general I am more of a left-brain logical person than a right-brain creative person (see working around a Greek mindset to understand dreams).  I often struggle to think outside the box and overcome my mental blocks.  So for me, having an external source (God) who helps me by giving me new ideas is a lifesaver!

Let’s just enjoy the creativity!

The wonderful thing is that God doesn’t look for recognition:  He helps us through dreams, whether we acknowledge that it was Him, or just congratulate ourselves on ‘our genius’.  It doesn’t matter. He is just there to help us anyway – and works through us to improve our world.  God is kind in that way.

As I look around the world, at the amazing scientific advancements, inventions, music, art, medicine, literature, business ideas, films, architecture, engineering, design, etc. I can’t help but be thankful – and believe that God is indeed inspiring people continually, whether through dreams or just by what is placed in their hearts.

However, you don’t have to agree with me in this in order to appreciate the value of dreams.  For now, we can just agree that good ideas can come in dreams.

How can dreams help me?

We may not all be called to make world-changing discoveries or become famous artists. However we do all have daily lives to lead, and people we influence in one way or another.

We all have problems to overcome,  and situations where we need creative ideas and strategies.  It could be a business idea that we need, or a solution to a problem at work. It could be finding the answer to a family situation, or knowing how to best deal with a challenging child. It could be how to help a friend, or improve our community in some way.

Life contains an endless stream of situations where we need to be creative in order to thrive and succeed. Sometimes we just need a way out of our own negative thoughts and feelings.

This is where dreams come in. They are powerful because we have them nightly. If we listen to them regularly, they don’t have to be a big deal; we can find the answers that we need at the very moment we need them, and without too much fuss.

Real dream example

I have recently written about how I have been sharing my blog articles on Pinterest. At the time of writing this is a new venture for me. I only did it in the first place because of a dream I had (see the dream example in Puns and Wordplay in Dreams).

After I had been doing Pinterest for a few weeks (without much success) I had the following dream:

Dream: Seeing a moving video

In the night I dreamt that I looked at my bedroom mirror. It was a rectangular shape, and the whole of the surface was moving like a video.

I could see a picture of my feet superimposed on the video, like an image in the foreground.

Explaining the symbolism

As I wondered about this, it suddenly dawned on me that this was about Pinterest, which I had just started using for sharing my blog posts. I had been making lots of graphic images to use on there.

Pinterest posts are usually in a rectangular format – just like my mirror. I realised that God was giving me the idea to use a video background rather than a static image – and showing me that I could place some sort of text design in the foreground.

My feet being in the picture suggested that this was something I should ‘walk out’. In other words, a strategy for me to follow.

I have a design app which I can use to make this type of Pin easily, so I made the following:

This Pin took off! Up until then I only had a few views, but that video Pin had thousands of view and saves. It’s totally out of proportion to all my other ones. Subsequently I have made some more like that, and now all my top-ranking Pins are video Pins.

I would never have thought of doing that myself!  With this writing and blogging venture, God is guiding me and giving me creative ideas through my dreams every day.

I make sure I always write my dreams down and think about them –  I don’t want to miss any good strategies!

Conclusion

I don’t claim to have received a world-changing invention or a creative masterpiece, but I do find that the answers I need in life frequently come through my dreams. They contain ideas I hadn’t thought of and reveal new ways of looking at situations. They seem to come from outside of myself.

Sometimes I struggle to think outside the box. So for me, having this night time help is a lifesaver.

Can you afford to be without that kind of help in your own life?

Why not start writing your dreams down now? You might find that there are wonderful ideas and solutions to your problems contained in them. Don’t miss them!

Concluding with the subject of creation and creativity, I leave you with this worship song and beautiful lyric video:

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