On to the topic. The most unanticipated and best benefit of postpartum sleep deprivation is dreaming!
Dreams, as in dreams in your sleep, come alive and to their fullest potential at this stage in your life. At least mine do... and with good reason. I have recorded my dreams for as long as I can remember. I logged them continuously for years and talked about them a lot to my family and friends. That alone will help anyone remember their dreams but another trick is constantly waking up at night. According to studies in cognitive psychology, people experiencing nocturnal awakeness are also more likely to recall their dreams. I find that to be entirely true because after feeding my newborn I fall back into a deep sleep, have an intense vivid dream, and wake up again remembering it in full detail. I repeat this cycle 2-3 times a night thanks to my newborn's nightly feedings.
Lately, all of my dreams have been unpleasantly vivid. I actually died in my dream a couple nights ago. Murdered by a paranormal psychopath. I also regularly dream about the world ending and everyone dying all around me. Over the past year and a half, I have had over a dozen zombie-style, end of the world dreams where I am one of few people left running for my life. A couple nights ago, the world ended differently and I watched a huge sinking ship of people fight for their life until they drowned. There was nothing I could do to help because I wasn't even apart of that dream, just a bystander from some unknown dimension. I was also rummaging through abandoned department stores for supplies because, once again, I was one of the last survivors. Can you tell that I watch The Walking Dead? Or is there some greater meaning? Yikes. Last night was by far one of my worst dreams ever. My husband and I were splitting up and the real devastation was felt. I felt every bit of it, like I do in all my vivid dreams. It was gut wrenching and just awful, which made waking up to our newborn extremely relieving and joyful.
So, why is it a benefit to experience all these terrible nightmares? I have always been a huge fan of learning about dreams so even if they are terrifying, I believe they help you understand yourself a little better. I psychoanalyze them by looking at patterns to find some greater lessons. I generally end up failing to understand entirely. But regardless, I hold value to my dreams and believe that some of them have deeper spiritual meanings behind them.
To all new moms out there,
May you seek solace in the eyes of your new angel.