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Why You Dream: What Your Sleeping Brain Reveals About Your Waking Life with Brain Surgeon Dr Rahul Jandial

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  June 5, 2024

Have you ever woken up from a vivid dream and wondered about its meaning? Or perhaps questioned the purpose of dreaming altogether? It’s certainly a fascinating topic and one which I have never covered before on my podcast.

This week, I’m delighted to welcome back Dr Rahul Jandial, a dual-trained neurosurgeon and neurobiologist. He is an expert in brain health, a world-renowned brain surgeon who routinely undertakes complex cancer operations and he’s also the author of the brand-new book, ‘This is Why You Dream: What Your Sleeping Brain Reveals About Your Waking Life’. 

During our conversation, Rahul explains his belief, that we sleep, in order to dream. When we are asleep, our brains are not resting but instead shift into a different state where areas linked to imagination and creativity become more active.

While dreams remain a largely unexplained phenomenon, Rahul shares his insights into common dream themes, the importance of dreams in childhood brain development, and the highly personal nature of dream interpretation. He also covers practical techniques for remembering dreams, the concept of lucid dreaming, the potential links between dreaming and future brain health, and also shares some profound insights about the brain at the time of death. 

Throughout our conversation, Rahul emphasises that although dreams have captivated humans for centuries, they remain a mysterious and intensely personal aspect of our lives.

However, if we approach our dreams with curiosity, they have the potential to gift us valuable insights about the contents of our minds and our emotions.

The topic of dreams clearly resonates with many of you – I received over 1,000 comments and questions about dreams when I announced this upcoming episode on my Instagram page.  And, I’m happy to say that Rahul answers some of these questions throughout our discussion, offering his unique perspective as both a neuroscientist and a neurosurgeon.

So whether you’re a vivid dreamer or someone who rarely remembers their dreams, this episode offers a captivating glimpse into our sleeping minds.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Connect with Dr Jandial:

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Dr Jandial’s books:

This Is Why You Dream: What Your Sleeping Brain Reveals About Your Waking Life

Life on a Knife’s Edge: A Brain Surgeon’s Reflections on Life, Loss and Survival

Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon: The New Science and Stories of the Brain

Related Feel Better Live More Episodes:

#76 How to Optimise Your Brain Health with Dr Rahul Jandial

#185 Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon with Dr Rahul Jandial

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP