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Ask Dr. Gott 8/1
Dreams add to quality of life
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: Are dreams healthful?
    DEAR READER: Yes, they are. Dreams occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stages. A sequence of dreams in a progressive pattern often appears to resolve emotional issues by working through them in a step-by-step manner and by comparing them to successful challenges from the past. A dreamer is likely to awaken in an uplifted mood after such an evening of dreams. Sometimes dreams fail to resolve emotional problems, and the dreamer awakens in a bad mood.
    It is often said that people solve problems when they dream. They might awaken abruptly from a sound sleep with those thoughts still fresh in their minds. A resolution is apparent, and restful sleep follows.
    Then there is the person who can't remember a single facet of a dream once awakening in the middle of the night. It's difficult to analyze whether this is good or a sign of something else.
    There are several circumstances that appear to prevent dreams from occurring. Numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications (particularly antidepressants) and alcohol hold back the normal dreaming process. Researchers have found a connection between the loss of dreaming and serious illness.
    Philosophers, inventors, writers and people from every walk of life have attributed dreams to inspiration for painting masterpieces, poetry, prize-winning novels and more. So, to say the least, most dreams are good.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Sleep/Wake Disorders."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I dare you to print this. I am an 80-year-old male and have become suspicious of overly hyped products. This primarily applies to supplements, pills, potions and lotions that claim to cure this, that and anything else. One of these is a product called Rutin. A pharmacist wrote to you about it awhile ago and claimed it was used for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, preventing strokes and reducing capillary permeability and fragility. You responded that it was used for poor blood circulation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, skin bruising and Meniere's disease. You also said that it was in a class of water-soluble plant pigments with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties. I am wary of any product that claims to be a cure-all. Good health is most often a holistic process, not achieved by simply taking pills.
    DEAR READER: In most instances, I agree with you. However, based on my reader responses, suggestions and those of the many pharmacists, physicians and scientists who read my column, Rutin is a highly beneficial product. While it is over-the-counter and may be overhyped, I believe it is rightfully so. It does, in fact, relieve symptoms from hemorrhoids, vein fragility (which can cause bruising or stroke if the veins burst) and more. While the product may have many properties, it appears to work best for blood-vessel health, which is far from a cure-all. Thanks for writing.
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