Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Dreams. We all have them. Probably not every night, but some. 

Dreams have always fascinated me, because I've had some crazy ones. 

There's some common ones, like falling (which I've had), flying, going to school in your underpants, chasing dreams, test and exam dreams, etc. 

But the question I've been wondering is, why do we dream? How do our minds play those little movies for us while we sleep? And, how do they feel so real? 

There are millions of different theories, and I really don't know which one to believe. 

Some researchers suggest that dreams serve no real purpose, while others believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being. Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., suggests that "...a possible (though certainly not proven) function of a dream to be weaving new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events."
 One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream.
Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to 'clean up' clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day.
Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.
A contemporary model of dreaming combines some elements of various theories. The activation of the brain creates loose connections between thoughts and ideas, which are then guided by the emotions of the dreamer.
See? There are so many different ideas. I for one, believe that dreams have a meaning. Well, some dreams anyway. Some of my dreams are totally random and are really confusing. Others have to do with what's going on in my life. 

Like my dreams last night, they had  A LOT to do with what's going on in my life. It was kind of scary because before I went to sleep last night, I told myself I wanted to have those dreams.

And I did.

You should all try this:
Before you go to sleep one night, say out loud three times, "I will remember my dream." 
I swear, it works.

I've done it like five times before, including last night, and I remembered the dream. My math teacher last year told our class about it, and a bunch of us tried it and it worked for pretty much all of us!
Go try it, it's pretty freaking cool.

Back on topic.
Like I said, I wanted to have those dreams. It was just weird because my mind listened to me. Sometimes it doesn't and dreams whatever random crap it wants to dream.
Was it because I was thinking about it so much, my mind just created the dream to please me?

They say we don't have the power to control our dreams, but I feel like last night, I did.

Like the geek I am, I did some research, and check out what I found. It's like totally accurate. The lines that are bold apply to me.

Holding hands- To dream that you are holding hands with someone represents love, affection and your connection with that person. Your dream may also reflect anxieties about losing touch with him/her or that you are drifting apart. 

Kiss- To dream of a kiss denotes love, affection, tranquility, harmony, and contentment. In particular, if you are dreaming of your first kiss, then it may just be the anticipation of experiencing your actual first kiss. This dream is also symbolic of young love and fresh romance. Perhaps the dream is telling you that you need to inject some more romance into your waking relationship.
If the dream ends just about as you are about to kiss someone, then it indicates that you are unsure of how he or she really  feels about you. You are looking for some sort of relationship with this person but you are not sure about how to go about achieving it.
This one confuses me because my dream didn't end before I kissed the person. It ended like right after. So.. what does that mean?

Beach-To see the beach in your dream symbolizes the meeting between your two states of mind. The sand is symbolic of the rational and mental processes while the water signifies the irrational, unsteady, and emotional aspects of yourself. It is a place of transition between the physical/material and the spiritual.
To dream that you are on the beach and looking out toward the ocean indicates unknown and major changes that are occurring in your life. Consider the state of the ocean, whether it is calm, pleasant, forbidding, etc.
To dream that you are looking toward the beach suggests that you are returning to what is familiar to you. Alternatively, you may be adapting or accepting to the changes and circumstances in your life

Wagon- To see a  covered wagon in your dream is symbolic of difficulties and difficulties that you are carrying with you. It signifies your thrifty nature and your unwillingness to take risks. The dream may also be a metaphor that you have "fallen off the wagon". You have broken a resolution or promise to yourself.
To see a red wagon in your dream represents childhood joy and light-hearted fun.
To see an empty and abandoned wagon in your dream signifies loss and dissatisfaction with the current state of your life.

Those were just four things that were in my dream last night, and all those explanations are pretty much accurate. 
Definitely check out Dream Moods Dictionary, that's where I got all those explanations, and there's tons more on there, go check it out! 

I always wonder, why do we have nightmares? It really confuses me. 
My nightmares annoy me, because you know what happens?

I wake up from them, and then when I close my eyes again..

My good dreams never continue! Only the bad ones! It makes me so angry. 

I found some really interesting facts on dreams, and I'm going to share them with you guys- 
  •  In an average  lifetime, you would have spent a total of about six years of it dreaming. That is more than 2,100 days spent in a different realm!
  • Everybody dreams. EVERYBODY! Simply because you do not remember your dream does not mean that you do not dream. In fact, you have several dreams during a normal night of sleep.
  • Five minutes after the end of the dream, half the content is forgotten. After ten minutes, 90% is lost
  •  Dreamers who are awakened right after REM sleep, are able to recall their dreams more vividly than those who slept through the night until morning.
  • If you are snoring, then you cannot be dreaming.
  • Nightmares are common in children, typically beginning at around age 3 and occurring up to age 7-8.
  • In a poll, 67% of Americans  have experienced Deja Vu in their dreams, occurring more often in females than males. 

That's weird, I've NEVER had a reoccurring dream. Makes me feel special.
So, that's my little rant on dreams. I'm taking a psychology class next year, so maybe I'll learn more about dreams then.

 Do you believe dreams have a purpose? Have you ever wished for a dream, and then had it? Do your nightmares continue after you wake up and go back to sleep? Any thing else you want to tell me?
Let me know in the comments!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

post signature


Jessica said...

This was a really cool post! I've been wanting to research dreams. I completely relate to this -- I do the "I will remember my dream" thing, and it usually works. I also envision what I want to be dreaming about as I'm falling asleep, and then my brain takes me where i want to be. whatever their use, I am so glad that i have them, especially the life-like ones where I am flying or being held or kissed XD Dreams rule!

Stephie said...

Super Cool! :)

Ashley said...

I can normally tell myself what dream I want to have, like last night I said I wanted one about Commander Chakotay on Star Trek, and I did. It was awesome. He fell in love with me, and held my hand as I was dying (I threw myself in the line of gunfire to save him). First time I EVER died in a dream.

I also have had A LOT of repeat dreams.

It doesn't matter, whether it is a nightmare, or normal dream, they continue anyway.

I've never had a falling, teeth, or underwear dream.

I will HAVE to try the iwillremember theory! I forget so many dreams, it makes me mad!


Anonymous said...

Yey! Good luck on your psychology class! I remember I was in my 2nd year in College when I had my general psychology class and I really learned a lot!

I remember my professor told something about the "Iceberg theory" wherein the mind is the iceberg. It has two parts the conscious mind (the part of iceberg that you can see) is our reality. The subconscious mind (the part of the iceberg that cannot be seen) contains our past experiences, frustrations, trauma, fantasies, desires & wishes. And those things will appear in our dreams. dreams have 2 kinds the symbolic and forgotten. :)

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Paige!!

I love dreams. Most of them are so wacky, and it's so fun to think back on them when you wake up!! I'll have to try that "I will remember my dreams" thing...

I've had recurring dreams before, but the weirdest dreams I have are premonition dreams. Like once, I had this really detailed dream, and at the end of it I dreamed that I opened the back door to the bunny hutch and all the bunnies had gotten out and run away. And I woke up to look out my window, and one of our bunnies had gotten out because - get this - the back door of the bunny hutch had been left unlocked!! It was crazy weird and kind of cool. ;)

Neat post, Paige!!