Why do we Dream?
Through different types of dreams we discover ourselves, each type with a unique trigger or cause, each cause or trigger with a potential meaning symbolic or literal. Dreams are where the conscious reality and the subconscious interpretation meet. It is the one area where fact and fiction collide and still hold their meaning. Dreams are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during the deepest part of sleep. The sounds you hear, the thoughts you think and the emotions you feel while you are sleeping are all part of your dream life. Images that are brought to you in the darkest hours of your day can bring both clarity and chaos. Depending on the type of dream you experience, you will feel pleasure or pain, panic or peace.
There are many different types of dreams including daydreams, normal dreams, lucid dreams, nightmares, and false awakenings. On average people daydream approximately 100 minutes a day. Daydreaming starts with an interesting thought, memory, or fantasy about the future. The longer you dream the deeper you become involved in your own personal fantasy land. “Normal dreams” are just the dreams you usually have. Lucid dreams happen when you are controlling what you are dreaming about. Lucid dreams can only happen when you are awake. However unlike lucid dreams, false awakenings are when you are deep in sleep. False awakenings are when you dream through the routine of your normal day and wake up not knowing it was a dream. Waking up from these kind of dreams can be confusing and almost stressful until you realize it was all a dream. “Freud said that whether we intend it or not, we’re all poets. That’s because on most nights, we dream. And dreams are lot like poetry, in that in both things, we express our internal life in similar ways.” Lastly, nightmares can be the most vivid dreams of all. Nightmares are simply frightening or unpleasant dreams that can occur after stressful events, sickness, or a traumatic situation, but can they be avoided? If we determine the cause, can we stop dreams from occurring or perhaps repeat them again and again upon demand?
Just like there are many different types of dreams, there are many different causes of them as well. Sometimes certain things can trigger what we dream about, whether its a book we’ve read, a conversation we’ve had, or even what we had for dinner last night. For example, studies prove that when you eat spicy foods before sleep, you are more likely to have bad dreams then if you hadn’t. In addition; fatty foods, alcoholic beverages, and illness can also cause you to have more frequent nightmares than usual. If you aren’t sleeping well then you will most likely have more daydreams or false awakenings. Both of these dreams are proved to occur more often when you are lacking a sufficient amount of sleep. Many dreams depend on your daily activities. If you are getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising regularly you are more likely to have “normal dreams” as opposed to night terrors and false awakenings. However, even the most ordinary and regimented lifestyle still cannot protect us from ourselves and we are left wondering what these “memories of the night” might mean. ?Wilson speculates that dreams are also an attempt to search for associations between seemingly unrelated experiences, which is why it’s so important for the controlling conscious self to disappear.?
Dreams can represent our conscious and subconscious thoughts, the details missed in a busy day, or the focus of our stress during our waking hours. For example, have you ever dreamed about walking through the halls of school naked? You are not really naked, yet you feel exposed. This is the difference between fact and interpretation(or fiction). During your dream you truly feel the embarrassment of not being clothed. This is most likely not because you are naked but because of what is causing the dream. On dreammode.com you are able to type in key words such as naked and school, and it will show you what it might actually mean other than just being publically naked. The website says that “to dream that you are naked denotes fear of being found out and exposed over your activities. You feel that you are being misjudged.” The website also say that “To dream that you are in school signifies feelings of inadequacy and insecurities that have not been resolved. It may relate to anxieties about your performance and abilities.” From this you could conclude that instead of being naked your dream could otherwise signify that you are afraid of being found out because of insecurities or anxieties you have. Although after having a dream it may seem about fictitious and random thoughts, it may instead mean something that completely relates to what is going on in your life at the time.
In my research I have found out that there are many types of dreams, many different causes of dreams, and that dreams are not only fictitious but factual as well. We continue to find understanding and meaning from our dreams to apply to our daily lives; yet we still have many questions that remain. For example, is it possible to control dreams? Can you prevent people from dreaming?And even whether or not animals can dream? Dreams are the sounds we hear and the scents we smell. They are the poetry we have no time to write and the horror film we never wanted to see. They could be a laugh we shared with a friend or a tear that wasn’t supposed to slip out. Dreams are everywhere. They are in everything we do, every step we take, and every moment we’re too busy to think about. Whether you realize it or not dreams are simply, a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.
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