Dreaming and Dreams: Funky, Mysterious & Necessary Products of Your Sleep
Sophie Anabelle Somé
Picture from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-do-we-dream/.
Have you not once created a scenario involving your crush right before falling asleep in the hopes of dreaming about them and your magical love story? Maybe sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Unfortunately, dreams are relatively hard to control. They can be enigmatic, and they occasionally involve whimsical depictions. They are essentially a collection of thoughts, images, and emotions that happen during our sleep. While dreams are integral parts of our sleep, the scientific community still does not agree on a specific answer as to why we dream. Dreams don’t have a specific pattern, and anyone can dream of anything. Blind people or individuals suffering from damage to their hippocampus, however, can see alterations in their dreaming patterns. Sometimes dreams involve objects, words, or concepts we have seen before falling asleep. Studying extensively before a test can result in parts of the material appearing in one’s dream. Some people will dream in color, others in black and white. Blind people, on the other hand, will have dreams that are more focused on sound, smell, and touch. According to an article by Eric Suni, a staff writer for the Sleep Foundation, dreams are associated with strengthening memory. They process emotions, clear unnecessary information in the brain, and replay recent events in one’s head. Besides, dreams are really a purposeless by-product of our sleep.
You might recall an extremely bizarre and unexpected chain of events in your dreams. They can almost make you feel like Alice in Wonderland. Your parrot was carrying you above a sea of disturbing and curious creatures. Suddenly, you flew across a cloud and were thrown into the water. The eerie creatures in the sea are integrals and telescoping series from your Calculus test a few days ago. You are suddenly on your couch; your parrot is massaging you and singing your favorite childhood lullaby. Finally, your crush, whom you saw in the hallways that morning, is dancing some ballet moves next to you.
Inventing such a dream off the top of my head was easy because dreams really can be about anything. Essentially, they are formed from parts of your daily lives and comprise different elements of your imagination.
In an article written by Erin Heger, weird dreams come from the consolidation of new information. The emotions felt and the information gathered from reading, listening, or learning things before bedtime can influence one’s dreams. Dreams can also be a therapeutic activity where the individual navigates through their emotions. Increased stress and anxiety are known factors that influence the vividness of dreams. Indubitably, sleeping habits have an influence on your dreams. Sleep deprivation along with bettering your sleep quality greatly influences the contents of one’s dreams.
Our brains are constantly processing and classifying memories in our heads. When we dream, the brain is recalibrating and replacing the memories it will keep and classifying those it will most likely discard. Essentially, the brain digs into old memories and gathers useful information. According to an article by Sarah DiGiulo in Better by Today, logical thinking in our brain is less active when dreaming. The memories navigated when we’re dreaming are more emotionally centered and do not follow a logical story.
Some dreaming patterns can be observed among different individuals. Dreams can be related to relationships, where one could be faced with a conflict, a loving experience, or the feeling of being in danger. Moreover, dreams can have a sexual connotation, like being nude, having sexual experiences, or sexual pleasure. The fear of embarrassment, like failing a test or arriving late somewhere, is a common aspect of dreams. Over 55 registered themes can be familiar to you. Being chased, being on the verge of falling, being killed, and insects or spiders are only a few manifestations of dreams.
Dreams, by their versatility and complexity, are one of humanity’s greatest mysteries and are appreciated when they incorporate our greatest desires. Now off you go, reader, and have your Alice in Wonderland moment the next time you close your eyes.