What Everyone Needs to Know About Dreams


Noele Lehnhoff

Even dogs dream while they sleep.

Noele Lehnhoff and Sophie Meek, Contributor

Dreaming is something that most people in the world experience, and it’s one of the few ways a person can see the many confusing thoughts and ideas that reside in their subconcious. They can make us think deeply about emotions and feelings that we didn’t even know we had in the first place. Scientists have been studying dreams for years, but the fact that dreams are incredibly random and confusing makes it difficult to understand what they could mean. It may be hard to try and understand the deep psychological meaning behind dreams, but categorizing them into certain groups is much easier.

The most common form of dreaming, which everyone experiences, is daydreaming. Daydreams are sort of like a coping mechanism, a way that people can escape their day-to-day lives. This form of dreaming is one of the two types of dreaming in which they are in control of the fantasy, but a part of their brain still turns off, which is why people are often disoriented after being snapped out of it. As a person grows older and older, they daydream less and less, just as a child’s imagination and creativity decreases as they mature. People often find themselves thinking about improbable futures, ones that are perfect and easy. This relieves stress for people who constantly worry about the future and what it might hold.

Another form of dreaming that is common among the public is “basic dreaming”. These dreams are completely out of the recipients control, and they are always unconscious when having them. Basic dreaming occurs in the REM stage of sleep, which is the stage of unconsciousness in which the brain is more active, and the muscles are immobilized. People who experience this type of dreaming are always unaware that they are dreaming until they wake up, even though dreams that people have can be extremely improbable. Some people have dreams that reflect a certain personal problem that they have been dealing with, and some people have dreams about incredibly random fantasy lands and situations. Some people even have the same dream over and over again. During the end of the night, the brain prepares to wake up, and becomes more active. Dreams are usually longer and more vivid during this period due to this.

Lucid dreaming is the other form of dreaming that can be controlled. The difference between lucid and daydreaming is that while lucid dreaming, the body and mind are completely unconscious, similar to basic dreaming. A person has full control of their environment during lucid dreams. They have full control of what happens, and their power is limitless, considering everything they create is all in their head. Though this may seem to be completely harmless and have no downsides, there have been many accounts of lucid dreams turning into nightmares. It has even been linked to sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is something that happens to everyone when they sleep due to the brain being unconscious, but what makes it terrifying is when the brain is conscious and the body is still unable to move. This could give a suffocating, trapped feeling to the victim.

“False awakenings” are definitely the most interesting type of dreams. These dreams usually commence after a dream that the individual has before. They could also occur if the individual was trying to wake up from a lucid dream. In these dreams, the person could imagine themselves waking up from the previous dream and going about their daily routine. They could dream that they have woken up, gotten out of bed, done their morning routine, and they can even dream about eating breakfast. Once the person wakes up from the false awakening dream, they can be extremely disoriented.

By far the worst type of dream that a person could experience is a nightmare. Nightmares are something that everyone is familiar with, and they can be very upsetting. They can be like movies; devastating, horror filled, suspenseful, uncomfortable. People usually have nightmares when they have been stressing over an event, person, or thing, when they aren’t getting enough sleep, when they are eating unhealthily, etc. Nightmares can be avoided by not worrying about things to much, maintaining good health, and having a consistent sleep schedule, though doing all of these things doesn’t guarantee nightmare-free sleep.  

Dreams have always been mysterious and eluding, and though people try to make sense of them, they will continue to be random and confusing. Scientist believe dreams are a window to the subconscious, that they let people see parts of their mind that they didn’t even know existed. Some people believe that by trying to decipher their lucid and normal dreams, they can discover things about themselves and the world that they couldn’t have possibly ever known before.

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