Are dreams just a random mix of images strung together while you are in your REM sleep or do they have meaning? REM (rapid eye movement) sleep seems to be the time when dreams occur; neurological activity increases in this stage. When awoken from REM participants of a study reported bizarre dreams, while those awoken from deep sleep don’t recall their dreams (info from link attached above).
I’ve heard that dreams could be the sorting of information you receive that day, or a reaction to your emotions or things you have been thinking about the most.
There are so many books that analyze symbolism in dreams, and I totally buy into it! I will sometime go through weeks of having dreams about my teeth falling out. It’s super terrifying but after I found out that it is a common sign of stress or anxiety I used that information to find the source of my stress and those dreams stopped (until something else stressed me out and I had those dreams again!).
Knowing the reason you are having nightmares help you get past them and have more restful sleep.
I also believe that your dreams can predict things you can’t dream up in your conscious mind. Your subconscious is strong. When I was in India, my yoga teacher training was winding down and in one of our last classes we were learning about different styles of group chanting and singing. We were sitting in a circle, clapping and singing. As the chanting got faster and louder, I had an intense realization that I dreamed that exact moment. I dreamt there was an Indian teacher, mostly white students and one Thai student. We were clapping, singing, and the teacher was playing a drum. After this I knew I had to keep a record of my dreams. I started my dream journal, and it has been pretty interesting trying to discern the meaning.
After over six months of learning the best way to keep a dream journal, here are my tips for getting your dreams written down.
1. Dictate it into your phone. My hands do NOT work when I first wake up. When I try to write, it is the worst chicken scratch I have seen my own two hands make. I realized it’s so much easier to dictate it to siri into a notes page while I am still half asleep and can recall as much of my dream as I can. If I try to wait for my hands to catch up to my brain I can’t remember as much. In dreams sometimes the little details matter.
2. Have a physical journal. Yes, while it may be easier just to keep the journal in your phone, you can analyze it best after actually going through the motions of writing it down. When I travel I do just keep it in my phone but when I get home I put it in my journal and add any meanings I may have thought of when I am rewriting it. Also you’ll notice siri doesn’t hear everything correctly so its best to rewrite it anyway to be able to understand it in the long run.
3. Get the information down right when you wake up. If I wait until after I brush my teeth and wash my face I can’t remember the dream. Sometimes it comes back to me, but most often it doesn’t. This is why it helps to just dictate it to your phone first thing.
4. Keep your journal close to your bed. Even if you dictate it to your phone first, keeping it by your bed reminds you before you fall asleep to try to get it down.
5. Write down initial thoughts of what the dream means. Sometimes while I am dreaming or while I am dictating it some meanings come to me. You are still slightly tapped into your subconscious while you are half asleep, utilize it!
6. Write down nightmares too. You may not want to relive really scary ones, but it is important to know why it scared you. Some of my nightmares aren’t outright terrifying so I try to find out why I woke up so shaken.
As you keep writing down your dreams it becomes easier to do overtime, and it will also help you remember them without writing them down eventually. I just bought a book that contains 12,000 meanings behind different symbols in dreams. I am enjoying going through my dreams and seeing what they may mean.
Dream on, Friends!