What Do your Dreams Mean?

by Steve Gillman - Date: 2007-06-02 - Word Count: 672 Share This!

What do your dreams mean? This hasn't been clearly answered by science yet. It is possible that they are a way to exercise the brain and keep it functioning efficiently. Some scientists theorize that dreaming is a way to categorize and "file away" things that weren't sufficiently dealt with during the day. This would explain why daily events so often become a part of that nights dreams.

Dreaming seems to be necessary. In experiments, people have been prevented from dreaming by being woken up whenever they started, as evidenced by their REM or "rapid eye movement," which accompanies dreaming. This seems to cause mental distress, although this was often shown in nothing more than increased attempts to dream. Those woken an equal number of times, but randomly, didn't seem to suffer as much.

We may need to dream, but we don't know why, and we could argue endlessly about the meaning of the content of our dreams. However, despite this essential ignorance about what dreams mean, we do know that there are ways we can use our dreams. A couple examples follow.

Dreams Mean Entertainment

You may occasionally remember a dream you had that was better than most movies you've seen. Sometimes you may not even want to wake up from a dream, because it is so enjoyable. Perhaps you wish you could have more dreams like these.

You can, by waking up IN the dream, and taking control. Want to fly over that lake? Or join that party? You can direct your dream if you know that you are in a dream. That is the idea behind lucid dreaming.

Does it work? many swear that they regularly are conscious and in control during their dreams. I have had more than one dream where I argued with someone that we were in a dream (and of course proved it by waking up). Without getting into an argument about what consciousness is, it is still easy to see how much fun such "controlled dreams" might be.

One common way to induce lucid dreams is to have a "trigger" that reminds you that you are dreaming. This trigger can be any common object you're likely to see in a dream. If you choose a clock, for example, then whenever you see one, you say "I am dreaming right now and can do what I want." Once this is habit, you are likely to say it when you see a clock in a dream, thus "waking yourself up" to the fact that you're dreaming. Then you can take control and have some fun.

Dreams Mean A Chance To Solve Problems

I have had a number of good ideas come to me in dreams. In fact many of the pages on my web sites started out as dreams. To have creative ideas or solve problems in your dreams, try some of the following.

1. Do some mental work in the area you want ideas or a solution. Think about it, write some notes down, and consider some solutions. This work signals the brain that the topic or problem is important, so it will continue to work on it below consciousness.

2. Turn off the alarm clock. If you wake up naturally, you are more likely to remember your dreams.

3. Keep a recording device or a pen and paper next to your bed. Note any ideas you have if you wake up in the night, and especially when you first wake up in the morning.

4. Lay still when you first wake up, and review your dreams. This process "sets" them in your mind, so you won't forget them as easily. You can think back on them later, to search for any useful ideas.

These techniques are not yet scientifically "proven." However, having had lucid dreams, I can say that they are at least entertaining. Also, having used numerous techniques to get good ideas from dreams - and always with more success than when I do nothing - I am convinced that there is some value in this playing with our dreams, whether or not we ever completely understand what dreams mean.

Related Tags: dreams, dreaming, brainpower, what dreams mean

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