What's Causing Freaky Dreams?

Freaky dreams generally tend to have meaning. All it takes is how to interpret them. Scientists believe that aside from human beings, mammals and some birds do dream. But what are dreams? It is, on a fundamental level, sensations that a human has experienced while asleep. They are only present within the mental processes of a person.

There are several theories about dreams. Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psychoanalysis of dreams, said that these are the things or emotions that an individual represses resulting to its appearance in one’s sleep. Carl Jung, Freud’s student, believes that dreams are messages about the abandoned parts of ourselves and thus needs reintegration.

Some dreams are only a manifestation of the day’s activities. But some of them provide symbols which gives us insight and information. In a book written by Robert Moses, he said that we have to carefully study the dreams we have before we dismiss them as dreams.

Why do people dream?

There is no scientific study as to why we dream. REM or rapid eye movement is an involuntary physical activity associated with dreaming. This lasts for about 90 minutes. Should an individual wake up after an REM, he or she is most likely to remember his or her dream. But for those who have been deprived of sleep, they are less likely to experience REM. The more intense the dream is, the more REM a person experiences.

What is its value?

There has been a long debate about dreams and its value. But for some, with the help of dream interpreters or even only by themselves, they get to understand its meanings. Several notable people often get their ideas from dreams. Kelly Sullivan Walden, a dream coach and clinical hypnotherapist, suggested that dreams are divided into eight categories:

  • processing
  • venting (for nightmares)
  • integration
  • breakdown/breakthrough
  • recurring
  • precognitive
  • prophetic
  • wish fulfillment

The most common of these is venting and recurring dreams. Processing dreams is used to diagnose and solve a person’s physical and emotional concerns. An example of this is the appearance of a deceased loved one bearing a message to the dreamer.

How are dreams decoded?

In comprehending or interpreting dreams, the process itself can be tricky. Since dreams are purely personal, dreams may reflect the thoughts of the dreamer. These dreams usually manifest as symbols which may represent anything in a person’s life. However, a certain symbol in a dream may represent several things. For instance, a purse may represent coins or money. Yet to another, it may symbolize something else entirely.

But one technique to find this out is to be aware of double entendres. A symbol may contain two meanings. This can also be represented as a pun. If you hear a line with the word ‘sole’ in it, you may also have to consider the word ‘soul’. This may therefore mean something about your vitality.

A recurring dream may go for about weeks, even months or years. Soldiers often experience this dream. As they have seen the death of a comrade or a tragic loss of life of a civilian. These dreams are often fueled by trauma. Monsters and surreal images may be included in the dreams. The symbolism itself can be apparent. Other times, those dreams can be so puzzling. However, if an issue of post-traumatic stress is associated with recurring dreams, psychiatric help or therapy is advised.

How to improve dream memory?

There are people who can remember their dreams at night. But others do not. Since dreams are naturally uncontrollable, there are ways to improve the retention of dreams. Below are several ways on how to do just that.

Getting enough sleep. The longer the REM, it is more likely a dream may be remembered.

Using suggestion as a method. There are experts who say that before going to sleep, an individual has to remind oneself that he or she has to remember his or her dreams.

Keeping a journal or dreams. With a pen and paper handy and at the bedside, you can write your dreams in there before going out of the bed.

Be curious. By the time you wake up, remember not to get up but remain still and be quiet. Then try recalling your dream. Be knowledgeable about dreams. This will help you understand them more.

Limiting the intake of drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and drugs like antidepressants can affect dreaming a lot. It can make your dreams go awry and has a tendency to turn it into a nightmare.