Dreams hold hidden meanings


Emily Conaway-Walters, Writer

People experience dreams every night whether they remember them or not. Dreams are quite interesting and many people do not know much about them. A dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. There are several different types of dreams: daydreams, lucid dreams, nightmares, recurring dreams, healing dreams, prophetic dreams, signal dreams and epic dreams. There is also sleep paralysis. 

 Daydreaming is fantasizing from a perspective that transcends normal perception. According to Bloomberg News, “People’s minds wander about 47 percent of the time.” People’s minds allow the imagination to wander. People lose their sense of self as their level of awareness decreases. A person may revisit the past, or explore the future, and in doing so, approach the border of the dreamscape. All the while, consciousness keeps pulling people back into the present.

A nightmare, also called a bad dream, is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. According to ABC News, “A bad dream can cause one to have a heart attack and (to) kill people.” However, there is no evidence that anything can kill people by invading their dream. A nightmare can often be caused by stress, conflict, trauma, emotional problems, or illness.

 A lucid dream is one where people know that their dreaming. Lucid dreams occur when people ‘wake up’ while dreaming. Sometimes this sudden sense of knowing they’re dreaming allows people to do fantastic things, for example fly over the houses they see. Many people actually wake themselves up within the dream to remain in this lucid state to explore how they can influence dreams. This ability to achieve the lucid dream state is an important initiation into mastering the power of thought and its ability to influence events.

Sleep paralysis is when, during waking up or falling asleep, a person is aware but unable to move or speak. During an episode of sleep paralysis, one may hallucinate: a phenomenon during which a person feels a presence of a supernatural malevolent being which immobilizes the person as if they are sitting on the person’s chest or the foot of their bed. The name given to this creature is night hag or old hag.

Lots  of research has shown that most dreams mean something more than just what people see. Dream interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. An example of this is lots of people believe that if snakes are present in a dream it means healing and resolving issues. Dream interpretation comes from many ancient societies. In Egypt and Greece dreaming was thought of as supernatural communication whose messages could be interpreted by people with these associated spiritual powers.

People’s most vivid dreams happen during a phase of sleep called REM (that is when people’s brains are most active). However, dreams can happen during any time of sleep. Some studies have shown that people dream at least four to six times a night. Also, 85 percent of people have experienced a dream so real they aren’t sure if it happened in real life or not.