Do Dreams Mean Something?
4 Min Read
What does it mean when you dream about someone?
Dreams have always been a topic of interest for everyone. Since ancient times philosophers, physicians and researchers have been trying to figure out the meaning of dreams. In the early 400 BC “ Greek and Roman” era dreams were believed to be the guide or an important message from the deity and superpowers. These messages could be related to our health, wealth, relations, healing, growth, and well-being. Then Greek physician Hippocrates in his book (De diaeta 460 BC) stated that dreams are creations of the soul’s vigilance during sleep because, in contrast to the relaxed body, the soul is on alert making images of the body’s activities during sleep. Then Greek philosopher Aristotle in his book (Nicomachean Ethics) stated that dreams were connected with a human’s activities through their waking hours and could be linked to the nature of their dreams while sleeping.
Then came the Freudian era where dreams got a strong Psychological backing Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud in his book (Interpretation of Dreams (1899) suggests that dreams represent unconscious desires, thoughts, wish fulfilment, and motivations. Freud wrote that dreams are “disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes.” He also described two different components of dreams: actual images and hidden meanings. He also gives further examples that when you dream about someone there are suppressed unconscious thoughts, feelings, expectations, or situational memories and relations associated with them. For example, dreaming about an old friend can indicate missing him/her, loneliness, or lack of a reliable social circle. Post the Freudian era, Harvard University psychiatrists John Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley in 1977 introduced an evident neurobiological theory of dreaming known as the “activation-synthesis hypothesis,” which means that dreams don’t actually mean anything, dreams are electrical brain impulses that pull random thoughts and imagery from our visual and auditory memories.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS, 2019), in the latest studies dreams are images, thoughts, and feelings that occur during sleep although visual imagery is quite common dreams can also include senses like sound, touch, and smell, though we can dream at any stage of sleep dreams are most common during the REM sleep stage (rapid eye movement), the majority of REM sleep is during the second half of a normal sleep period, which means that dreaming tends to be concentrated in the hours before waking up. Data from the National Sleep Foundation also explains that dreams can have different forms like lucid dreams, nightmares, false awakening, prophetic dreams and vivid dreams. Let’s have a look at them
What is lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is when you are aware that you are dreaming while you are in the dreaming state you can also control a lucid dream with constant practice. Lucid dreams are commonly recurring dreams.
What is a nightmare?
Nightmares are dreams that induce fear or can be commonly referred to as bad dreams. These dreams are common in children and adults. Both nightmares can be associated with stress, conflict, fear, trauma, medication, or illness.
What is a false awakening?
False awakenings are dreams where a person believes they’ve woken up but actually are still sleeping. If you have felt you have woken up but then you were still dreaming that is called a false awakening.
What is a prophetic dream?
Prophetic dreams are when you dream of future events. If you dream of something happening and then it actually occurs later, you may have had a prophetic dream.
What is vivid dreaming?
Vivid dreams are almost always during the waking up time in the REM sleep stage when your dreams are vivid you can remember them easily.
Here are a few things you can do to understand your dreams better:
– Record your dreams: This is the first and most important step in analysing your dreams. Write down your dreams in a few sentences. This will help you understand the concept of your dream and the thoughts and feelings associated with it.
– Try working on it: Identifying the patterns in dreams and working on the thoughts or feelings associated with dreams can help you see the changes in their occurrence.
– Take help: If you still cannot find relief and you think your dreams are bothering you, you can talk to a therapist, according to the WHO talk therapy has proven very helpful for dream analysis.
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– Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Translated by A. A. Brill, Wordsworth Editions, 1997.
– Robinson, Phil Alden. 1989. Field of Dreams. United States: Universal Pictures.
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