Everyone has dreams. Even those who claim they do not dream, probably just do not remember their dreams. People have been racking their brains for millennia trying to figure out what dreams are and what is the meaning of dreams. In 2017, we have not moved much further in terms of dream interpretation. However, we think we know a thing or two about what dreams are. And we are here to tell you all about them.
What is a dream?
Dream is a special state of a person’s consciousness, which is filled with cognitive, emotional and sensory events during sleep. The person who is dreaming has little to no control over what they dream about: what they see, feel, experience and so on.
Dreaming is a very mysterious and often misunderstood cognitive state. Over the years, different people have attributed dreaming to different processes in the human body. Some believed (and continue to believe) that dreams are a form of divine intervention. Others claimed that their dreams were actually flashes from their past lives.
Nowadays, it is still not entirely clear why we dream. Some say it is the brain’s way of dealing with problems from the waking world, some attribute dreaming to psychological processes. Maybe dreams are a way for God to communicate with people. Your guess is as good as ours.
You may be wondering:
Do blind people dream? Actually, those that have been born blind only experience dreams in audio format. Those who lost their sight later in life tend to retain the ability to see in dreams. However, as time passes, this ability becomes less strong.
Even though dreams are mostly built on memories and past experiences, it is not always so for some people. It has been reported that people who could never walk, talk or do other things most of us take for granted, were able to do that in their dreams. As a matter of fact, some dreams are so psychedelic that no one could have experienced that in real life.
Different scientists are interested in dreaming from different perspectives. For example, neuroscientists are concerned with how dreams are made and organized, and what structures of the brain are responsible for that. It is them who determined that people usually dream during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase.
Psychoanalysts, however, are more interested in what dreams mean, and why certain people dream about certain things. From a person’s dream, they are usually able to tell what is bothering that person, what kind of relationship they have with their loved ones, etc.
Types of dreams
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As you might have guessed, dreams come in various forms. Apart from regular boring everyday dreams, there are also the following types of dreams:
Nightmares. There are bad dreams. These dreams are simply terrifying. Most of them wake you up in the middle of the night, sweating and gasping for air. Most people suffer from nightmares very rarely. However, some unfortunate souls have nightmares at least once a week.
Nightmares are mostly caused by stress, unpleasant memories and emotional instability. Some come into existence as a side effect of pharmaceuticals, alcohol and other things that are bad for you. People with depression suffer from nightmares more than others do. These dreams disrupt sleep through not only waking the dreamer, but also causing distress that prevents the dreamer from going to sleep again.
Night terrors. Not to be confused with nightmares, these dreams are very short and even more terrifying. While regular nightmares just wake you up, night terrors make you scream, flail and/or jump out of bed. The other difference between the two is that nightmares, like all the other dreams, happen during REM phase. Night terrors, on the other hand, happen in non-REM phases.
Night terrors are more common in childhood, than in adult life. Often they are like a family curse, as they pass through generations. Some scientists attribute night terrors to such dysfunctions as adenoids, enlarged tonsils and sleep apnea.
Recurring dreams. Sometimes it might seem like you are reliving the same thing over and over again. That is because you are. Recurring dreams are the same dreams that come every once in a while. Most often, they are recurring nightmares. Scientists suggest that they are caused by psychological distress.
Lucid dreams. Have you ever had those dreams where you felt like you could bend your surroundings to your will, sometimes even literally?
You were having a lucid dream. In lucid dreams, the dreamer knows that they are asleep, which makes them all-powerful. When a person is having a lucid dream experience, their brain is not resting but working at full speed. Many scientists are fascinated by lucid dreaming, as studying them gives more understanding of human consciousness.
Christian interpretation of dreams
Dream analysis is a very vast and exciting field. There are probably as many meanings of certain dream elements as there are people. However, some things in dreams are almost universally connected to a certain image in culture and/or religion. Christianity is no different in this regard, as it has its own explanation for things in dreams.
Christian dream interpretations use the Bible as a source of meaning. In the Holy Bible, some images have an indisputable meaning, so people use the sacred text to decipher the meaning of their dreams. Some of these images are:
★ a house, which represents the dreamer and their spiritual state. A crooked and dilapidated house signifies the lack of spirituality and absence of God’s protection;
★ snakes, which represent enemies, danger, bad omens and demons;
★ vehicles, which represent the path the dreamer chose in life. The style of driving and the car itself are telling of the person’s lifestyle and life choices. If the vehicle seats more than one person, it represents one’s family;
★ nakedness, which represents relationship with God. If you are naked, it means you surrender to God;
★ fast flowing water, which represents God’s blessing.
If you want to find more Christian meanings of your dreams, check out these websites:
You will probably be able to find the information you are looking for in at least one of these sources.
Now you know a little bit more about 'what is dream and why do we dream'. You can go and wow your friends with the awesome facts about dreams. Or take a nap, it is up to you. And if reading has the same effect on you as it has on us, sweet dreams!
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