Dream a Little Dream
Our dreams give us a little bit of insight into our psyche. It’s where our subconscious comes out to play. A lot of our dreams are just the brain kind of downloading and interpreting all the information that we picked up during the day. But they can also offer some clues for us to look at what’s going on that we might not be seeing while we’re awake. And it’s interesting because the symbols that we get in our dreams are not always what they seem to be!
Our dreams often speak to us, helping us to solve problems and give us direction. In ancient Egypt, dreams were a kind of science, recognized as a way for us to “wake up” to things we need to pay attention to in our daily life. The ancient Egyptian word for dream is rswt, which means “an awakening.”
While we sleep, our brains are still busy. During REM (rapid eye movement) is when we have our most dramatic dreams. Research from Harvard Medical School says that while REM sleep helps us to consolidate learning and memories, it also helps prepare the brain to be awake.
We experience emotions in dreams that we need to express while we are awake. A dream is a kind of “dress rehearsal” for this experience. Because the brain doesn’t hold memories very well during the sleep process, if we want to remember our dreams we need to write them down. This involves waking up fast, with little movement after sleep, and making that effort to put pen in hand. Since bad dreams wake us up more quickly we tend to remember them more often. Dream interpretation can be fun and insightful! Here are some common dream “themes” that you might have experienced – and the meaning behind these dreams:
— Taking a Test: This very common dream theme has to do with anxiety. You feel you are being “put to the test” or analyzed in some area of your life. This dream could be telling you that you feel unprepared, that you fear failing, that you have set your goals too high or that you are being judged. To understand your dream, look at what part of your waking life is causing you anxiety, or making you feel inadequate. Remember that test taking dreams are never about the content of the test itself, it’s about the process and the feelings experienced while taking the test.
— Being Naked in Public: In your dream you are going about your usual business when you are suddenly aware that you are completely naked! Or, you are wearing pajamas, or you forgot to put on pants, or a variety of other combinations. Look at how you are feeling when you make this discovery. A “naked” dream could indicate that you are feeling particularly vulnerable, or insecure. It could mean that you are hiding something and are afraid that you will be exposed. It could also mean that you feel a sense of freedom, carefree and completely honest. Most times in a dream even though you are aware of your nakedness, no one else seems to notice. Take this to mean that you may be amplifying a given situation and that you are more concerned than anyone else is about it.
— Losing Your Teeth: In these dreams your teeth may fall out, or crumble, or become loose or crooked. There are many different interpretations to this dream, so look at what is going on in your life that could be the cause. This dream often occurs when you are in a transition in your life, either in a new job or a new relationship. A losing teeth dream could mean that you have having a hard time communicating, and you should speak up for yourself. It could mean that you are feeling anxiety about your appearance. It might also be that you fear being embarrassed about something, or that you feel powerless. Because of the association with the tooth fairy, many say that this dream means you will be coming into some money!
— Being Chased: We have the built in “fight or flight” response to any physical threat, so it is natural to run from an attacker. The attacker in your dream could be an animal, a monster, or some unknown figure attempting to harm you. This is another dream that indicates there is some anxiety being experienced in your waking life. If you are having this dream, ask yourself what you are running away from. What are you afraid of? Is there something you are avoiding? In your dream, turn around and ask why you are being chased. You will find clues in the distance between you and your pursuer. If this person is getting closer to you, then the problem you are having is a bigger problem. If you can get away easily, then you have a handle on things and the problem will subside.
— Flying: This can be a fun dream, as most people say that the feeling of being able to fly is joyful and exhilarating. Look at how high you are flying, which direction you are going, and how fast you are going. The higher or faster you go shows your level of confidence. Flying low is an indication that you are feeling content with your current life. If you fly backwards that means you are thinking about your past. If you have any fear while you are flying that might mean you are afraid of some challenge being presented to you, or that you are not ready for it. Are you facing any obstacles during your flight? This means that someone, or something is in your way in your life. Look at who or what might be preventing you from going forward. Flying dreams where you are in control show your personal power. They might be telling you to look at things from a different perspective, or they may be sending you a message to take on a challenge because nothing is impossible!
Remember that your mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep. If you’re tossing and turning, or having nightmares about your bed, check your mattress for signs of wear and tear. If your mattress is more than 5-7 years old, it probably needs to be replaced. For lots more sleep tips visit BetterSleep.org. Sweet Dreams!
Watch my YouTube video on Dream Interpretation HERE