How can I explain my strange dreams
What is behind your realistic & rather banal dreams?
Let's be honest: the content of a dream is often only of interest to the person who dreamed it. If you've ever had to listen to your girlfriend for half an hour as she talks about her oh-so-crazy dream, you know exactly what I mean. Sometimes dreams are so far from reality that you just tell them have to. But that does not automatically mean that the other person finds them just as fascinating as you do. And sometimes you just see in your dreams what you have experienced while awake - all the everyday things that are so banal that you don't tell anyone about them. But why are dreams so different and why are they sometimes just plain boring and realistic?
To answer these questions, we must first understand what causes strange dreams, says clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Breus. One reason for this could be certain medications such as antidepressants, beta blockers, or blood pressure medication. Often their ingredients ensure that your dreams are livelier. Sometimes it's because you're struggling with so many nerve-wracking things in your subconscious that your brain tries to cope with them while you sleep with the help of surreal images. And in some cases, crazy dreams arise when you sleep too long.
But the fact is: Most of the time you only process the things in your dreams that happened to you during the day. "Any stressful events that you think about just before you fall asleep will affect the content of your dream," says Dr. Breus. So if, as you fall asleep, you think about the fact that your roommate never takes out the trash, this is exactly what you might be dreaming of. If you are afraid that you will miss the important appointment the next day, then you will likely dream about waking up and getting ready.
Some people pick up or hold on to a lot of content during the day. And then these reappear in their dreams, explains Dr. Breus. Sometimes it can take days for these events to show up in a dream. Researchers refer to this phenomenon as "dream delay". Why we dream what we dream, or why certain things appear in our dreams, cannot yet be precisely said, according to the expert. What researchers have already found, however, is that eating before bed can help you remember your dreams. And why there could be a connection is easy to understand. Eating has a direct effect on your stomach and thereby also on your sleep. For example, if you have eaten large amounts of food before going to bed and your stomach takes a long time to digest everything, it can make you sleep more restlessly. And because you will most likely have a lot of waking phases while sleeping, you may be able to remember your dreams better in these moments.
In addition, the stage of sleep you are in could also have something to do with your dreams. People are more likely to dream during REM sleep. During this time your brain is wide awake, says Dr. Shelby Harris, director of behavioral sleep medicine at the Center for Sleep Wake Disorders at Montefiore Medical Center. Dreaming during REM is "a way for your brain to figure out what to remember and what to destroy and forget," says Dr. Harris. “That's why dreams get mixed up sometimes. And sometimes they are just as realistic as to give us the opportunity to combine emotions and memories and find out what to remember and what to forget. According to Dr. Breus can make the dream seem even more banal by waking up in REM sleep.
So dreams are basically very nuanced and often reflect a few different personal factors. Sometimes dreams are really strange, and sometimes they're pretty boring. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you are strange or boring yourself. Don't stress yourself if you have particularly wild dreams - because basically they don't say anything about you as a person, but are at most a funny story that you can tell at a dinner party.
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