On The Importance Of Dreams
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

On The Importance Of Dreams

Your mind knows what it's doing.

148
On The Importance Of Dreams
PlayBuzz

You finally fall asleep after a long night of studying for a midterm that has had you worrying all week. You wake up in the morning crying, thinking you failed until you realize it was only a nightmare. Or maybe you go on a really great date, and you fall asleep with a smile stretched wide across your face. When you wake up, you blush, embarrassed to realize your date made an appearance in your dream.

Or maybe you have a very average day, and you fall asleep with an “empty” mind. You see dragons and giant hamburgers, and, when morning hits, you have no idea what you were thinking during your time in REM sleep. These different dreams are more than just entertaining conversation-starters for later in the day. It turns out that dreams are a very crucial part of our development as emotional, thinking human beings.

According to an article from the Scientific American, our dreams are stories formulated by the brain in order to process emotions and create memories of them, essentially “deactivating” the emotion. Dreams are produced in the visual cortex, connecting them to both visual processing and emotional/visual memories. A study from the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at UC Berkeley shows that a lack of dreaming affects “our ability to understand complex emotions in daily life.” Processing emotions while asleep ultimately allows us to better process emotions while awake, a necessary function as members of society. Dreams are directly connected to emotions, hence making dreams a critical component to our existence as responsive human beings.

I have grown up in a household where psychological discussions were common dinner conversations. Analyzing my dreams has been like a pastime of mine. In my high school AP Psychology class, we had an assignment to evaluate some of our dreams, researching different events, symbols, and emotions that are associated with specific meanings. I once woke up from a dream that took place in a pool of water deep inside of a cave. I was floating on a weak, rubber raft, surrounded by tiny glass sharks.

I researched sharks, darkness and other distinct elements of the dream in order to uncover some sense of meaning to what seemed like nonsense. This was around the time I was researching colleges, and what I concluded was that I was anxious about the uncertainty of my decisions regarding my future. Sharks often represent anxiety, and darkness represents the unknown. The raft was the instability of it all. This odd dream about glass sharks and dark caves was just my brain processing the jumbled emotions I had regarding adulthood.

That was over two years ago. It was a recurring dream a few weeks ago that has my mind stuck on the topic like glue. Without getting too personal, I have become very familiar with death over the past four years. However, I never realized that it had affected me much until this dream when I woke up worried and afraid. It was a series of three similar events, each involving loss. At first, my umbrella went missing, which I assume was just a manifestation of the time I lost my umbrella last semester; not a big deal. The second part was exactly the same, but this time, my umbrella was my dog. Lastly, it was one of the most important people in my life. Though much of it was literal, it took some analysis to really uncover the truths behind what may have seemed like just an emotionally distressing nightmare.

Some dreams never truly leave us; they are the first to come to mind when dreams pop up in conversation. My most memorable dream has even been given a specific title—The Whiteberry Blackbird—though that story is for another time. Unfortunately, this dream lived in a 5-year-old Olivia’s mind, too old now for me to ever accurately decipher. However, it’s a dream that is just as vivid today as it was nearly 14 years ago. Even if we don’t always know why, our dreams are often significant moments in our development. It is worth it sometimes to take a step back and think about the jumbled thoughts from the night before, because maybe, just maybe, you’ll understand yourself a little bit more.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

50165
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

80504
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

77734
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Health?

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

182517
Sleep Position

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How to Throw the Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

124463
Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments