So, welcome to that weird dream in some interpretation field! We bet you, too, at some point had a rather odd dream (maybe it’s seeing spiders or your tooth falling out). “Can this dream have any meaning?” You woke up thinking.
Dreams are powerful emotional tools. Dreams often do not mean the same for everyone, as many nuances are involved. Only the person himself can understand whether that dream can mean anything to him. But still, according to therapist and dream expert Leslie Ellis, while dreams are purely subjective and empirical, there are a few things people get wrong about dreaming.
Here Ellis separates these facts from myths for you and shares the right part with you!
Myth 1: Some people don’t dream.
No, everyone dreams. According to Ellis, the process many experts call ‘typical dreaming’ takes place during REM sleep. The average REM sleep time for most people is two hours each night. So if you wake someone up during REM sleep, they’ll most likely wake up in the middle of a dream. So even people who claim to be sure they’ve never dreamed wander through the dream world for at least two hours each night but don’t remember it. This is not about not dreaming; it’s about memory called ‘dream recall’.
“So how do we remember our dreams?” you may ask. Ellis says the best time to remember dreams is when REM sleep is most intense, from rest to wakefulness. “The REM phase gets longer and longer throughout the night, and the last dreams we have before we wake up in the morning are often the most interesting ones.”
Ellis recommends waking up naturally, without an alarm, if you can. “Give yourself enough time to complete your sleep cycle, and don’t interrupt your sleep.” Of course, this does not mean that you set the alarm in the middle of the night to remember your dream… Slow down the waking process a little and try to remember what you saw just before waking up, where you were and with whom. You can also write the details down on paper if it helps.
Myth 2: Dreams are meaningless.
Another misconception is that dreams are meaningless and useless. This is such a wrong thought! In REM sleep, the brain is more active than when awake. That’s why there are many situations where we can take advantage of what’s going on in our dreams.
Dreams help you deal with particularly intense emotions. Ellis states that goals ease the intensity of our feelings during the day and calm us down. Take, for example, those anxious dreams we often have when caught off-guard for a test, speech, or event (and often in which you see yourself naked). Even though the situation seen in the dream is not a real-life counterpart (that is, even if you do not have an upcoming exam in front of you), you may be feeling that emotion for another situation that you are not fully ready to do in the process you are in. Thus, you can make sense of the things that make you uneasy in daily life through your dreams and go through those situations more easily.
Myth 3: Only experts can interpret dreams.
Our final myth is that you need an expert to interpret a dream. Of course, you can also consult an expert; these experts have been specifically trained to help you make sense of that emotional realm. But besides that, you can even interpret your dreams with your friends. You don’t need any special training or be a therapist for this. But, according to Ellis, it may still be more helpful to have someone by your side to delve deeper into your dreams.
We tend to see in our dreams what we don’t want to know about ourselves and what we suppress. This can cause us to take a more biased approach to our goals and make it harder for us to deal with them honestly. So a friend with whom you can share your dreams and give unbiased feedback can help you draw a healthier conclusion. It will also enable you to notice recurring themes in your dreams.