Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 Interesting Dream Facts

I've been doing some digging on my favorite topic of what goes on in those crazy minds of ours whilst we have no control over them. I've found some cool stuff. Let me fill you in.

1. It is impossible to snore and dream at the same time. This means my father never dreams...ever.

2. The colder your room is, the worse your nightmares are. Now, this is particularly interesting. Females typically have a lower body temperature than males. Does this mean females are inclined to have more nightmares than males? How does this effect the human condition? I sense a future blog in this tid-bit.

3. It is said that ancient Egyptians created a dream journal in 4,000 B.C.E. Why does this not surprise me? Seriously, those guys did everything.

4. The word "Nightmare" originated in England in the 13th century. Back then, it meant a spirit or monster that oppresses people during their sleep.

5. In an average lifetime, a person sleeps for about 6 years.

6. Within 5 minutes of waking up, 90% of your dream disappears from your mind. This is why you need a dream journal! Seriously, if you start one I swear you won't regret it. Pure fun.

7. Fetuses dream. Yeah. What? Their dreams aren't visual, but they are made of sound and touch sensations. Guess you have to pass those 9 months somehow.

8. You can feel pain in your dreams. Pain is one of the few phenomenons that can transcend reality into your dreams. I know I have had dreams where I have gotten shot or stabbed, and I wake up still feeling the wound. Creepy.

9. People who lack protein in their diet and/or have a personality disorder may have a dream deficiency. To me, this makes sense. It would take A LOT of imagination and mental power to have a personality disorder. There is no way to save some for when you're asleep.

10. The word "dream" has three suspected origins: 1) West Germanic word, "draugmus" meaning illusion, deception, or phantom. 2) Old Norse word, "draugr" (any Skyrim fans in the house? Eh?) meaning  ghost or apparition. 3) and the less popular Sanskrit word, "druh" meaning to seek harm or injure. Apparently many cultures believed dreams were caused by spirits or ghosts.

And with these facts, you may dream more knowledgeably. Sort of.

Monday, July 29, 2013

In this Way, the Right Side Wins

I'm having a battle between my subconscious and my logic, friends. For this, let me shed some light on how the subconscious can very easily triumph over every inch of the left side of your brain.

I'm struggling with a nightmare I had in the month of September, 2012.

In the month of September 2012, one of my dearest friends passed away.

It was expected unexpectedly. She always told me she never saw herself living past 21. Well, she made it. By a week. It was her heart. It was too big. They replaced it, but the original is always better.

I had a recurring nightmare after her death. It was just us, her and me, in a stark white place, so much like a hospital where she spent so much time. But there was red. And there was blood on my chest. It was not mine. It was her’s. It was spilling from the scar that began at her chest and extended below her belly button. I snapped my hands out to her chest, pressing, trying to make the flow stop. My hands were not big enough to cover all of her scar. I could not stop the blood or the pain. I was trying to take her blood. I was trying to take her pain. But she was dying. And as the blood leaked from her body, as did the blue in her eyes, soon to be nothing but white irises with black holes that no longer refracted light.

She reached at my chest, scarless and dimpled. Desparate, her shaking hands spread her blood over my chest. Sapphires to pearls, her eyes were no longer her’s. A phantom of her soul rose above her body. Screaming, it passed through my chest. I gasped and stumbled to my knees which landed on the ground with a loud crack. I looked at my hands, and they had turned red. My chest was bare though, with no more blood.

Just a scar that extended from my cleavage to below my belly button.

I find myself remembering this dream tonight. I find myself trapped in it's meaning. I wanted to help her, but this was something I could not help her with. And I feel guilty. Possibly, the most guilty I will ever feel in my lifetime. And I find myself...still not able to let this go.

Could I have ever saved my friend from this terrible situation? No.

Should I feel guilty for not being able to take her place? No.

Here is the secret, folks. When it comes to emotions, from the deepest seeded sorrows to the highest ecstasy you could ever imagine, logic contributes nothing.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Bull Was Skinning Me...

Last night, I had a dream that a bull (horns, stylish septum piercing, the works) was skinning me alive. Not by mauling me with its horns, but by sitting in a stool with a potato peeler in hand, skinning me.

Seriously, what the hell?

I've been having a lot of dreams about getting skinned/losing my skin/ changing my skin in some way. Anywhere from turning a stunning shade of deep purple to getting a tattoo of the American flag where strips of my skin hang off to represent the stripes. To me, this interpretation is obvious. I'm changing, and maybe I'm changing in a way that my subconscious dejects. It is warning me that whatever changes I am going through may by agree with who I am/have become.

Now I must figure out if it is worth it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dreaming of the Four Elements

Water, Earth, Air, and Fire.

These are the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little planet. But! The big guy in the sky accidentally added another ingredient to the concoction...Chemical Humanity.

And, there is your 90's throwback for the day.

But really, what do each of the elements mean when they are present in your dreams? And no, Metal, Shadow, Light, Time, Space, these are NOT elements, people. I'm talking about the traditional materials that created the world.


Calm water is associated with renewal, regeneration, and purification. Turbulent water is associated with emotional discomfort.

In terms of dreams, water symbolizes how emotions are affecting your life. If you are drowning, your emotions are overwhelming and bringing you down. If you are swimming or overcome the water somehow, this means your emotions are under your control. Emotions can be connected to anything that has a connection to water: sea animals, sinks, bathtubs, the subconscious is very creative.


Earth can be connected to actions. Okay, as simple as it sounds, Earth grounds you. Earth reminds us that we are mortal. We can die. In fact, we will die. 

If your dream takes place on the ground, no matter what the content of the dream, it is usually has familiar topics and thoughts behind it. If anything that can be connected to Earth (trees, groundhogs, etc.) appears in your dreams, it may mean that you feel uncertain (or too certain) about an aspect of your life.


Air symbolizes inspiration and intelligence. In a sense, air is water's antithesis. It refers to the logical side of life. Instead of emotions, air gets its power in thoughts.

So, if there is a tornado in your dreams, it most likely means you're thinking too much about something. But do not limit yourself to thinking that only the physical element of air symbolizes thoughts, also think of things that connect to it (birds, insects, planes, falling leaves).


Last of all, we have Fire. As many of you probably know, Fire is associated with passion and impulse. This is the most primitive of the four elements. It also relates to the type of energy your feel in life.

When you see fire in your dreams, it may mean that you have much energy, or no energy at all for a certain subject or idea. Remember, Fire is a powerful element. While it is absolutely necessary for survival, when it is out of control, you won't survive.

Interpreting anything in a dream is very very circumstantial. When interpreting a dream, you should take into consideration the images, ideas, and emotions within the dream to try to determine what it means. Usually, all of the elements are present in one dream, but there are times where one element is much more prevalent than others. Those are the dreams when you should incorporate these meanings.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dreaming Blind

I have recently discovered that blind people do, in fact, dream. I really did not think this was possible. Dreams are normally so visually heavy, how can you dream without pictures and images?

Well, this is how: Auditory Dreams.

So, from what I've researched, the dreams people who are blind have are based on how long they have been unable to see. If they have been blind since birth, it is totally auditory. It's like listening to a audiobook, a story without the image. If a person was once able to see, sometimes a glimpse of the thing they are dreaming from what they remember. All of their images come from memory, though. The dreams also use the other senses, such as smell, taste, and touch. The possibility of having visual dreams is extremely unlikely for those who became blind before the age of 5. If people lose their sight after that age, there is a higher possibility that they will have visually driven dreams, although they may diminish after time.

So here are my questions. It has been said that the people that appear in your dreams are people you have seen in real life, because the brain is incapable of completely creating a person. How does this concept work to the blind? If they have been able to see for a short period, do their dreams re-use the same people over and over again? And if they haven't been able to see at all, would the people in their dreams consist of different voices that represent people?

Another one, while they are hearing the dream go on, do they just see blackness?

Like this?

Or is it some sort of grey/white/colored(?) thing? Is it textured?

Like this?

I would imagine the people who use their memories to dream can see color, but what about those who have been blind since birth? How do they think of color?

I'm not sure why, but this idea is so intriguing to me. Ever since I was young, becoming blind has been a phobia of sorts. Being able to see means a lot to me, and it is probably my most important sense (which reveals my humanity and weaknesses pretty well, judge me not). I can't imagine not being able to see the world around me. On my college campus, we have a pretty decent sized amount of people who are blind, and whenever I see one, I just have nothing but respect. I can't imagine how hard that would be.

Keep dreaming.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cat-Napping and Its Affects on Dreams

First of all, I have a new cat. His name is Rorschach, and I must share him with the world. So prepare for an adorable picture.

Ignore my silly cat face.
Now, I don't know about you guys, but naps are so fickle. Most of the time, I avoid naps at all costs because they give me much more energy than intended. I nap for ten minutes, I'm up for seven more hours (I wish I was exaggerating). When I do nap, though, I get some pretty vicious dreams.

So, I got curious and looked up the science. Apparently, when you are sleeping lightly (that phasic and tonic REM business), you are more likely to dream. And, of course, when you nap, you aren't going to go comatose like you should when you lay down for the night. Also, you are more likely to remember the dreams during a nap because you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the REM cycle.

On another note: apparently naps will improve your ability to retain memory, but only if you dream during them. So keep dreaming, you dizzy people, you.

Friday, May 31, 2013

What Tongues Can Do

Last night, I had this little gem come to me. It went a little something like this.

Do you remember Ursula from The Little Mermaid? Let me jog your memory.

This beauty.
Alright, so this pretty little thing was with me (sans singing). She gave me a box with intricate silver details and black pearls. When I opened it, a single lumpy tongue was sitting on a red pillow of puffy silk. "Don't let him find it," she said to me, all husk and hollow. She disappeared, and the dream fell away as they do, in pixels and blackness.

I found myself on the beach, with the box and the heart. A fun house was on the beach, one of those with the mirror maze. I went into the funhouse, feeling my way through the mirrors. In one of the reflections, I saw a shadow following me. I turned around to see him right behind me, but separated by a wall of glass. Panicking, I tried to run through the maze, smashing my body into each corner in my hurry to find the way out. Heart pounding, I crashed through a mirror to find myself in a throne room. A throne decorated in grey seashells, and the shadow sat there. The box trembled in my hands as the creature took it. I tried to scream.

Do you know how difficult it is to scream without a tongue?

Dream interpretation suggests this dream would mean something or someone is trying to keep me silent. That I feel restricted and unable to express something that is going on in my life. The water elements of the dream suggest that the thing I am keeping silent about is related to emotions or love. Water is connected with that sort of thing: feelings and emotions and love and hate.

I'm not sure what my big secret is, but maybe I'll figure it out soon with a few more..."hints".

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Animals Mean in Dreams

Alright, so I have already told you all about my nightmares of alligators/crocodiles in my childhood. So, here is a super awesome site to see what animals mean in your dreams.

According to this site, alligators/crocodiles mean hidden dangers because they are situated underwater and hard to see. They can also mean deceit, because they trick you into thinking they are not there.

I find this rather eerie, because now in my adult life I am hyper aware of what I think other people are thinking.

So, why do humans associate feelings and problems with animals? Here is my theory:

Instincts are ridiculous.

Feelings are associated with animals the same way feelings are associate with colors. This all happens on the instinctual and (you guessed it) subconscious level.

I know, I know. "Rianne, why can't animals in dreams just be random animals? Does it all have to mean something?"

Yes, dear reader. It must mean something. The subconscious rarely does things without a purpose. The only thing I can really compare it to is "fate". You may not understand why something has happened to you, but there is a purpose. Or so we tell ourselves to try to make our lives seem less useless. Same thing with the subconscious. It chooses things that the conscious may not comprehend, but there is a purpose.

Remember, this does not mean that we are interpreting these animals-that-are-connected-to-feelings correctly. But what the hell, worth a shot right? And we all know analyzing dreams is some fun shit.

Admit it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Reason for Insomnia

Insomnia is something I am quite familiar with. But not for any of the common reasons, so the common cures scarcely work. No, my reasons are...well...

I am afraid to sleep tonight.

Sometimes I can feel them, crawling behind my eyes, slipping into my brain and messing things up. I fight them. I try to stay awake, make them believe I will not fall asleep tonight. Maybe they will leave. Maybe I will be safe.

The dreams know.

A fog covers my irises and mind. The crawling finds its way deep into the crevices of my brain, infecting where the logic lies. A shadow creeps across the ripples inside my skull, covering up the places where the dreams hide. When the dreams are all tucked in, the crawling stops.

And when the crawling stops, I stop fighting.

My body falls. The dreams come back to life, and I am trapped.

Is this really sleeping?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why Dreams Are Important (Growing Old Together)

I'm one of those people that believe dreams mean more than we realize. I think dreams are a way for the subconscious to express itself, and they usually mean something. And this is why.

I used to be pretty terrified of crocodiles. The most common nightmare I had as a kid was one where crocodiles would be hiding under my bed. My foot would brush the carpet, and a giant pair of alligator jaws would crunch down on my ankle. Screaming, I would be dragged underneath my twin bed and fall onto a spongy swamp floor. Water would ripple, and my limbs would disappear in a bloody mass of flying tissue and torn skin.

But I wasn't deranged or anything. Just imaginative.

Then my nightmares suffered from my middle-child syndrome. The one where you think your family doesn't really love you, they just act like it. I had dreams of my parents getting divorced; my mother would keep my older sister, my father would keep my younger brother, but neither one would want to keep me. So my sad, curly-haired little self would be left in an orphanage to face all kinds of bad people. I understand now (at my mature age of 21, a-ha-ha) that this was all rubbish. But teenage-dom is the age of self-centered angst, after all.

Maybe I watched a little too much Annie.

Just recently, I worked a job that I grew to absolutely despise (for obvious purposes, no names will be dropped here). For quite some time now, I thought it would be really awesome to become a bartender. Good money, good people, good times, it was all located in bars. I found somewhere that was willing to hire me, and I was so stoked for the opportunity. But it wasn't exactly what I was lead to believe it would be. It wasn't anyone's fault, but I just was completely uncomfortable with the situation and felt unprepared to do the things that they were asking me to do.

Anyway, my anxiety about this job was through the roof. Completely high-strung, ridiculously distracting from the entire rest of my life. Including my dreams. Last night, I had a dream that I was at this job. I was working the bar all alone, and I also had to work a kitchen. Scrambling to serve a bunch of customers that had just come in, I threw some hot dogs in the microwave. When I took them out, the hot dogs had turned to snakes who were attacking my arms with their venomous fangs. This morning, I realized the time I was wasting trying to like this job that seemed like such a good experience. Something was obviously wrong if I was spending so much time worrying and obsessing over it.

So I quit today.

Some people think that dreams are just some nonsense, something that just happens while you sleep. But I truly believe they are worth paying attention to. If they weren't, why would dreams be so specific to the things that are going on in your life? Why would some dreams terrify us so much, that we jerk awake in a frenzy? Or make us so sad, that we wake up with tear-stained pillows and salt crusted eyes?

Dreams are worth it, watch your subconscious closely.