Like many others, I’m fascinated by dreams. Since I was a kid, I’ve paid close attention to my dreams, and in turn, they have been quite vivid. Some are funny, some awesomely surreal, many are dark and disturbing. After hearing about the possibility of lucid dreaming, I even went to bed every night with the intention of practicing–in a few cases, I remember succeeding. I almost always remember at least 1 dream per night, and I’ve been keeping dream journals for a few years, to record the most vivid and meaningful. Some I plan to use as a base for some short stories.
As an aside, let me say that I don’t believe in those “dream books,” in which you reference an encyclopedic collection of random symbols, read the definitions, and get a conveyor-belt instant analysis of your dream. Using those books is a lazy thing to do, and relying on them is a substitution for self-introspection. The images your brain produces while asleep is something unique to every person, and I believe it’s a fascinating, not to mention immensely useful, tool for personal reflection.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…
Whenever I’m facing a tough dilemma, I always take a day and follow my mother’s advice: “Sleep on it.” Whatever’s on your mind gets worked on during REM sleep, and when I wake up fresh and rested, I feel the problem usually becomes so much clearer the next day. It makes sense; my brain’s continued considering it throughout the night, without my silly consciousness and ego in the way.
My dreams show me what’s bothering me, what I’m afraid of, who I feel estranged from (or wish I were closer to), expose my deepest and most disturbing fears, express my emotional state in the form of images, and so on and so on and so on.
So, what’s rolling around your head while you’re sleeping?