How do we dream?

Features, Other

Photo: My dream journal.

A few weeks ago, I suddenly had a bizarre urge to know how other people dream besides myself. To be honest, I have always so fascinated by the psychology behind dreaming for so long, but the basic information that is easily accessed online does not seem to satisfy my curiosity. I discussed it with my best friend and we found out the ways we dream are oddly different. This was the last straw for me to create an online survey to find out how other people dream.

I did not expect many people to participate in my survey at first, as it seems a tad personal since dreams are closely linked to our everyday life. That is why I was surprised to see friends whom I am not that close with, or even total strangers (since I set the link public) do my survey. And it was not just some basic yes or no answers, there were some amazingly well-detailed storied that got shared.

The first thing I asked is whether all of the survey takers are aware that they dream every night. Surprisingly, 30,8% said no. This might be due to the fact that most of us do not remember how our dreams went after waking up, though it has been scientifically proven that we, in fact, dream every night.

The next question is the general theme of their dreams. This resulted in all kind of answers, from “reality mixed with fiction”, to “something that always makes me run”, to love, fear, travel and even “full-blown Satanic rituals”. The same thing goes with “a dream that left you traumatized” and “the best dream you have ever had”. I was taken aback a bit, in a good away, with how people chose to share their life stories with me. Some gave me extremely genuine answers, on how they were traumatized by dreaming of being killed, killing their parents, seeing demons, seeing dead people, being abandoned, etc. On the contrary, some say being given money, having a happy family or getting back with their ex are their best dreams ever. One friend said that his best dream is also the dream that traumatized him, which is really intriguing.

Some more questions that got asked are “have your dreams ever linked to each other”, “do they affect your attitudes in real life” and “can you wake up on demand”. My answers to all three are yes. But the answers I received were overwhelmingly diverse. This again proved that the ways we dream are in no way the same.

I closed the survey by digging deep with sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. With sleep paralysis, the mutual feeling is usually being pinned down, unable to speak and move. But a good number of them have never experienced it, which again, left me surprised since I thought it is such a common part of dreaming. The same goes to lucid dreaming, which I myself, have not tried either. The ones who have tried said they either did it a lot in a long period of time or tried once and was too scared to do it again. But most of them just asked me back “Can we do that??”

So, this concludes my survey on dreams. I know I can’t cover all the aspects of dreaming, since they are quite intricate. Hope you enjoyed this little unusual article from me.

Trang Le

Trang Le

International Business student at XAMK
Trang Le

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