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What Causes Crazy Dreams Every Night?

I have always been a vivid dreamer. But lately it’s getting out of hand. This past week I’ve woken up each morning feeling like I wrote six screenplays in my sleep the night before. Tuesday night I travelled back and forth in time through a magical elevator, and Thursday I stressed out trying to find the classroom for an AP Calculus final in a class that I hadn’t attended all semester.

After eight solid hours of adventure sleep, I’m exhausted. Naturally I turned to Google to find out what was causing my sleep-self to be so active, and what I could do to stifle my subconscious so I don’t wake up feeling like I just ran a mental marathon.

Turns out, I may actually be getting better sleep than someone who isn’t dreaming a lot, since intense dreams usually happen during REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement = kinda creepy), in which time you’re deeply KO’d. The REM cycle happens a few times a night and each cycle lasts about 90 minutes. That’s like five plus hours of writing time per night!

This very informative article breaks down dreams into eight helpful genres (see below), and offers dream causes ranging from: repressed emotions needing to seep out, to our mind alleviating anxiety by helping us connect subconscious dots. Pretty amazing stuff.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • Processing
  • Venting (Nightmares)
  • Integration
  • Breakdown/breakthrough
  • Recurring (High school exams/locker combos for me on this one…)
  • Precognitive
  • Prophetic (I dreamt my best friend was preggo on the day she found out. So weird.)
  • Wish fulfillment

Conclusion: I guess I should be more grateful of our amazing minds, and for my lucid dreams…Start keeping a dream diary, analyze them, and maybe even use them for creative inspiration? The human brain, you guys!

CategoryHow it Works, Science Tagged , ,