Does the movie you watched last night, the cheese you ate after dinner, or the whisky you knocked back all evening affect your dreams? Might a hot night, a thunderstorm, a full bladder, a rattling window, a screeching mosquito, or a headache explain away a weird dream?
Yes, and then again, no! Let’s start with the movie. If a movie really affects you, your dreaming mind will often process the parts that resonated with your emotions, personal issues, beliefs, and life experiences. Your dream may or may not use some of the symbols from the movie, but whatever the dream, do not dismiss it as caused by the movie. Think of the movie as having prompted issues that need your deeper attention.
How about that cheese or alcohol? The idea that cheese causes bad dreams is an old wives’ tale, though body sensations such as indigestion, thirst, cold, a full bladder, a blocked nose, and numbness can get picked up by your brain and woven into the storyline of a dream.
So your indigestion might turn up in a dream as a python coiling around your waist, the thirst as a shift in scene to a desert, the cold air as a passing ghost, or the numbness as a lost limb, but these will vary from person to person and from dream to dream. Again, the important thing is not to dismiss your dream as caused by the cheese, cold, or thirst, but to ask why your dream has chosen a certain symbol or way of processing the sensation. That symbol is meaningful, as is your dream. It tells you about how your mind works, and that’s the object and power of dream interpretation.
The rattling window might become the sound of a roulette game in one person’s dream, a cattle train speeding by in another person’s dream, and a trash bin being emptied in someone else’s dream. How the dreaming mind interprets the intrusion, and how it goes on to incorporate it into the dream storyline, delivers meaningful insight about the dreamer.
So never dismiss any dream.
Oh, about the alcohol. Binge drinking can knock out dreams for a few hours, but if you sleep long enough you’ll experience more intense dreams towards morning. It’s as if the dreaming mind has to squeeze all the dreams in at the end of the night, once the worst of the alcohol is out of your system.
These intense dreams are ‘REM Rebound’ dreams. (REM refers to the Rapid Eye Movement sleep phase where we do most of or dreaming). Too much alcohol blocks REM in the early hours so, come morning, it’s rebound time. And, yes, those dreams are meaningful, so don’t dismiss them.
[Extract from 101 Dream Interpretation Tips, Jane Teresa Anderson]
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