Stranger than Fiction: How your Dreams are Connected to Reality
June 17, 2014
Dreams are neat little experiences that you and I experience every night. Well sure, it’s true that there are such a thing as nightmares and lucid dreaming, but with that outside of the picture, dreams are pretty wonderful and interesting little bits of what I prefer to call “mini-realities.” Your body lies asleep on your bed mattress, but your mind is on an alternate universe beyond imagination. Cool, right?
To explain it in a nutshell, the reason we dream is because the brain never really truly rests – and that includes even when the rest of your body is in a relaxed and resting state. The brain just goes on. At night when you’re asleep, you don’t have to think of your to-do list or your task at hand, but your brain is used to thinking and processing, thus opening you to the world of dreams.
It’s pretty amazing what dreams can do inside your subconscious, but when considered within the borders of reality, how are dreams connected to what you experience in real life? Let’s take a look.
The human brain is most likely to be the most complex piece of biological machinery there is to have ever existed. With it, we compose symphonies, write poems, develop languages, invent all sorts of complicated gadgets and so forth. If you add the wonders of the imagination to the picture, you get even a broader view.
However, it also has its limits. For example, the finite human mind cannot fathom something as big and infinite as eternity, and it can’t even imagine a new color. In dreams, the human mind also displays its limits. Did you know that all the faces that have appeared on your dreams are derived from faces you’ve seen before?
It’s true that everybody dreams. The very small exception are those who have severe mental and psychological conditions that hinder dreaming. Some people dream more than others, and a neurologist back in 2001 has discovered an interesting correlation between social relationships and interactions to dreaming.
He found out that those who experience less social interactions are more likely to dream more frequently, and it happens in greater detail as opposed to those who experience average to high amounts of social interactions. I guess it’s fun to think that the brain sort of compensates the lack of social life with nocturnal dream-life.
Video games are more than just a waste of time. It has a lot of positive effects like drastically improving alertness, eye-hand coordination, problem solving, and many more. But did you know that in relation to dreaming, people who play video games often have a much higher chance of achieving lucid dreaming?
Something about spatial awareness and environmental control which the gamer experiences every time he or she plays a game is somehow brought over to the dream state, and the dreaming gamer somehow can realize that he or she is in a dream and can take control of it.
In a way, dreams are tiny realities in themselves. Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” sort of demonstrated this with a rather generous amount of fiction and suspense. Dreams are a nice little retreat that you can sometimes look forward to when you’re having a bad day. Just remember that whatever dream you’re having on your mattress at night, remember there’s a brand new day ahead.