Cairo’s Couch Corner: 7 Things You Should Know About Dreaming

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Written by Mariam Amr

Mr Beans
Mr Bean

Dreaming is something that has messed with our minds one time or another, whether it’s because we can’t remember part of a dream, see part of it coming true, or don’t even understand how such an illogical dream is designed by our own subconscious. Anyways, we ALL dream, NO exceptions. The difference is that some of us just don’t remember it!

“What could happen to me if I got caught by the chaser?”

A few years ago I had this dream where I was being chased in my house by someone who kept transforming from one person to another, like the chasing wasn’t scary enough! I was terrified and was trying my best to open my eyes to save myself from this nightmare. It was then that I realized that I was dreaming, and that meant I was safe, right? I mean, what could happen to me if I got caught by the chaser? I was still going to wake up.

As soon as I was no longer afraid, I was able to take control of my dream. I opened the door of my house, which was previously locked when I tried to open it earlier, and went out to walk in the streets. I truly can’t explain how euphoric I was. It’s like I was Alice and that was my wonderland. Everything around me was beautiful and enchanting, but like all things it didn’t last long. My alarm intruded the dream, and I woke up to reality.

Hey, Arnold!
Hey, Arnold!

For a long time, I had no idea how that happened, but all I knew was that I wanted it to happen again. So like one does in such times, I googled the control of dreams, which I found out was called ‘Lucid Dreaming’. Once you experience lucid dreaming, you won’t want to wake up! It’s literally a world your sub conscious created! What’s cooler than that?

Disney
Disney

When I researched, I discovered a few shocking things that made dreams even more interesting to me; here are a few of my favourites:

1. Dreams Start After 90 mins of Sleep

Cinderella
Cinderella or beauty sleep?

Our sleep cycle is composed of five stages, the last of which is called REM (Rapid Eye Movement). The first stages prepare you for the REM stage by dropping your body temperature, and slowing your heart rate. That final stage is when you can start dreaming as you’re deep in sleep. This happens between 90 to 110 minutes.

 

2. You’re Paralyzed While Dreaming 

Family Guy
Family Guy

In the REM stage of sleep, because we start dreaming, and are going to be moving around pretty much alot in those dreams, our bodies go through a mechanism of paralysis, so we don’t move accordingly with the dream.

 

3. Practice Makes… LUCID DREAMING 

dream1
Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is not mere luck for those who experience it, it’s work. All you need are three steps. Keep a dream journal every day, and write your dreams as soon as you wake up. You also need to choose a dream sign to differentiate between reality and dreaming; you have to know you are dreaming in order to control the dream. In the movie Inception for example, the sign was a spinning top which the character would spin, if it continued to spin, then he would be dreaming.

Finally, you need to always be aware and focused on your surroundings. If you keep up with these three steps, you’ll experience your first lucid dream, which will probably be very short. But after enough practice, and using your dream sign while dreaming to make sure you’re dreaming, you’ll be able to have the full experience.

 

4. You Know Everyone in Your Dreams

Homer!
Homer!

Every single person that was a part of your dreams, even if you think you’ve never seen them before, you actually have. It’s might be someone you’ve seen on the street, TV, a picture on social media… These faces are stored in your subconscious memory but your active, everyday memory won’t remember every single face, which is why you don’t recognize them.

 

5. Sleep Saves You from Alzheimer’s

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch

During our sleep, our brains are literally cleaned out! They clear out all toxins which stress out and drain our brains. This helps us reduce the risks of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

 

6. Every Living Organism Dreams (Except plants!)

Even kittens!
Even kittens!

We’ve already made it clear that all people dream, it’s just a matter of memory. It is sometimes believed that people who have lost their sight don’t dream, which is incorrect. Even those who have lost their sight do have the ability to dream. Well that’s not just it, even animals dream!

 

7. You spend 6 Years of Your Life Dreaming

You're right, Squidward!
You’re right, Squidward!

In the REM Stage (refer to #1), you can have up to 7 dreams per night! So the average person spends equivalent to six years of sleep, that is 52560 hours of sleep!

In reality, dreams are more important than we set them to be. They are a creation of sub consciousness, so they can help you understand things on a bigger scale.

Till next time…

Feel free to share your thoughts on dreaming. Also, tell us about your most interesting dream so far!

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