Bad Dreams

For most of my life, I’ve remembered very few of my dreams. But I’m going through a spell this week.

I told my best friend a few days ago that I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. Multiple dreams a night, always with a bad one tossed into the mix. As is typical for me, the bad dreams usually revolve around trying to stop something terrible from happening and having no help. Sometimes they involve being killed by violent animals or human beings, but mostly, I am trying to protect a person, a small animal, or my stuff from being mauled or stolen.

I’ve never really subscribed to the idea that your dreams are trying to tell you something, because most of my dreams are nonsense. I can get that your brain would try to process information while you slept, and that might result in dreams that are related to what’s going on with your life, but I’ve never thought much about mine and I’m not 100% up on dream science so can’t really speak to it.

But for some reason, a couple of recent dreams have been pretty on the nose. The one about leaving a movie theatre feature of a Star Wars movie just to go watch a different Star Wars movie in an arcade? Weird. The one where I had to stop a thief from trying to steal my stuff at the airport and received no help despite the place being full of people? Also weird, but not relevant.

Last night, however, was different. Before going to bed, a friend came over and we talked about sketchy neighbourhoods, my wish to live close to friends and family, and future homes. Later that night while I was fast asleep, my brain conjured up a story in which I was going to see my new home, which was situated right next to some friends’ new homes, only to discover that a homeless man had been squatting on the balcony. Upon finding me there, he shouted that this was his place and he wasn’t leaving it; then he started running at me, determined to hunt me down and kill me with his knife. I escaped through a forest, and woke up.

In this case, my brain had very clear inspirations for the dream. Sp what makes some dreams more clearly derivative than others? What makes a person remember their dreams more than usual?

I suspect the latter is because I’ve been getting crap sleeps, but I’m not sure about the former. I also don’t want to try googling any answers, because dream talk can always get hokey.

But I’m curious. Do you dream a lot? Do you go through random spells of vivid and memorable dreaming?

Scientists still understand so little about the human brain. Maybe one day we’ll know why we remember being hunted by squatters and not other things.