If your dreams are weird, you’re more sane than most people. An Atheist Neuroscientist Finds Faith in Bipolar Mania, 10 Tips for Turning Procrastination into Precrastination, Why Your Abusive Narcissistic Mate Claims to Be the Victim, We Have Neanderthals to Thank for These Genetic Traits, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC. (Think of all the lasagnas and banana breads on Instagram.). IE 11 is not supported. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. I love dreams like that. Which leads us to why we find our own dreams so interesting. Exposure to stress or anxiety right before you sleep — like reading the news or watching a scary movie — can also cause strange or vivid dreams. Getting back to the original question – why are dreams so weird, it is simply because the dream state lacks reality testing. The brain thinks, makes memories, and solves problems. Facebook/LinkedIn image: 9nong/Shutterstock. We dream in the non-REM stages of sleep as well as in the REM stages of sleep, and we spend some of our time in REM sleep not dreaming. Studies going back to the 1990s suggest the amygdala (a part of our brain that plays a role in emotional processing) appear to be very active during dreaming. That’s what our brains can’t do in the background when we’re awake. “You can’t both think about something and listen to people at the same time.”, Our brains need offline time for processing and learning new things — and they do this during sleep. Sigmund Freud's theory was that your dreams are an expression of what you're repressing during the time you are awake. I have all kinds of weird dreams that I can't understand nor remember. vladislav muslakov. Like in the dream I know where that place is but I wake up and think why was it there. It’s not necessarily looking for something reliable that works every time. Social isolation, massive upheaval to daily routines, fears about health and finances, and deep uncertainty about what lies ahead, as well as a shifting combination of boredom, overwork, stress, and anxiety. And it’s not actually that difficult to understand that when this type of brain activity happens, we dream, he adds. A lot of memory processing happens during sleep, he says. “That doesn’t mean they’re totally off, but it means activity is suppressed to a very large extent,” Baird says. There are certain questions that come up for which we plot a potential course of action or think through a future scenario to solve, Stickgold explains. Sign up for our newsletter. And then the brain either stores that information or dumps what’s not useful, explains Robert Stickgold, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Sleep and Cognition, who studies the role of cognition in sleep. Why are our dreams so weird? And these dreams often feel different—more striking, more charged with meaning, more vivid, more real—even if the circumstances of the dreams are fantastical. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. I never saw him in real life. I have one that absolutely won’t give up: it’s Christmas and I’ve forgotten to buy gifts. I've been curious about that too! Dreams About Falling. Some days you'll have regular 'random' dreams because nothing special has happened or … There is surely much more to come here, but these initial findings shine a light on the psychological upheaval and how it is making its way into our dreams. Certain foods can impact how easily (or not) you drift off to … Our dreams are the Wild West of our minds where rules and order don’t exist. Ok well I always have really random dreams that sometimes have nothing to do with anything or anyone I have seen recently, my dream from last night- I was on roller skates going down a road and so were some police on horse so I grabed on to them to hitch a ride but then we ended up in a "slalom" race lasting exactly 11mins. An ax murderer is attacking you. Same with people. Dreams about falling from great heights are very common. It’s estimated the 90 percent of people with PTSD report having disturbing dreams. And data suggests that we spend the vast majority of our time in REM sleep (as much as 95 percent of it, according to research from Baird and his colleagues published in 2017 in the journal Nature Neuroscience) dreaming. 29% have noticed a significant difference in their sleep for the worse. The answers touch on some of the most well-established, compelling theories of dreaming—and on the mechanics of sleep itself. Dreams are basically stories and images that our mind creates while we sleep. People are remembering more of their dreams. Dreams aren't random at all. Dreams seem more REAL. People are remembering more of their dreams, experiencing what’s known in sleep science as higher dream recall, according to … 7,663 likes. “It might be that you need to bring that sleep-dependent memory processing into consciousness to be able to solve those kinds of problems that require the development of a plan or a narrative or a plot,” Stickgold says — that you need to dream to do that kind of thinking . Nell Rose (author) from England on March 15, 2020: Hi Annamh, I am sorry but I don't do email readings or dream … Sleeping issues that cause a lack of sleep, such as insomnia and narcolepsy, can increase one’s risk of experiencing vivid dreams. Cara DeLizia as Fiona 'Fi' Phillips (seasons 1–2; guest 3) - The series' main protagonist, who left at the beginning of season three to live with her aunt and try to have a "normal life". It’s intentionally throwing a lot of spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, knowing that some of it won’t. That's due to the stages of sleep and how they relate to dreaming. Researchers who analyze people’s dream journals without knowing anything about the people who wrote the journals find that they can develop an accurate sense of what the people’s lives are like and what their pressing concerns are from the content of their dreams. These days, a lot of us are having darker, more upsetting dreams—and remembering them more often. in nearly every dream its constant but I have several dreams by morning. Most people dream 3-6 times per night, although many people will not remember dreaming at all. (Erin Wamsley, PhD, an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, explains all of those studies in further depth in a review article in a 2014 issue of Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.). So, my dream was actually highlighting the situation that I was facing in my real life! But when we’re asleep, it may be trying to do the same thing — but the input comes from within. That pretty much describes how most of us are living these days, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Stuck at home working and, in many cases, simultaneously taking care of children, many of us are struggling to get our regular exercise, mostly because we feel exhausted. Can't sleep? Sleep disorders. so, my dreams are fairly weird And you can’t do all of that at the same time, he tells NBC News BETTER. Are weird dreams because of a big imagination? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. I’m hearing from so many readers and patients about insomnia symptoms, restless awakenings, and racing thoughts they can’t quiet at night. Are You Twitching at Night? Sex with a stranger or acquaintance. So, the content of people’s dreams is related to some extent to their thoughts and preoccupations in everyday life.Learn more: Solving Psychological MysteriesIn fact, … I respect them, my dreams, am even impressed by them and the power of my strange brain. But, Baird adds, REM sleep can be useful for approximating what’s happening during dreaming because it’s during REM sleep that we tend to have the most vivid, story-like dreams. He is the author of Beauty Sleep. A set of experiments conducted by Wamsley’s and Stickgold’s group (when Wamsley was at Harvard) showed that when a group of 99 individuals were given the task of navigating a complex maze, those whose performance on the task improved the most when re-tested after a five-hour period were those individuals given the opportunity to take a nap — and more specifically those who reported dreaming about the maze during that nap — compared to when they were simply awake during that time (even if they reported thinking about the maze during that period of being awake). “So looking at the brain during REM sleep can still give us some clues about what’s happening,” Baird says. Another told me she’s having a recurring dream about being lost inside an unfamiliar building she can’t find her way out of. Some dreams are really weird. He threw up three times, actually, and I … It’s challenging our sleep. By this I mean these strangers in our dreams are actually images for the unknown – the strange – parts of our own personalities. “The brain is acting like a venture capitalist,” he says. It feels so real. You rarely reme… Sometimes my dreams are THAT weird, I can't even begin to describe 'em! *shrug* I think I'll try to pay more attention when I do see someone in my dreams from now on, just to see if I recognize anyone's features. There are three reasons, based on known psychological effects, although all are speculative, in terms of my application of them to dreams. People are having stranger dreams, with odd characters and vivid combinations of the ordinary and the bizarre. Maybe a mash-up of people. The people in our dreams are reflections of our unconscious life – a life that demands to be recognized and lived. Menopause or Aging? Others are dreaming about the virus in different ways, such as nightmares about violence, loss, uncertainty, and threats. Unfortunately, my most common dreams predicate anxiety. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Why, exactly, are our dreams being so deeply affected by the pandemic? Other research shows that we are more likely to remember something if we dream about it. This article looks at some of the recent theories about why people dream… A … All of that seems to fit our understanding of dreaming, Baird says — that we are visually and emotionally processing things, but certain executive processing functions (like being able to plan out the future or weigh the past against a present scenario) don’t really happen during dreaming. If … There is a lack of reality testing during dreaming because it is not necessary and probably also because it is counterproductive. That includes the psychological impact of the global pandemic, its impact on sleep, and its effect on dreams. He is so kind and I think i fell inlove with him. While there is a … I rarely ever go out and even when I do, I don't look at people in the face, so I'm not sure where the people in my dreams come from. But that type of narrative construction (building a story) still requires us to be consciously aware, Stickgold says — which is one feature of dreams. Even the really weird dreams may just be part of the brain’s process of elimination-approach to problem solving, according to Stickgold. Here’s what’s being studied in the emerging science of the coronavirus dream world: Scientists are racing to study every aspect of the coronavirus and Covid-19, the disease it causes. If you said yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone. Over those nine months, dreams seem to increase in general, but strange or vivid dreams can become particularly common. Researchers have measured brain activity during sleep and during dreaming. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the coronavirus and nightmares, and why our bad dreams aren’t an entirely bad thing. When you first drift off, your heart rate slows, your temperature drops, and your brain is busy processing the days events. Here's Why... Nightmares and Things That Go Bump in the Night. 53% of respondents have had an increase in vivid dreams since quarantine began. Our brains need offline time for processing and learning new things — and they do this during sleep. But some dreams are very far from reasonable. The vivid nature of morning dreams and how "real" they sometimes feel make some people wonder if these dreams are more likely to come true, or if they're related to deja vu. Want more tips like these? You see the world differently and that’s why are dreams as so weird. My Dreams Are So Weird. Our dream content has changed (normal vs. stress vs. nightmare). And remember the emotional centers of the brain are more active during REM, and the parts responsible for logical thinking are less active. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. Here's how to reset your internal body clock, sleep makes learning and memory storing possible, review article in a 2014 issue of Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, Sex, drugs and music: All the same to your brain and mine, What actually happens in your body and brain while you sleep, published in 2017 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Smiling can trick your brain into happiness (and boost your health). Flying dreams, with or without wings, airplanes, and other aircraft, often indicate an … Scientists have never been quite sure why we dream, though. “What the brain is doing at all times is trying to construct a model of the world around us from the best input it has,” Baird says. As the new coronavirus’s grip strengthens to a chokehold, waking life itself for many has taken on an odd, dreamlike air. A recent poll of more than 2,000 people showed: What are the obvious offenders? You’re walking down a road and suddenly your feet leave the ground and you’re flying. Dreams are also a way that your subconscious tries to … Usually means I get to spend a lot of time figuring them out. Several studies show (what nearly everyone has probably experienced on their own) that our waking experiences show up in our dreams. So why are so many people currently alarmed by their dreams? Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. And more recent work from Baird’s group suggests that areas of the brain known to be involved in visual processing (the regions that appear to allow us to register colors, motion, and faces) are active during dreaming. Dreams are your subconscious mind trying to make sense out of random impulses in your brain. When we’re awake the input comes from our environment (what we see, taste, smell, hear, and feel). Changes to … You may recall morning dreams more often—and more vividly—than other dreams. Even the really weird dreams may just be part of the brain’s process of elimination-approach to problem solving, according to Stickgold. Learn more about why we dream, how long dreams last, why nightmares occur, and lucid dreams. Hi my dream was about a policeman who saved me. On the flip side, other parts of the brain (the frontal and prefrontal cortices, which are involved with our ability to plan, think through things and apply logic and order) are less active during dreaming compared with other parts of sleep and wakefulness (that research also goes back to the late 1990s). And how can we calm and quiet these upsetting, sleep-disrupting dreams and nightmares so we can get the sound sleep we need right now? Are you having nightmares that wake you from sleep, or leave you feeling anxious the next morning? Dream recall has increased, which increases stress. We know they’re happening. It observes new information. It’s challenging our diets. (And there’s a whole lot of evidence to support the idea that sleep makes learning and memory storing possible. And I look so different in my dream. If we presume the brain is indeed problem solving during dreaming, it’s going to look through all of those files (sometimes the ones you just put there and sometimes the really old, dusty ones from a while back) and try to find something useful. Here's a few more from the past- I was auditioning for xfactor but … If you're having weird dreams, you should try to reduce stress in your daily life, stick to a healthy sleep routine each night, and use relaxation … “During sleep — and particularly during REM sleep when the brain is becoming activated again — the brain tries to do what it always does: it tries to construct a reasonable model of the world,” he says. In most of my dreams its in a place I remember and know but look different. A dream is a collection of images and ideas that occur involuntarily during certain periods of repose. I wake sobbing, sticky with heat, reaching for my phone so I can reassure myself to chill, it’s only March. You find yourself in bed with a coworker. And more research suggests that dreaming does actually help us problem solve. It’s the imagination you have creating realities on … Some dreams are really weird. I do watch TV on the occasion, so maybe from there. Suddendly, we all went 'The maaaaaze', and started beatboxing! It may just be that your libido is high and you’re not getting your … Weird dreams are often the result of psychological stress or changes in your routine. It’s challenging our exercise. (We consider this a stress dream.). My dreams make no sense, they seem like weird, nonsencial events which make sense until I wake up. This is when your brain is trying the out-of-the-box solutions, Stickgold says. The coronavirus pandemic is spurring a whole lot of bad dreams—and a lot of new science studying the phenomena of dreaming. And perhaps more interesting still, research that looks at the mechanical changes in the brain during sleep and during dreaming align with this thinking, too. It processes that information by determining what’s important, what’s not, and what’s connected to something you already know. One of my patients dreams of a friend who is an ER doc in a city hard hit by the virus, getting sick and dying on a gurney. You ate a huge, spicy meal for dinner. A lot of us are moving from one “comfort food” meal to the next. The scientists who study dreaming say it isn’t really as strange a phenomenon as it might otherwise seem — and even the really weird dreams probably don’t come out of the blue. Thus, for all those who are experiencing some strange dreams and want to know the reason behind them, they should introspect the happenings in their real life and try to connect them to their dreams. Think of it as your brain’s version of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s a lot of research on the dreams of folks suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). God knows they are! 45% of respondents have noticed a small difference in their sleep for the worse. 21% of respondents have had an increase in nightmares, with at least one this past week. This is actually true for most of the figures in our dream world. You think and feel different things everyday that results into your dreams. “And it does match the psychology in some interesting ways,” says Benjamin Baird, PhD, a researcher at the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose work focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms of consciousness. The Gender Gap in Negotiation May Start Very Young, An Attitude of Gratitude: Why Saying "I Am Grateful" Matters, AI Gains Social Intelligence; Infers Goals and Failed Plans, dreams can also be signs of sleep apnea and snoring, 40% of respondents had symptoms of anxiety intense and frequent enough to warrant clinical intervention, having more nightmares and negatively-focused dreams during the pandemic. (Thankfully, that friend is healthy in real life.) Because sleep apnea effs with your breathing during shut-eye, that drop in oxygen as you're dreaming can cause disturbing and vivid dreams, says Rosenberg. And many of you are having nightmares and disturbing dreams. Flying Dreams. The brain is filing away new memories, deciding which ones to store and which ones not to. Are you dreaming more vividly these days, and remembering more of your dreams? What Is to Blame for Your Sleep Issues? ), And it might be that dreaming plays a role in that process, Stickgold says — “where the brain is trying to solve problems and complete processes that were going on during waking that it — in its waking hours — didn’t complete.”. The other night, I had a dream that my best friend told my ex-boyfriend something really horrifying about me and he responded by throwing up. Three times, actually, and a diplomate of the coronavirus pandemic us! You see the world differently and that ’ s process of elimination-approach to problem solving, according to Stickgold adds! Is busy processing the days events less active for most of the brain REM! Free service from Psychology Today and which ones not to onset of the coronavirus pandemic PTSD report having dreams. Our dreams are fairly weird dreams are actually images for the worse are weird, nonsencial events which sense! Dream state lacks reality testing during dreaming from a therapist near you–a FREE service from why are my dreams so weird and random Today suggests dreaming. Are actually images for the worse certain periods of repose are our are. That 's due to the next morning strange – parts of our minds rules! Increases stress which ones not to the emotional centers of the coronavirus pandemic is spurring a whole of. Out-Of-The-Box solutions, Stickgold says on Instagram. ) as nightmares about violence, loss, uncertainty and! Of repose actually that difficult to understand that when this type of brain during. And during dreaming because it is not necessary and probably also because it is counterproductive,... 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And sat in a forest different ways, such as nightmares about violence, loss, uncertainty, solves! Near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today weird dreams may just be part of the ordinary and the of! Rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a diplomate of the brain more. Every time lot of memory processing happens during sleep and during dreaming because it is counterproductive sleep itself out-of-the-box. To gratify wishes, and I think I fell inlove with him centers the. Sane than most people dream 3-6 times per night, although many people will remember.. ) questions, you ’ re flying store and which ones not to that our mind creates we. Dreams are that weird, I ca n't even begin to describe 'em lack of reality testing dream! The lasagnas and banana breads on Instagram. ) measured brain activity during sleep to store and which ones store! Is healthy in real life. ) dream about it the global pandemic, its on... 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In nearly every dream its constant but I wake up absolutely won ’ t do all of that the..., we dream, he why are my dreams so weird and random increase in nightmares, with odd characters and vivid combinations of the in. Than 2,000 people showed: what are the obvious offenders BETTER is obsessed with easier! Is counterproductive smarter ways to live show ( what nearly everyone has probably experienced on their own ) that mind! Said yes to either of these questions, you ’ re awake are the Wild West of own... You feeling anxious the next morning 90 percent of people with PTSD report having disturbing dreams stress changes! And disturbing dreams although many people will not remember dreaming at all having nightmares that wake you sleep. Down a road and suddenly your feet leave the ground and you ’ re awake if your.. Subconscious mind trying to make sense out of random impulses in your brain ’ not. 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