Thursday, June 20, 2013


I'm tired.

I'm tired, and I shouldn't be.  I'm not getting up early for work, I'm not stressing about work. I'm not rushing around, picking up kids and taking kids and running errands. I should be rested and feeling great. But I'm not. I'm tired.

I'm tired because I am sleeping like shit.  In general, I am a terrible sleeper--I wake up more times in a night than any human should. But lately, I've had an additional detriment to my sleep. A fun little thing called "realistic dreams". Or "vivid dreams". Or whatever you want to call them. Dreams that are so real, I have to convince myself that they didn't actually happen. Dreams that make me so thankful that I'm awake and that it was all...well...a dream.

I've always been a dreamer. In fact, I can still remember certain dreams from my childhood.  Up until the last few years, I have kind of enjoyed being a dreamer, because the dreams were interesting, unusual--funny. Lately, though, they are anything but.

I've had nightmares every night, going on a week now. Not one single pleasant dream to speak of. Sometimes, I have multiple nightmares in a night. I wake up nervous and anxious, sometimes unable to get back to sleep for a long period of time. So--I'm tired.

I have some reoccurring themes in my dreams. I dream about tornadoes at least weekly. Sometimes I just see them from a distance. Sometimes they're very nearby. Occasionally, I'm actually in the middle of one.  They're graphic, and they feel real. I assure you, I don't have an abnormal fear of tornadoes in my everyday life. To me, this means that the tornadoes are probably symbolic of something else. Now,  I'm not one of those people who believes in weird stuff, like psychics or astrology or anything else. But I do think our dreams have significance. What the specific significance, is, I'm not totally sure.

I was perusing Netflix a few days ago and came across the "TV Documentaries" section, and a PBS special caught my eye--it was called "What are Dreams?". It was only an hour long, and I thought hey, maybe I'll figure out what is going on with me. It was incredibly interesting.  It talked about how at one point in time, researchers thought we only dreamed in REM sleep; however, now there is significant evidence that indicates we dream in both REM and non-REM sleep. Interestingly enough, dreams in REM sleep tend to have positive connotations, and dreams in non-REM sleep tend to leave the dreamer with negative emotions. Clearly, I must be doing a lot of this non-REM dreaming.  The whole thing was just super intriguing--if you have Netflix and you, too, are a realistic dreamer, I highly suggest watching. Seeing how they conducted their research is really neat, and just the information in general about dreaming is worth hearing.

One quote caught my attention. It caught my attention so much that I recorded it. One of the scientists was talking about how having nightmares is actually a GOOD thing (HUH? He must not have them himself...). Here's what he said: "The nature of bad dreams and nightmares is that they contain threatening events, and they force us to go through those simulated threatening events, in order that in the waking world, when we encounter similar or other threatening events, we are more prepared to survive those when we are training for them in our dreams." Yeah, it's a bit of a rambly quote, but it struck me right in the heart. Our dreams are training for surviving threatening events.

Last night, I had one of those dreams.  I dreamed that Marty was back in the hospital, and that it wasn't good. It wasn't good, and we all knew it, and it was 100% horrifying. He was conscious, and we were actually having a conversation about it all. I can't even bring myself to type the details here--I don't want to give any life or acknowledgement to the words that were spoken in this nightmare. I woke up completely shaken, rattled. It took a LONG time to get out of that state of mind. I could barely talk to the kids, and I asked Marty about five times if he felt okay before he left for work. I'm sure he thought I was a bit crazy. I couldn't even talk about it, couldn't tell him what I had dreamed (so if you're reading this, Marty, that's why I was weird today!). I was in a state of total bewilderment until my 2nd cup of coffee, long after he left and the kids were at school. I'm good now--but some of my dreams take awhile to dissipate.

I sure hope that this dream is not training for surviving a threatening event. I certainly didn't survive it well in the dream itself. Maybe in reality, our nightmares are helpful for learning to get through difficult occasions, but I will never, EVER say that I think these dreams are a good thing. Ever.

Anyone else a vivid dreamer?

1 comment:

  1. Chuck will dream that I cheated on him or I was in a terrible car crash. It takes a while for him to shake those and he'll even hold anger towards me for a bit after the cheating dreams. So strange.