Have you ever been awoken by a strange dream that’s left you dazed and confused for days after? Let’s be realistic: we’ve all tried to decipher a dream before. The results usually end up being even more confusing than the dream itself, right? Well, that’s probably because of all the dream-related misconceptions we’re constantly surrounded by. As science is still unable to give definitive answers to why and how we dream, you should take everything you hear about dreaming with a grain of salt.
With that being said, join us as we bust some of the most common myths about dreams down below!
1. “I never dream”
We’ve all heard this one before. Your co-worker or your friend says they spend their nights in a “blank” state, no dreams, not even nightmares- nothing. While everyone’s unique dreaming experience is valid, it’s never non-existent. These people are waking up in a wrong “period” of their sleeping cycle, which makes it hard for them to remember their dreams.
So, yes, whenever you hear someone say they don’t dream, you should know for a fact that they’re simply forgetting their dreams instead. While science doesn’t know a whole lot about dreaming and why it happens, we do know that it’s a natural part of the human sleeping cycle. Even animals have dreams, so why should John from work be an exception?
2. Dreams always have hidden meanings
While yes, in most cases, dreams do correspond to your psyche, not every dream of yours has to have a “deeper meaning”. You won’t find the answer to the meaning of life by analyzing your wacky night-time adventures-it’s simply not how it works. Sometimes, your dream will be a recollection of your day (your feelings, emotions, memories, thoughts) before falling asleep.
Again, we’re not saying you shouldn’t keep track of your dreams: they’re an important window to your mind that completely deserves some of your attention. Still, if you want to understand your dreams, you’ll need to understand yourself first. Self-reflection and meditation are the keys to figuring it all out.
All in all, if you’re someone who loves analyzing their thoughts and dreams, go for it! Just remember that it’s nothing that doesn’t already exist as a part of your sub-conscious. So no, they won’t tell you anything you don’t already know, even if it’s buried deep inside of your mind.
3. Dream dictionaries are reliable
We’re all guilty of googling our dreams from time to time: it’s a fun way to spend our leisure time. However, those online “dream dictionaries” are as accurate as your weekly horoscope. So, no, just because you’ve dreamed of snakes, it doesn’t mean someone’s out to get you. Symbolism is a man-made concept, but it varies from culture to culture, from individual to individual. Think about what it all means to you, and try to connect it with your own experiences and thoughts.
Look at pre-made analyses and dictionaries as nothing more than harmless fun. In some cases, they might be able to guide you in the right direction, but they shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Again, remember that everything you see once you close your eyes is in some way connected to your mind and your psyche. An outsider will never be better than you when it comes to finding the meaning behind your dreams, so trust yourself above anyone else! Yes, that includes Freud too. His analysis has some scientific basis to it, but it should only serve as a guideline for your personal journey.
4. Lucid dreaming is a way to fall into sleep paralysis
Many myths surround lucid dreaming, but the most common ones have to be the sleep-paralysis stories going around the web. For those who don’t know what it is, sleep paralysis is nothing to be afraid of (even if the name indicates otherwise), although it can be quite uncomfortable at times. Essentially, it’s your brain’s reaction to extreme tiredness and an awkward sleeping position, meaning it’s perfectly natural! However, contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with lucid dreaming.
As noted at luciddreamsociety.com, these types of dreams can be extremely liberating and intense, albeit not easy to achieve. While you may encounter an accidental sleep paralysis episode by trying out specific lucid-dreaming techniques, it’s usually not the case at all. So, don’t be afraid to try it all out! It can be an extraordinary experience if done correctly.
5. Dreams are nonsensical
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that your dreams can’t tell you anything about yourself. While yes, you already know it all deep down inside, sometimes understanding our dreams can help us heal and move forward with our self-growth. What you see when you’re asleep may be nonsensical to the outsiders, but once analyzed properly, it can help you realize many things about yourself.
There’s nothing more valuable than learning more about how your mind works. It can help you regulate your thoughts and feelings and find solutions to real-life issues that may appear in your nightmares.
6. Dreams can tell the future
Yes, these misconceptions are much more common than you may think. While everyone can believe in whatever they want, there is no proof psychic dreams exist in reality.
For example, many people claim they’ve dreamed about their loved-ones passing away, only for it to happen the morning after. While we’re not completely shutting off the possibility of something paranormal happening, this is usually because, subconsciously, we know the end is near.
The bottom line
Dreams are a natural part of the human experience. Everyone does it, but nobody seems to know why. Science has a long way to go until it discovers all the secrets of our minds during our sleeping cycles. Still, we believe there’s nothing wrong in trying to make some sense out of it all. Your night-time visions, hallucinations, or however you decide to define your dreams, are a big part of your (un)consciousness, so they’re completely worth exploring!
At the end of the day, we spend about six years of our lives in our “dream realms”, so learning about it is the least we can do to start understanding ourselves a bit more.