During this past semester, I have had a dream almost every night. And not just normal dreams, but vivid, imaginative dreams that reveal the lighting, texture, and color of the setting along with other weird details. Last month, I dreamed I lived in post-apocalyptic Canada in a renovated trailer and adopted a flea-infested albino zebra. Last week, I dreamed that my brother and I were taking a road trip to Virginia and got trapped inside a deteriorating diner. In last night’s dream, I was eating rice crispy treats from a plastic cup as a horse trainer and jockey described, in Spanish, their time training Man o’ War (the famous Thoroughbred racehorse who died in 1947). No, these aren’t embellished versions of my dreams. My brain is actually this weird.
Some people have interesting dreams that actually help them. David Ogilvy used a dream to create a highly successful advertisement for Pepperidge Farm. Other people, like Thomas Edison, Christopher Nolan, and Robert Louis Stevenson, used dreaming to come up with abstract and unusual ideas.
Obviously, these amusing ideas that pop in my head led me to wonder if this was normal. After all, they come like clockwork every night and are highly detailed. One source says that “We need to dream to process our conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 1-2 days to update our mindset, comparing those recent experiences with our past experiences, and projecting our expectations into the future.”
It turns out that we dream for several hours every night in our sleep, most often in the REM stage of sleep. It’s actually decently normal and can last for a varied amount of time. Hopefully this means I’m actually getting enough sleep after all.
Maybe people have more productive dreams than I do, but I know that whenever I have a dream (that I remember), it’s bound to change how I look at the world. Really, anything can become possible in the imagination. I think this amusing problem could actually help one day, if the world was in dire need of albino zebras and famous Thoroughbreds.