Konspiracy Korner: Dreaming
nice dreams more common than nightmares


We mentioned that Bill James mentioned that he dreams baseball every night and TJM mentioned, he dreams very frequently about playing baseball.

Which brought me to a stop.  Come to think of it I never remember dreaming about playing sports a single time, despite being a very enthusiastic weekend warrior, park-and-rec league guy in at least six sports.  Never a dream in any sport...

Almost all of mine seem to be about PROBLEMS.  Hmmmmm, is that a suggestion that Caleb was right about being half crazed :- ) ... quick check around the 'net sez, that may be dreaming's primary function, to offer solutions to problems.  From WebMD:


In a new study, 470 Canadian undergraduate psychology students recorded their dreams for a week. They rated how well they recalled their dreams, as well as their dreams' intensity, emotions and impact. 

The next week, participants took a closer look at their most recent, well-recalled dream. They noted any connections between the dream and events on a randomly selected day up to a week before the dream. They then rated both their confidence in recalling the event and the extent of the association between the event and dream.

After that, two independent judges were called in. Their job: Review the dreams and related events, and decide whether the dreams incorporated solutions to problems stemming from those events.

Dreams really do try to offer solutions, they concluded. The dream world apparently works quickly, churning out insights and advice the night after a triggering event, and also six to seven days later. They say that dreams serve social and emotional adaptive functions.

"This suggests an ongoing effort to resolve a problem in dreams during the week following the emergence of that problem," says University of Alberta psychology professor Don Kuiken, in a news release.

"Something is going on up there that at least touches on and alters the resolutions that people come up with," says Kuiken, who worked on the study.


A few other fast facts about dreaming, in case you wish to chime in about baseball dreams :- )

(1) Women tend to dream more vividly and ascribe more meaning.

(2) Sleep is the key to "plasticity" of our brains, the almost unbelievable concept that the organ physically morphs in response to thought.

(3) A major theory is that mammals dream in order to --- > simulate threats and improve response!  So Dr. D is actually very evolutionary!  Don't cross him

(4) You seem to dream better and remember them better, depending on the same mechanism used for waking memory.  So if your memory's failing you probably wonder why you dream less.

(5) The more and better you dream, probably the better you perceive emotions while awake, an advantage in friendships.

A purported list of common dreams (and their significance) is:

  • Falling = trying to hold on to a situation
  • Flying = liberating self from a problem
  • Death = transition from one phase of life to another
  • Unprepared Exam = feeling like we could be (fairly!) judged 

Most of the common things do seem to be problem solving, threat-response ideas.  I wish I dreamed about Disneyland and baseball, but it's mostly stuff like the above.  Good news is, the better-rested we are, the sweeter our dreams tend to be, according to WebMD.


Dr D




I've always been fascinated by my dreams, though I tend to ascribe less concrete meaning to most of them than some seem to.  But if I want to know how my brain processes things without 'my' involvement, I can usually glean a few insights from my dreams.

Like, personally, I think I'm a little too timid to ever be uber-successful in life.  Some of that timidity is cloaked in civility, some is flavored by an attempt to be less abrasive than I might otherwise be, etc.., but in my dreams I find myself a little bit more direct and less concerned with consequences than I am when awake.  That's a maybe-not-so-great example of how I can 'look into the mirror' when examining my own dreams.


....In my HS Psychology course, I talk about the theory (held by some) that the purpose of sleep is actually to dream.  Dreams are not the by-product, but the reason we sleep, according to some.

This intrigues me.

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