Jan 18, 2010

Different Kind of Dreams

Dreams are vision of images, thoughts, sounds, or emotions passing through our subconscious mind when we are asleep. For an average person, they actually spend a total of six years dreaming, when broken down is calculated that’s an average of two hours each night. Most dreams lasts only 5 to 20 minutes. Usually there are a multiple portions of the brain involved during dreaming and where it actually originates is still unknown. As I have read as well that mostly, people can only remember a couple of dreams that they have which mostly leave them thinking after waking up.

The contents of a dream actually vary. One research was done in the year 1940 to 1985. Calvin Hall collected more than 50,000 dream reports and was later published with Van de Castle. Data shows with the help of William Domhoff that people all over the world dream mostly the same thing. Here are the common content of dreams.

Emotions – anxiety is the most common emotion that is experienced during dreaming. Others include pain, abandonment, fear, joy, etc. Usually it shows more negative emotions in one dream rather than dreaming positive ones.

Sexual Themes – as Hall analyzed the data, this theme occurs no more than 10% and mostly existed to young mid teens. In another study, 8% of adults both men and women have sexual content in dreams. This is usually known as wet dreams.

Recurring Dreams – as you might think that dreams are only dreamt only once, it could be. But statistics shows that 70% of females and 65% of males actually reports the same dreams which are experienced over different occasions of sleep.

Colour vs. Black & White – only 12% percent of people dream only in black and white. It may sound funny but researchers suggested that this probably could be linked to the switch from black & white film and TV to colour media.

One or two, you might have experienced everything there. With regards to the kinds of dreams, I found an informative site which illustrates and give the meanings of such specific type of dream. Thanks to The Dream Well and Wikipedia for this one.

Healing Dreams 
After periods of stress, trauma or loss, we can have a dream that touches us deeply. It may include the appearance of a loved one, a wise elder, an innocent child or a gentle animal, or there may be no actual character, just a special place, a vision, or some words we hear. But the result will be the same. Some how this dream reaches into our hurt and makes it feel better. Even when we wake, this feeling of healing can linger and help us cope with whatever problems have bothered us so far.

Teaching Dreams
These kinds of dreams can help us make sense of confusing times. They may come as an epiphany (the “ah-ha! moment”), a sudden profound understanding or a sense of awakening. They help us realize the lesson to be learned from difficult experiences, the value from a period of struggle or to see the truth when the world seems vague or confusing.

Guidance Dreams
Similar to teaching dreams, theses dreams help us to see the truth, but guidance dreams are subtly different in that they help provide us with direction. We will often wake from a guidance dream with a clear sense of purpose, knowing what actions we must take next. Guidance dreams help provides clarity into how we should live our waking lives, and how we can improve our interactions with other people, often through moderating our own behaviors and beliefs.

Warning Dreams
Like an inversion of guidance dreams, these dreams are an insight as to what we should not do, rather than what we should do. If we are engaged in a risky situation, if we have not realized consciously that we are being deceived, or if we are on a course of action that is leading towards an unpleasant, even dangerous outcome, these dreams will often provide a “wake-up call.” We can usually recognize these dreams as we may wake from them shocked, even a little scared. The important thing to realize is that if we heed the warnings of these dreams, we can create a better outcome.

Problem Solving/Practical Solution Dreams 
These kind of dreams are usually very specific, and deal with a problem we have already identified and have probably been wrestling with or fretting over for some time. They can help provide a solution we have been seeking, or they can help us fix something. Often these dreams are not strange symbols, but quite literal, as sudden flashes of insight.

Creative Inspiration
Like problem solving dreams, creative inspiration dreams will often come after we have been seeking inspiration (either consciously or not) for some time. These dreams are often vivid and highly charged with emotion or energy. The dreamer may actually see the painting, sculpture or other piece of art in the dream, or hear music played, and then try to recapture that in waking hours. Or the dream itself may be an inspiration of colour, imagery, sounds and patterns.

Prodromic Dreams 
These are dreams where we can diagnose an illness that is occurring within our body, and potentially also the cure we need. These dreams are not about psychological or spiritual healing primarily, but about actual physical healing of an ailment, although this may be linked to a psychological feeling or condition, such as anger or grief.

Dreams of the Divine
These dreams are immediately recognizable but utterly impossible to ever fully describe. In these dreams we feel we have been touched by God, or communed with the Spirit of our Ancestors, or become at one with the power of the universe. These dreams are extraordinary, and if we are lucky enough to have one or more, it will often be an experience that stays with us for our entire lives.

A nightmare, also known as a "bad dream", is an unpleasant dream. Nightmares cause strong unpleasant emotional responses from the sleeper, typically fear or horror. The dream may contain situation(s) of danger, discomfort, or psychological or physical distress. Such dreams can be related to physical causes such as a high fever; in an uncomfortable or awkward position; stress or post-traumatic experiences. Sometimes there may not readily be an explanation. Sleepers may be woken in a state of distress, and be unable to get back to sleep for some time. Eating before bed, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, is another potential stimulus for nightmares. The term "nightmare" refers to what was called Sleep Paralysis in the 19th century and earlier.

Occasional nightmares are commonplace, but recurrent nightmares can interfere with sleep and may cause people to seek medical help. A recently proposed treatment consists of imagery rehearsal. This approach appears to reduce the effects of nightmares and other symptoms in acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lucid Dreaming
A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that she or he is dreaming. When the dreamer is lucid, she or he can actively participate in and often manipulate the imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can seem extremely real and vivid depending on a person's level of self-awareness during the lucid dream.

A lucid dream can begin in one of three ways. A dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD) starts as a normal dream, and the dreamer eventually concludes that he or she is dreaming, while a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state with no apparent lapse in consciousness. A mnemonic-initiated lucid dream (MILD) can happen when the dreamer intentionally affirms to himself or herself that he or she will become lucid during the upcoming sleep. Reaching lucidity can sometimes occur due to dream-signs or spontaneously upon remembrance.

Dreams of Absent-minded Transgression 
Dreams of absent-minded transgression (DAMT) are dreams wherein the dreamer absentmindedly performs an action that he or she has been trying to stop (one classic example is of a quitting smoker having dreams of lighting a cigarette). Subjects who have had DAMT have reported waking with intense feelings of guilt. One study found a positive association between having these dreams and successfully stopping the behavior.

Déjà vu
Also called paramnesia, from Greek παρα "para," "near, against, contrary to" + μνήμη "mnēmē," "memory") or promnesia, is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the recent past), although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L'Avenir des sciences physiques ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness", "strangeness", or "weirdness". The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience "genuinely happened" in the past.

The experience of déjà vu seems to be quite common among adults and children alike. References to the experience of déjà vu are also found in literature of the past, indicating it is not a new phenomenon. It has been extremely difficult to evoke the déjà vu experience in laboratory settings, therefore making it a subject of few empirical studies. Certain researchers claim to have found ways to recreate this sensation using hypnosis. However, the subject of hypnosis is indeed controversial among some circles, and such data would demand proof that hypnosis is possible as per the manner the study implies.

Apparent Precognition
Also called future sight, refers to perception that involves the acquisition of future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information. The related terms, premonition (from the Latin praemonēre) and presentiment refer to information about future events that is perceived as emotions. The terms are usually used to denote a seemingly parapsychological or extrasensory process of perception, including clairvoyance. Various psychological processes, making no reference to psi, have also been offered to explain the phenomena.

As with other forms of extrasensory perception, the existence of precognition is not accepted by the scientific community, because no replicable demonstration has been achieved. Scientific investigation of extrasensory perception (ESP) is complicated by the definition which implies that the phenomena go against established principles of science. Specifically, precognition would violate the principle that an effect cannot occur before its cause. However, there are established biases, affecting human memory and judgment of probability, that can create a convincing but false impression of precognition.

False Awakening
A false awakening is an experience where someone vividly dreams they have awoken from sleep. After a false awakening, people often dream they are performing daily morning rituals, believing they are truly awake. The experience is sometimes called a "double dream", or a "dream within a dream".

A daydream is a visionary fantasy experienced while awake, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions. There are so many different types of daydreaming that there is still no consensus definition amongst psychologists. While daydreams may include fantasies about future scenarios or plans, reminiscences about past experiences, or vivid dream-like images, they are often connected with some type of emotion.

While daydreaming has long been derided as a lazy, non-productive pastime, daydreaming can be constructive in some contexts. There are numerous examples of people in creative or artistic careers, such as composers, novelists and filmmakers, developing new ideas through daydreaming. Similarly, research scientists, mathematicians and physicists have developed new ideas by daydreaming about their subject areas.

Veridical Dream
Veridical Dream is a type of dream that corresponds to actual events that can be either past, present, or future, but of which the dreamer is not aware.

According to the Dream Well website, this different kinds of dreams don’t have to exist in isolation, and one dream may have various features. For example, a dream of the divine might also provide creative inspiration, a problem solving dream might also be a lucid dream, a teaching dream could also be very healing, and so on. But when we do have these dreams, we know they are out of the ordinary, and that dreams have a very real contribution to make to our waking lives.

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