Column Steven: In your dreams

Our brain plays dirty tricks on us in the dead of night, says Steven.

The daily reality is interesting, but our nocturnal trips to dreamland are undoubtedly equal. Some of our generation’s daydreams are beyond our reach, you know, a home of our own, that kind of thing. Luckily, we can dream as if there is no tomorrow.

Once awake, time is of the essence. Within a minute after waking, dreams change into wet soap, much like Mark Rutte. You think you can catch him, but he slithers through your fingers. Even the snippets you may still remember fade fast. Why is that?

Science is not entirely sure why we have no trouble remembering yesterday, but remembering a dream we had ten minutes ago is challenging. A fascinating theory says we store all of our dreams but that they are inaccessible. They are available but difficult to access. And while we are unable to access the stored dreams in our conscious brain, they do influence our behaviour.

A special dreaming skill I have is that I am sometimes able to continue a dream where I left off after an interruption for a nocturnal visit to the bathroom

A special dreaming skill I have is that I am sometimes able to continue a dream where I left off after an interruption for a nocturnal visit to the bathroom. Lucid dreaming is a more advanced skill. During this type of dream, you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming and are able to influence the dream. I’m not very good at this yet. The dream is often cut short as a result of my enthusiasm when I realise I have a lucid dream. Dreaming is an art form.

The mind fuck when you wake up is highly confusing. I recently experienced the opposite. I dreamed I was unable to sleep. I became frustrated, annoyed and increasingly restless as a result. So restless that I, in fact, woke. I looked around me and felt seriously pranked. Dear brain, what vile trickery is this?

I suggest that we elevate ‘I dreamed it’ to the level of a socially accepted excuse

During a house dinner this week, we discussed dreams. A housemate described their bizarre clown nightmares. Another housemate had the issue of sometimes dreaming he had jotted something down in his calendar, which he failed to do in reality. Missed appointment! I suggest that we elevate ‘I dreamed it’ to the level of a socially acceptable excuse.

Steven is a master’s student of Economy and Governance and enjoys playing squash. He is always open to a game of squash and a good conversation. You can reach him by email.

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