Tag Archives: dream types

Turkey dreams

Q: Does eating Turkey really help increase serotonin and make my xmass dreams more funky.

Firstly Turkey does help increase serotonin intake BUT this does not make xmass or thanksgiving dreams more funky.

If your like me, on xmass or thanksgiving day you eat some Turkey, some bread, fruits, salads, a few roast vegetables, maybe some dip and a whole lot of pudding. While you do this you often also drink a substantial amount of Alcohol.  Which as you can guess is actuly our “weirdness” culprit. Alcohol is the big doosey here for every article on how serotonin alone (not just Turkey) affects sleep, depression, etc., there are at least 5 more on Alcohol and its effect on sleep and the body. Your weird xmass dreams are also effected because, you guessed it, you expect to have them. You have had them in the past, everyone talks about them and its a fun way to spend the rest of the day when you wake up and don’t feel like moving as you have a pretty full belly.

Turkey and its effect on sleep is partly myth, partly reality. Preprocessed Turkey (like deli-meat) will be different to non-preprocessed (fresh cooked at home) as well, due what they do to processed meat (more salt, more fat, more accessible protein). If you really want a deit that will give you better “happy dreams” I am afraid that 1 meal Turkey is more likely to just give you a case of gas. Serotonin intake is also affected by everything else you consume on xmass day. And the thing is messing around with Serotonin isn’t something we should just do because we like weird dreams.

Serotonin doesn’t just give us the “happy” feeling, it also does other stuff, and having lots of it will actuly make you nuts. Were talking barking-foam-mad-dog mental asylum nuts here. You want to increase and decrease serotonin slowly and not without the help of real doctor or psychiatrist. 

Eating heaps of Turkey for a while may make your feelings, dreams and behavior change ever so slightly, but the serotonin is converted by your body, your body will stop converting it when you reach whatever level is normal for you and the rest will just end up in the toilet.

If you want to change your diet to get better dreams your better off doing, you guessed it, what every health expert pretty much tells you about diet. Mostly fruit and vegetables, medium grain and pulse, some meat and cheese; not to much and plenty of fresh water; Skip out on Caffeine and Alcohol drinks. Although yes alcohol helped you with the “weird” dream, the “weird” dream effect is diminishing. The longer and more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to do damage and cause issues.

Republished due to high search count. 

Dream magic (with or without a K)

The idea that you can affect your dreams using “magick” is not new nor is it without some basis. Freud, Jung, Boyer, Pascal, Pierre Liénard and others all draw on the conclusion that religious “magic” and “phschology” are closely linked. And as I have said before

Anything you do affects your dreams

So if you do magic (show or religious, or both), it will eventually show up in your dreams.

But what about magic for reaching dream states?

Ophiel wrote on this subject pretty comprehensibly (and accessibly) in his book The art and Practice of Astral Projection and he list more than two ritual (magic with a k in some circles) methods for reaching the OBE/Astral projection state. One is closely connected to Themla and the OTO, but I am not sure how closely what he wrote in the book resembles any practices done now (its a old book but a good one). This is besides the point because the others all work just as well as it, though some are “easier” and the effect is similar, the longer more complex ones have less of a shelf life. By that I mean, when working with them for a long period of time some people (like me) will find the effort of that method gets harder over time. Other people will be able to slip in and out of the OBE state like a dolphin and still others may not reach it at all. Lucid dreaming is certainly more accessible in terms of how “easy” it is in comparison for a lot of people. Of course much like how “binueral beats” work for some (in some circumstances) and not for others ever. However reaching lucidity and OBE are not exclusive ways of using dream magic, there are others.

There are many other reasons people may use “dream magic” and I will list some of them:

Protection

A lot of people have good reason to feel afraid. Fear is a cause of nightmares and some may use a “magical” ritual to protect them. This ranges from prayers to a circle casting to candle magic, to contacting spirits for protection in trance and so on. This sort of dream magic has ranged success level. Fear is something you should talk to a psychologist for if you are scared of your own nightmares/dreams.

Connection

Connecting to gods, the self, spirits, etc. Very awesome, some people consider it dangerous and thus use a magic circle or similar for protection. Collective dreaming sometimes involves small rituals but I am not sure of how successful they are.

“Dreamwalking”

Dreamwalkers are people who try to invade or even consensually connect to a person who is dreaming themselves. There is no “proof” in any literature it works. Some say it can be used for malicious purposes (and heard of people fearing this after abuse from a so called “dreamwalker”).

10 big dreaming myths

1. Everyone dreams

Not true. Some people can’t due to the fact they have brain damage or are on medication that inhibit the dreaming state. Some medical conditions cause a lessening of the REM or nREM state (and other dream states).

Almost all people do dream (including blind and deaf people), recall of dreams however is harder for some people. Lifestyle, medication, sleep time, desire to recall and even personality can effect this.

2. People go crazy when they don’t sleep/dream

Yes possible, but very unlikely. Generally go without sleep for long enough and you will go into a coma or be hospitalized and they will force you to sleep. When sleep deprived you will do more risky things and be inhibited. The more sleep deprived, the more likely it is to cause a problem.

Insomnia is a real problem for which a GP or sleep doctor is needed to assist.

3. Animals don’t dream

Completely false, Google scholar “mammalian dream states”. Dolphins, Rats, Dogs and Cats (most dog/cats owner can tell you this), Rabits, Cows, etc. Even Snakes and reptiles have a state their mind enters into when asleep, they do not enter a coma. It can be reasonably assumed almost all animals with a brain and central nervous system dreams. Weather or not this indicated consciousness or if they are aware of dreams is a argument for the ages.

4. Lucid dreaming will make me X

Go mad, be sexier, scared, silly, stupid, etc. Most of these claims are false. Lucid dreaming is completely safe and almost always leads to the dreamer having a awesome nights sleep, nothing more.

5. You can get trapped in dreams

Not true, but you can have a “false awakening” attack were you wake up again and again but are still actually asleep. These dreams are unnervingly real and look and feel real, its often not till you are awake you notice the difference. If you suffer from them, best keep a log of the differences you notice. The movie Groundhog Day reminds me very much of someone having a false awakening attack.

Reoccurring dreams are also an issue, best thing to do is to attempt lucid dreaming and or seek professional advice from a GP or sleep doctor.

6. My dreams tell me the future

Unlikely. I published a post about this here. Generally most claims of dream prediction have turned out to be false. Its possible, but VERY unlikely. Actual credited accounts backed up by multiple independent people are completely nonexistent.

7. I can talk to God/Spirit/Goddess/Jesus/etc. in my dream

This is completely YOUR experience and for you it is truth and for everyone else it is, well you talking to your mind. In reality that god/etc you talked you is really your own subconscious and thats fine, talking to your subconscious is awesome and I am glad you do it, but claiming to anyone but yourself that this is the TRUE WORD OF GOD is likely to get resounding bouts of laughter. Also note you REALLY DONT have to do anything this God/Spirit etc tells you to do, really, make these decisions with your waking mind with evidence and support and counsel of your partner or friends or whoever.

8. I can die while dreaming

Yes you can, but not from dreaming in of itself. Stroke, heart attack, hit by an asteroid, suffocate on your pillow, all possible while dreaming. Its not the dreaming state that kills you though.

9. Waking a sleepwalker is dangerous

Not true, wake that sucker for their safety. People have done crazy things like get in the car, get milk from the shop, cook dinner and leave the stove on while asleep. If you know your a sleepwalker and live alone, use some method to wake yourself, such as a alarm that goes off when you open your bedroom door, a bell tied to your feet, something.  Problem sleepwalkers should also consult a GP or sleep doctor.

10. Dreams are inspirational

Yes, yes they are.

Dreams influenced by stories

After our fears and insecurities our minds are really most influenced by stories. This is stories you see on TV, stories you read, hear about, stories you made up from your own experiences etc. The best book we can look at to learn more about dreams that are influenced by stories is a fairly common one, and its one that pretty much everyone at some point has read. No its not the Bible.

I am of course talking about that most seminal of tomes, the great and powerfully influential book known as Spot goes for a walk.

Any common children’s book is good, as most carry the themes that dreams will commonly follow. If you haven’t read the book recently, let me remind you of its content.

First spot is going for a walk, before he even leaves his mother behind he is told “Don’t get lost.” Already we are playing on spots fears of losing himself, losing his mother, and not being able to find his way back. These are fairly basic fears that children learn from a very young age and ones that are actually vital to learn. From a dream analysis point of view it tells us what our first thing to look at when we have decided to analyze/interpret our dreams. Is this something I fear, of have feared. Its not wrong to have fear. Yoda does say that “fear leads to suffering” and all that, but he is a Jedi, and to be frank your probably not. We all have fear and admitting we have some is often the best course of action. Denial of our fear is however far more dangerous for us in the long term.

The first thing Spot encounters as he continues his journey is a cat in the shed, the cat hisses at him and you are led to believe he runs away. This is of course another fear based page and already covering that aspect we shall move along.

Next Spot encounters some chickens, and then some bees. The chicken says hello, and the he says that the bees flowers smell lovely and they say “Thank you”. These are everyday occurrences. Its fairly common to have them in your dreams. You talk to people in the street, so you would do so in your dreams, you also like to look at things and most people like a nice smelling bouquet of flowers. Having these things occur in our dreams is very likely. Even if we don’t do something everyday, if we can imagine it happening to us, we can dream it (some even say the same parts of the Brain do the same processing (see Eugen Tarnow, and  Science 294 (5544): p. 1052–1057.)). Everyday occurrences are of course going to be a topic for another post and we will cover them more then, and even how we can make the up as well.

Spot then enters a Rabbit in a field of carrots. The Rabbit is somewhat of a Trickster character in the Spot, s/he tends to lead spot astray and often tricks him, but s/he also occasionally helps Spot in his goals. This is quite typical of a trickster charter, you never know when you can trust them. The Rabbit knows that Spot is hungry and tells him to look in the flower bed, the flower bed when Spot digs it up, contains a Bone. If this was a dream this is what we can call encountering a dream character. Rabbit is a character in Spots story who represents something. We all know a person or character in our lives that is like Rabbit, slightly Tricksy, slightly helpful, and these characters are ones we will encounter when we record our dreams and analyze them. We can have many characters of different sorts of archetypes (more on these later) and they are often based on stories we have read, like Spot, or even have watched, been told, or even stories we have lived (of course). Our characters are what really define our dreams and our interactions with them can help us discover many things about our own true natures (ok yeah I know that sounds a bit fluffy but its actually true). This is the aspect of dreaming I am currently most interested in exploring more and influences of characters from our stories are ones I like the most. I like the ability to talk to Superman, or even have a beer with Sam Gunn, or walk on the moon with Neil Armstrong (with or without spacesuit, its all the same in a dream).

Before Spot finishes his walk he then goes to a pond. Here we encounter what most would call a “challenge”. Spot wants a drink after his meal of bone and so drinks, but he is told to be careful not of fall in (Fear again) and unfortunately he does. He doesn’t meet his challenge. So his walk comes to a end, he is finds Mum and is asked what he did that day, he says “Not a lot” even though he appears to have done a great deal.

When we face challenges in dreams we can pass or fail, but when it comes to influences from stories, a challenge is pretty common. We can thank the continually used “Heros journey” for this particular influence in some ways, but it didn’t become the most popular of story telling methods by just being really easy to follow the formula. When our challenge is from a story we often attempt to overcome it in the same way the hero did in the story. If this means some sort of radical, non possible scenario, all the better, if its means that Penguins ride in on Lamas while singing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkies carrying silver arrows and wearing KISS armor plating and makeup, all the better (especially during REM sleep). Due to the fact that part of dreaming is influenced by things we see and do, as well as what we like and don’t like, as well as trying to process everything all at once, we can get some pretty mashed up stuff (so your not weird).

So when we think about our dreams, think a little more simply, because something like a story can easily lead us to how our mind came up with what seems like a pretty crazy thing. Spot goes for a walk is a very good example of a story that can easily represent what things we need to consider, but there are of course others.

Happy dreaming.

Fears and Dreams

Our fears are a main source of influence in the content of our dreams. One main example of this is the fear of death. We may fear the death of our mother, for example, as she is gravely ill and hasn’t been doing so well. We may go to bed and dream she has died. This is a perfectly normal thing. We could dream the death with her in hospital, on a bed with doctors surrounding her and someone apologizing that she had passed away. Our memory of this dream can be very good, extremely vivid and unnerving. Then we encounter this situation in reality and find it “eerily” similar to our dream. This is not because we are prophetic, we find it similar because we are very memory driven animals and thus we will remember as we like (also the areas of the brain that deals with memory are very close and often the same as the ones that do our dreaming). Although many people get quite upset at the thought of death, the fact is that we know its going to happen. Thus it is easy for us to imagine it happening. Therefor as we can imagine it, we can just as easily dream it. We can just as easily come to believe we somehow cause the death to happen, simply by dreaming it. Irrational this may be it is a perfectly normal thought to have, just as thinking we may have predicted our mothers death.

The basic reason for we have the fear dream is our psychology is set up to “prepare” us for things we know will one day happen.  We have, to a certain extent, evolved this ability as a side effect of both our intelligence and our need to practice our life’s events. In our dreams we can practice for events without generally coming to physical harm or any real-life consequences. Thus everything we can fear, we can have “Fear dreams” about. We fear all sorts of both rational and non rational things and these things will appear in our dreams in situations we are both likely and unlikely to encounter them.

We are most likely to have fear dreams when we are thinking, or are preoccupied with our fear for a significant proportion of the day, or when our mind remembers an event involving the fear induced situation before or during sleep.

Fearing something does not make it bad. That is a vital step in getting to know why your dreams contain your worst fears. Fear is a relatively healthy thing, without it we would make rash decisions, do things that could kill us more easily and probably die as a consequence (at some point anyway). It is when a fear becomes controlling or irrational that we need to seek help with this sort of dream. If you find your fear controlling, that it interrupts your life, that you try your hardest to avoid it then you should seek profession psychological help. Dreamwork may be a way of working with this fear but it should on no account be the only means to concur fear.

One easy ways of doing dreamwork with a fear is to: Create the fear as a dream sign. If you are already a Lucid Dreamer, you know how to create a dream sign, if you are not the process is realtivly easy.

a) Write five situations you encounter this fear

b) Write five situations were it would be non-logical to encounter this fear

c) When you see either, say “I am in reality” and do a dream check (i.e. pinch yourself, block your nose or check your watch or a clock twice, choose only one).

d) Continue this for as long as it takes for the dream sign to appear in your dream, when you are in your dream do your dream check you should notice you are dreaming. Then you can use this time to “practice” getting over your fear. You can’t get physically hurt in this dream and thus you can do anything you can imagine to your fear. Make it shrink, erase it with a magic word, or even just talk to it and ask it to leave you. If you are unsuccessful you can try again as often as you can.

Of course with more irrational fears and even some rational fears its very hard to deal with in this simplistic way. Fears that almost everyone has, like not being able to find a toilet, are commonplace and its difficult to be rid of. Another fear, of not being able to deal with your fears in your dreamwork can even develop, and this is something one can easily see getting very introspective. This is why seeking professional psychological help with major fears is essential. A dreamwork method is one that can help, but you need to deal with your fears in other ways as eventually you have to stop practicing and start actualizing.