I’ve been struck by the odd fact that I never remember my dreams.
I mean ever. The last one I had I still vividly remember. I was about 10 years old and it involved me and my baby brother (who was three at the time of the dream) playing in the field behind our house. He decided to stroll over to the puddle at the edge of the neighbor’s driveway and jump in to make a splash. Only he went straight in. Disappeared into the puddle which was as deep as an ocean. I ran over to pull him out but he was gone.
It was the last time I woke up and thought ‘Oh, just a dream’.
I fall asleep, I wake up, I carry on with my life. There are no televised segments to psychoanalyze in the morning nor any fun sex dreams with women I would never have sex with in the real world.
I’m getting gypped, I know it.
This doesn’t mean I don’t dream; I just don’t remember them. At least that’s my theory. I often wake with residual feelings of something or other. Could be anxiety from a nightmare or good humor from a funny dream. Or maybe it’s just my mood due to the upcoming day or whatever happened the previous day.
I have verified with wifey that she has never heard me talk in my sleep (which, believe me, is a very good thing for our relationship). I don’t sleepwalk or toss and turn. I do wake once or twice a night to readjust or take a leak or check on the boys if they are making sounds, but I would assume that’s normal. Especially with kids.
I have also discussed my non dreams with a friend of mine who was a psych major in college. She said that everyone dreams unless they are under heavy medication, but not remembering anything for such a long time is unusual. ‘Just like you,’ she so kindly added.
I wonder aloud if I just sleep efficiently because I’m basically awesome at everything. When she got her laughter under control she offered it may have more to do with me being comfortable with myself. ‘You don’t have a lot of hangups and are extremely laid back. Maybe your lack of neurosis has something to do with it.’
‘Meaning I really don’t dream?’
‘Oh, no. If you didn’t dream you’d know it because you’d be insane by now.’
Well, then. Good to know. Although if I was insane how would I know I wasn’t dreaming?
Whatever. According to semi-pro psychologist, dreams are a way for our subconscious to process everything and purge any inner demons or dark thoughts from our systems so we can behave like normal humans to each other. Considering my inner demons are usually on full display for everyone to see, perhaps I don’t need to purge them subconsciously.
As another buddy of mine pointed out, ‘You know, you keep in constant touch with your dark side while you’re awake’.
So maybe I don’t need to remember because there are no surprises to be found?
Whatever the reason, I’m making it my mission to remember at least one dream this weekend. According to my psych friend and random quack websites littering the WWW, there are three things I should try:
1: Keep a notebook on the nightstand. This I can do. This is the one suggestion everyone and all sites have in common.
2: Before falling asleep, repeat to yourself that you will remember your dreams. I guess this is basically training your subconscious to get it’s shit together and keep me entertained. I consider myself dubious about this working, but I’ll try it.
3: When first waking up, don’t move. Just lay there and do nothing. I should note that this is usually what I do when I wake up. I don’t jump out of bed or roll over or groan. Wait, I may groan in distress that I have to go to work. I’ll stop doing that.
Other than those three, there seem to be some contradictory other options.
One site suggests setting the alarm halfway through the night so you wake up four hours after you fall asleep. I can safely say this ain’t happening. Sleep is precious to me and wifey would kill me if I set the alarm for 3 am.
My psych friend offered another piece of advice that I will take. Instead of using the alarm to wake up, set it so the radio goes off. This way I should wake up more gradually and have a better chance of remembering any dreams. She also disagreed with the middle of the night wakeup call. ‘Better off letting your natural sleep cycle do it’s thing than interrupting it. That might be counter productive’.
One other suggestion that was immediately dismissed.
‘Don’t drink any alcohol before falling asleep’. Riiiight. That’s not happening. Let’s be honest, we all know which one will lose the battle between alcohol and dreams.
I’ve lived without dreams for this long. I can make it the rest of my life. It’s not THAT important to me.
Today’s distraction: Use the Dream Dictionary to interpret your own dreams. Hopefully I can use this next week!