I can honestly say that in my life it is the night-time that holds the most fascination and intrigue for me. As life with its ups and downs rolls on it's in the early hours of the morning, when all is quiet and my thoughts should be off piste, is when my brain starts having a party. Well I say brain, it does the mechanical functions, but it is the consciousness or rather the subconscious that decides to go raving.
Since about the age of five years old I can remember the most vivid of dreams in pure technicolour, some of which I can still recall today. Let’s discuss then, what are dreams exactly? Scientifically they are stored memories and our daily observations that build up a bank of knowledge to which our subconscious mind picks from the stored information in our brain and we recall these pictures/memories in our sleep when we need to process the days events or work out a problem. Phew, that was a mouthful.
How does it all work? Our sleep pattern goes in cycles and is governed by brainwaves which alter as we go into deeper levels of slumber.
Beta (14-40Hz) Awake and conscious
Alpha (7.5-14Hz) Deeply relaxed
Theta (4-7.5Hz) Light sleep and meditation
Delta (0.5-4Hz) The deep sleep or REM sleep
A sleep cycle can last from 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the person and what type of sleeper they are, heavy or light etc. In the REM or Rapid Eye Movement section of sleep our eyes flicker under our eyelids as if we were watching a movie which in theory is true as we watch the events unfolding in our dream state. It is necessary to dream as our subconscious mind has to work out any worries or issues we have. To make them more acceptable to us the images are masked as fanciful, weird or scary (nightmares) so that we reach a conclusion and/or make peace with ourselves. Remember the old saying “it will all be better in the morning”. Sleep is also vital for our physical health as our little cells replace and heal themselves during sleep.
In my experience, there are quite a few varying types of dreams and I see them like this…
The weird and wacky, you know the type, an elephant flying an aeroplane into a cake (you get the gist). These images may seem bizarre and random and seem not to relate to anything. These you need to investigate as the imagery is usually surprising and logical when you piece it all together. Nightmares (running from someone or something), although scary these are our fears played out internally. Fantasy, where you are swept off your feet by a celebrity, or find out you are a fabulous singer (well I tried, but no X factor for me).
Prophetic dreams are those where you engage a random vision of something seemingly unrelated and realise at some time down the line it has or is happening. Spirit visitation, now a lot of academics are interested and believe in the archetypes of the subconscious mind but do not always believe in our ability to communicate with our loved ones in our dream state. I have had many spirit encounters in my sleep, mostly family when I am in the lucid dream state (where you are just about to fall asleep or wake up) and I can tell you, they feel different. Not like a dream but a memory, as they are heightened and impactful on the senses. If you're interested in exploring dreams follow this blog or leave any questions or tell us about your own experiences in the comments. I will be going into dream topics in more depth in future blogs ... Watch this space and sleep well.
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SSHH – Stacie's Spiritual & Holistic Healing