Dreams are sequence images, sounds and feelings experienced while sleeping, strongly associated with rapid eye movement sleep. Dreams have a long history both as a subject of conjecture and as a source of inspiration. They allow the repressed parts of the mind to be satisfied through fantasy while keeping the conscious mind from thoughts that would suddenly cause one to awaken from shock. Dreams were historically used for healing in the ancient Greek temples of Asclepius as well as for guidance or divine inspiration.
Studies show that dreams are more perceptual than conceptual, and dreams in the later half of the night are typically longer than those you dream soon after going to sleep. Dreams are useful in learning more about the dreamer’s feelings, thoughts, behavior, motives and values. They are also an expression of collective generic experiences, which refer to basic life problems and manifest in terms of symbols and myths thoughts and memories shared by all humanity. Many dreams collected in sleep laboratories are rather ordinary, but most people have at least some bizarre dreams.
Typically, a person has four or five periods of rem-sleep during the night that occur at intervals of about 90 minutes, and altogether constitute about 25 percent of the night’s sleep. Experts realize that everyone’s dreams are unique, and acquiring the ability to interpret your dreams is a powerful tool. Dreams can usually be recalled if a person is awakened while dreaming, but dreams are remembered only if you wake up during, or just at the end of, a dream. The recounting of dreams has been used widely as part of clinical treatment.
Dreams are seen as projections of parts of the self that have been ignored, rejected, or suppressed. They can link to actual sensations such as hearing a phone ringing in a dream while it is ringing in reality, or dreaming of urination while wetting the bed. Dreams are mechanisms that inform and guide our feelings and emotions and in the same way, encompass different dimensions of our personal experiences. Dreams do indeed offer opportunities for fun, adventure, wish fulfillment, and creativity. Dreams are the gateway to an inner world, a world just as real as the one outside. Dreams provide a natural bridge between everyday awareness and both the subconscious mind and the spiritual dimension of the conscious mind. Dreams act as a bridge to transmit those insights back to you. Dreams often mean the opposite of what they seem to mean, and can often times drive creative thought, or provoke a sense of inspiration.
Dream interpretation is neither a modern trend nor a passing fad. Dream related mental skills such as dream recall or dream interpretation and information on subjects such as the meaning of nightmares is rarely taught in our schools. There are many books, articles, scientific studies, and college courses however, that offer information about dream interpretation. You can even buy dictionaries of dream interpretations. Dream interpretations however, should not be considered a replacement for any type of counseling, legal advice, or medical diagnosis. The most important rule of dream interpretation is to always remember that symbols usually have different personal meanings for different individuals.
The ancient Egyptians recorded dreams as far back as 2000 B.C. and believed dreams were based on real events. Dreams aided in their practice of medicine, and solving problems with their personal problems. People would sleep in the Temples when they wanted help from their God. After spending a night in the Temple, they would discuss their dreams with the Temple Priest.