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Understanding Your Dreams Without the Crystal Ball

Categories: sleep and dreams
understanding your dreams under an eye mask

understanding your dreams under an eye mask

You've just woken up from a place that isn't reality, an experience that didn't happen. In this moment of waking, the dream is so vivid in your mind you may think you are still there. You remember it like a real experience, something that just happened to you and could describe it in all its incredible detail.

Then you get out of bed, get dressed, and by the time you make it to the kitchen, most of the dream has faded into obscurity. Or maybe you still recall it with great clarity through some of the details disappear. And you can't help but wonder what these crazy nighttime experiences might mean to our waking lives.

Unfortunately, most 'dream meaning' websites are pretty useless. Just as your astrological sign can't predict what you'll have for lunch today, what most people write about dreams is based more on fantasy than reality. Does dreaming of a horse mean romance, a desire to escape, or just that you love horses? Does dreaming of a house mean you want to go home? Does it mean you feel secure, or that you're coming down with the flu? What about the difference between symbolism in good vs. bad dreams?

How Real People Dream

On television, dreams mean something. Usually something about the 'hidden desires' of the depicted characters. On dream meaning websites, dreams are full of rich symbolism which has universal meanings for all dreamers. But as an adult who is familiar with your dreams, you probably already know most of this is total fiction.

When real people dream, the images, faces, and events that appear have far more personal than universal meaning. And often, the dreams have more to do with what you're experiencing in your life at the time than any deep mystical sense about your health or secret feelings. So let's take a look at understanding your dreams without the crystal ball.

'Life Goes On' Dreams

The first, and by far the most common, type of adult dream is the kind that continues your normal life.  You are in your own home or workplace. The people around you are people you know every day, possibly with a few visitors from your past. And your goals usually align with your everyday goals. Maybe you're trying to put together a grocery list, take your daughter to soccer practice, or finish a project for work.

Why These Dreams

Waking up from a 'Life Goes On' dream is never a mystery. You realize that you've been overthinking about life during the day and possibly not unwinding enough before sleep.

Finding Meaning

The details of your 'Life Goes On' dream can reveal some things about your life if analyzed, but not using 'dream symbolism' rules. Instead, use the context of your own life. If the dream was stressful, you're probably feeling overwhelmed by the kind of task you set yourself to. If the dream featured certain people heavily, you may be thinking about them or even missing them in your waking life. If you're worried about something in your life-dream, you're probably worried about it when awake as well.

Stress Dreams

A stress dream is when you spend your entire night worried or failing to do something. No matter what you do, the goal is always out of your reach. Stress dreams are often very trivial in detail, though some people have great adventures of frustration in their sleep.

Stress dreams can pair perfectly with 'Life Goes On' dreams, meaning you are living your life, but the dream prevents you from achieving a seemingly realistic goal. Or they can be fantastic, in a setting or with targets that don't usually make sense in your life.

Why These Dreams

Stress dreams are also a regular part of adult life. They occur when you're worried about something or feeling frustrated in your waking life. Stress dreams are often associated with a challenge at work, fear of not doing well, and occasionally with playing video games before bed.

Finding Meaning

The content of the dreams can sometimes clue you in on why you're stressed. Work dreams, home tasks, family issues, and your latest bedtime video game are all self-explanatory. Stress dreams that are bizarre in detail might relate to your real life through the emotions you feel, like losing control of your body in a dream when your oppressive mother comes to visit.

Sexy Dreams

Dreams about romance and sex are no mystery to anyone. They are directly related to your interest, desire, and need for romantic and physical attention. Go too long without the loving touch of a romantic partner and your sleeping mind may create someone to give you the loving you physically and emotionally need. Activation may also be the source of sexy dreams, getting excited by someone you have met or even an actor on television can encourage your mind to generate a few 'test' experiences to enjoy.

Why These Dreams

While not everyone has erotic dreams, most people have at least one in their life, and many people experience them regularly. If you are lonely for too long, your mind may generate a partner in your dreams. The same is true if you want someone or have a partner who is away and you miss them terribly. Your dreams will provide what you need, including details about how you feel about the situation.

Finding Meaning

Meaning in sexy dreams can be straightforward (you want some loving) or very complex depending on the content and context of your dream. If you dream about a sensual encounter with a partner or love interest that is continuously interrupted, this is a combo sexy-stress dream, and you're likely worried about trouble in paradise. If the hot dream transforms into a domestic future, you may be getting ready to settle down with this person. What matters is what the content of the dream means to you.

Adventure Dreams

Finally, let's talk about adventure dreams. Sometimes, your dreams don't seem to have anything to do with your real life but are incredibly fun either way. You find yourself fighting in an epic arena or flying over a sparkling fictional city. Maybe you have adventure companions who are people you know or entirely new characters. Perhaps the adventure turns into horror, nightmare, or mystery to solve.

These are the kinds of dreams that leave us the most baffled because they don't have a clear connection to our real lives. It seems like our minds go to some fantastic not-earth place to have adventures you could never really have and meet people who could never exist. It's even more confusing when aspects of your real life appear like a childhood friend or a home you lived in years ago.

Why These Dreams

Adventure dreams are what your subconscious does in its free time. Children and teens are more likely to have adventure dreams, with all the wild imagination that being young can supply. But many adults continue to have these dreams well past the age of majority. As far as anyone can tell, adventure dreams come from imagination and sometimes are remembered more clearly when you wake up at unusual times, essentially interrupting a sleep cycle that would usually cause you to forget the dream before waking.

Finding Meaning

Dreaming of a horse or a house in an adventure dream doesn't have a universal meaning. The fantastical content of these dreams often means very little or, if it does have meaning, it will only be to you in the context of your life. The most meaning you can derive will come from which real-world details surface in the dreams. Walking with a childhood friend, for instance, might relate to thoughts and experiences from your past. The same for visiting places where you've been. The context of the adventure or the feelings you wake up with might mean something to you, but no crystal-reading astrologist can tell you what that meaning might be.

Dreams Without the Crystal Ball

Your dreams are products of your subconscious mind, what you think and experience when you put your body and the thoughts of today to rest. If you dream about living your life, you're not letting go enough before sleep. If you dream about being stressed out, you're stressed out while awake as well. And if you dream crazy adventures of flight, fancy, and mystery, consider writing a novel.

Whatever your dreams mean, you're not going to find the guide in a crystal ball or a dream-meanings encyclopedia. Ask yourself and examine your mind for understanding your dreams. And if what you need is a beautiful bed to chase your dreams in, contact us today. Nest Bedding helps our customers transition directly from the waking world into the world of dreams, but the dreams you have are a unique experience for you alone.