Dreams are strange. People who like country music are also strange, but have been subject to less scientific research. My personal experiences on this matter have indeed been noteworthy. In fact, the content of my dreams were once planned to be the basis of a 20,000 word scientific study, but the scientist instead opted to do a Twitter update only. Dreams, we have long been told, are an absolute mystery. However, through my own studies, I can reveal they tend to happen at night and when sleeping.
I once fell asleep whilst wearing my glasses. This was unfortunate as for the next few hours I dreamt I was waiting for a consultation with my local optician. I only realized I was dreaming when a large gorilla walked in and praised me for being a great single Mother and an award winning acrobat. The amusement was short lived as he immediately charged me $50 for a contact lens examination.
Carl Jung, Freud and numerous other dead people believe dreams are the doorway to learning about our subconscious wants and desires. If this is true, why do I keep dreaming about Stephen Hawkins giving me foot massages? To get to the bottom of all this I enrolled in a three year psychology degree. This went great until three days before graduation when I woke up in a sweat; and realized it had all been a dream.
I have since learned that most of the time you can tell if you are in a dream because things seem completely unrealistic. For example, I can always tell I'm dreaming if people are polite, a girl remembers my name, or George Bush completes a full sentence.
In recent years there has been a distinct lack of research into what happens when people go to sleep at night, but Dr. Ralph Piffell from Oregon, USA, is determined to bring the matter into the public consciousness. The last heavily-funded study into the effects and meaning of inner dream life was in 1967 in Neuschwanstein, Germany. Unfortunately the study had to be called off as participants were found to be drowsy and close to nodding off. Dr. Piffell says that he dreams of the day they can do another in depth study. But he also admitted to dreaming of naked Albanian wind-surfers joining him for barbecues, so is fraught when it comes to deciding which dream to bring to life.
One of the main ways dreams are analysed is by looking closely at the meaning of symbols and objects within the visions witnessed during sleep. For example, if you dream about pasta, that is actually your subconscious desire for sexual activity in your life. However, if you find yourself dreaming about sex you are more than likely to wake up with an urge for penne pasta.
One of the most common concerns is that of the recurring nightmare. Throughout centuries the greatest minds have done their best to find ways to stop them. Only now are they realizing the simplest way of halting them, which is by not sleeping.
In summary, there is still much to learn about dreaming. The good news is that many myths are now being debunked. For many years people believed that to die in your dream meant that you would die in real life. It turns out this is true, but often the death does not happen until 50, sometimes 70 years later. Another key thing to remember when looking into dream interpretation, is that it is not completely accurate. For example, if you look up the meaning behind your dream about a piece of cheese; it is often difficult to tell exactly which type of cheese it was in the dream. This type of thing is of major importance, as dreaming of mature farmhouse cheddar cheese means you are coming to a new, positive stage in your life, whereas dreaming about moist blue cheese indicates you are likely to have limbs amputated if you ever travel to Scandinavia. It is for reasons like this that I strongly recommend only dreaming in supervised situations.