Thursday, June 13, 2013

Too Much Content

English: Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream ...
English: Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream book. The book is solemnly named The Dream-Book, or an Interpretation of Dreams by Sundry Egyptian and Indian Savants and Astronomers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      When I start remembering a vivid dream that seems to have lasted a long time, I can sometimes begin to dig up a great many dream details.   If I get on a roll with this, the dreams seem like they have an amazing amount of content.  During my high school and college days when I kept a dream journal and my dream recall became particularly acute, my recorded dreams would become many pages long, filled with many details of setting, props, characters, and plot.

        The detailed dream recall is not very common for me these days.  I've gotten out of practice of remembering dreams and have fallen out of the habit.  However, there are occasions when a dream will particularly stand out.  When it does, the details begin to flood my mind.  If I write these dreams, they begin to seem like they have too much content to record.   Here is an abbreviated version of a dream that I had last year (in 2012) that seemed like it had a vast amount of detailed content...

       From the point of the dream that I can remember, I seem to be remembering other times or perhaps other dreams.   There seem to be layers to my dream thoughts, but I may be experiencing the amalgamation of dream memory and whatever is happening in my current dream time, much the same way that in waking life we can be busy doing one thing but thinking of other things while being aware of other things going on around us.
        In this current dream I am living in a house which consists of one large single room adjoined by many smaller rooms.  There are multiple beds in some rooms.  The house actually seems more like some sort of hostel, but I understand it to be a house.
         I've run out of deodorant.  I look to see if there is someone's deodorant that I can borrow--my father's or my brother's perhaps.   I look for a unique brand that I remember having somewhere in the past.  There is a selection of many toiletry items out in open, perhaps on top of a large television.
         I go outside of the house-I'm starting to leave to go somewhere.  I notice that we have new neighbors who are either Mexican or gay--I'm not sure which.  One of the neighbors asks me questions about their overgrown vineyards.  I look and see I also have vines in my backyard but they are well groomed.  The men want to know how I manage to keep my vineyards looking so good.  I come up with a couple of answers and then I say I have a power cutter.  They want to borrow it and then I say my gardener does the trimming and start to tell about my gardener's services and prices--$32 per month.
       As I am leaving I see a police car arrive with a small boy in back seat.  I know this boy from earlier in this dream.  Is he mentally disabled?  Autistic?  The boy and I talk to each other about something.
      At one point in the dream I am a teacher's aide.  One boy of about 7 years is behaving badly.  I go over and discuss the issue with him and I handle the conversation very well
       The dream continues with incidents involving the police and children.  There is something related to music and different places that I can't remember...

      During this night I woke up several times thinking briefly about my dreams and my plan to remember them.  At times I had lucid dreams or had flashing images of what I had dreamed during the night.  I tried very hard to make sense of all the dream data that I had accumulated and to put it all together in some sort of logical sequence.

        Sometimes too much dream content can disturb sleep and distract the mind.  An abundance of dream data can greatly interfere with relaxing restful sleep.

         Do you ever have a dream that is so complex that you stay awake trying to recall all of it?   Are your dreams mostly quick and simple or do they seem to go on for long periods?   When you remember a great deal of dream detail, do you find it easier to remember your dream story?

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  1. Very often I get vivid dreams I want to forget, It seems all my issues in life get mixed together, I rather forget them.


  2. I'm not sure if I have complex dreams full of content, but I suspect that might be the case when I have a dream that I can only remember one element of. For example; a few nights ago I had a dream that somehow seemed to go on for some time, but I can't remember anything about it except - are you ready for this - Willie Nelson was in my dream. I'm like WTH, I'm not a particularly big fan of his and had not listened to his music recently or been thinking about him. I have tried everything I know to get back to this dream, just to have some idea why I was dreaming about Willie Nelson, but no luck. This is one of my more strange dream experiences.

  3. I have rather long dreams with complex content. Usually these are of the disturbing type. I can remember most of them still and am actually disturbed to think of them even after all this time. I can think of only one that wasnt upsetting but it was so ludicrous I was up half the night thinking about it after I had woken up.

  4. Yvonne -- I hope you start getting some different dreams that lift you up.

    Faraway -- Willie Nelson sounds like an iconic dream figure. Don't know what his appearance in a dream would mean. Maybe you heard one of his songs that day? Or read something about him? Of course he might have a deeper symbolic significance.

    Zoe -- When my dream content gets too disturbing, if I wake up I try to work things out to something more positive. If I don't wake up I can still usually steer my mind to better dream thoughts. Maybe you can learn to do the same.


  5. Have you found lucid dreaming working for you...I feel like I have been trying forever with no results.

  6. Hey Lee, I love this blog! I've been in the habit of recording my dreams in a journal for years. I used to have dreams that seemed to last for hours, and often involved me living in a huge house, usually with a room, or series of rooms that I knew little or nothing about. Most of the time the 'secret' rooms held something terrifying, like dead bodies...I haven't had one of those dreams for quite a few years now.
    Since my brother's suicide I've had a few lucid dreams where he comes to visit me, the last one being last week. In this dream I was in the kitchen of a house that I didn't know, and suddenly he was standing in front of me. I said, "Oh my god! You're back! You're here!" and he said to me, "I'm always here, you just never notice me." I started to cry and he gave me a huge hug and said, "You know I love you, right? Don't worry. You're gonna be okay." I woke up feeling sad, but at peace.
    I know what you mean about dreams interfering with sleep! In the past I've woken up exhausted cause I've been so 'busy' in my dreams that there's been little time to sleep, if that makes sense.
    Always interesting stuff to read here, thanks Lee!


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The Dreamer