|dream... (Photo credit: Norma Desmond)|
IN the comment section of my previous post, Eve said:
I've had dreams that seem to last for hours and hours...have you ever had a dream where you're running from something, or someone..it seems to last all night long, and when you wake up you're actually tired because you've been 'running' all night?
Thinking back on my own dreams I don't recall many times where I woke up tired after a dream where I was running from something--in fact, maybe never. However, many times I have awakened from dream sleep feeling very worn out much as though I had spent a long hard day at work. There was probably a good reason I felt this way when I woke up--I was dreaming of work.
In recent months I have been having an especially large number of dreams about work. These dreams typically involve stress caused by not being on schedule or feeling pressured by upper management. In some of these dreams I may be back traveling with a road show as I did during the 1980's. At times I am lost or delayed by peculiar events. I realize that I will be late for the show and an audience will be waiting. My tension is increased by confusion, indecisiveness, and forgetfulness. I become frustrated because I am unsure of what to do or how to do things.
In other dreams I am working in a scenario similar to the warehouse where I was manager in my last job. There are things I can't remember--processes, products, product locations, customers, and even workers who I manage. I attempt to achieve tasks that were once familiar to me, but now are things I no longer understand. I am concerned about my job performance and fear repercussions from the company owners. Losing my job becomes a burdensome worry in the dream.
My interpretation relates these dreams mostly to my state of unemployment which I have been in for four years now. During the first two years I collected unemployment and looked diligently for a job without success. After the unemployment benefits ran out I gradually spent less effort looking for work and trying to consider other ways to make money. I will begin collecting social security in March. I still hope to find a good source of income, but if I don't then I suppose I can consider myself officially retired.
The long period of joblessness would account for my sense of uncertainty if I were to rejoin the workforce. Since my previous jobs were of such long duration, I use them as a reference point and model for any new job situation in which I might find myself. In my dreams I return to the jobs that I have known in the past, but having been away leaves me with a sense of insecurity. This sense of insecurity and my own having forgotten what my jobs may have entailed leads to anxiety, apprehension, doubt, and stress. A night filled with these encumbrances causes fretful sleep and mental turmoil which wearies me and causes me to wake up tired.
Have you experienced similar dream sleep problems? Do you ever awaken in the morning feeling tired as though you hadn't slept? What do you think causes you to wake up tired?