October 14, 2013

You can save your dreams

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Ever since I studied Psychology at school with my nutty but brilliant teacher I became obsessed with Freud and the other ‘brain dudes’. I also became interested in dreams, and the role they play in waking life. An average person spends 25 years of their lives dreaming, but yet we don’t do much with it. We go in and out of more emotions and conjure more new ideas during this sleepy time that we might do throughout the whole day.

I always found it strange how you could have a dream about someone and the emotions would transcend the dream and turn quickly into real emotions. They are basically like for like. For example, if someone has been a dickhead to you during the dream, you will actually wake up hating them a little bit. Or vice versa, you can be conned to believe someone is really nice. In dreamworld.

Cue awkward breakfast silence with boyfriend:

Him: “What’s up?’
Me: “Nothing”
Him: “You’re being grumpy”.
Me: “……..You were mean to me in my dream”.

 [Yes, you feel like an idiot for five minutes].

But it’s true. The emotion of your dream can often be difficult to shake off until some hours later, and continue to hang around well into your normal day.

Dreams also give you good ideas. Sometimes. There are times where I have crafted a long, detailed, well thought-out business plan all during my dream. You may laugh, but it weirdly, creepily all made quite good sense and I magically turn into this version of me that is really good at maths. How, can my very same brain suddenly be amazing at working out calculations in my sleep, but continue to be an absolutely dimwit with numbers in real life? That’s the mystery. Freud probably had an answer for it though, he always does.

I am a fan of of this thing called ‘creative sleep’. We are so busy and crazy in our working lives especially since the invention of technology that we don’t actually ever let your minds rest or think. I attempted to read a book the other night and was interrupted by all these shiny objects around me catching my eye (phone, iPad, laptop, TV) they were winking at me, saying hey, come play with us, why you looking at that boring, stationary piece of dead tree? Bor-ing.

So this ‘creative sleep’ thing was actually coined by the legendary Stephen King. He said that ‘sleep is the greatest creative aphrodisiac’. Wrap your tongue around that one. He thinks that lucid dreams can awaken our creative capacity. He thinks that as we don’t have time to daydream anymore (oh how I miss long boring car journeys as a child) we have to turn to actual dreams for a bit of inspiration. Mainly ‘cos we’re frying our brains with mobile phones and basically we are boring as shit now.

I very rarely get any ideas during the day. I always bang on about how one day I would like to write a book – a fictional book. As I’ve apparently turned into this hyper-productive person since having a day job, I have decided to find my ideas whilst sleeping. Sounds daft? Maybe.

The amazing thing that I have recently stumbled upon that will help this process is a new app called Shadow. It hasn’t been built yet. But the idea is that it helps you record and remember your dreams, hoping to one day make the largest ‘dream database’ in the world. Sounds spacey. If we forget 95% of our dreams within 5 minutes of waking up (so they say) then I am up for trying this thing out.

Bring on the ideas. Stories from dreams.

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