What do dreams tell us about ourselves?


Gina Gossett

Newspaper staff member Jonathan Brodak helps Morgan Kafana determine what her dream could mean from the previous night.

Imagine the following: it’s been a long and tiresome day at school. For a student or even a teacher, all they want to do is go home and catch up on some well-deserved sleep. As it gets later on in the evening, the clock reads 10:00 and it’s time for bed. When sleep finally overtakes their body, their brain begins to create images of a place, event, or person that might have occurred during the day. Another image a person might develop is the sensation of falling. What that person is doing is something that everyone does: dream.

Dreams take place during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. During this time the thalamus, which regulates sleep or consciousness, and the cortex, which is involved in processing information from the five senses, work together to provide a person with a dream. 

Sigmond Freud once said, “what is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguised realizations of wishes.”

When a person has a dream, it is due to a signal from the subconscious mind to the brain. These signals are electrical impulses from the brain which pull haphazard images from the subconscious mind. 

“Dreams help our brain to file away memories that we made during the day, so it is common to dream about things that may have happened or to even relive a moment from the day,” stated Mrs. Keener, AP Psychology teacher.

We’ve all had a dream of an event taking place and then a short time later, having a deja vu moment and it occurring again in real life. The reason this happens is due to memories that trigger that specific dream. This doesn’t make a person psychic but could indicate that they have a deep understanding of their day to day lives. For example, someone might dream they get a promotion at work and once it actually happens they believe that they predicted it. However, the conscious mind knows that a person may have been working hard as well as a higher position being open.

Moreover, it’s common for a person to dream about another person whether it’s someone that they are close with or one they hardly know. The most common reason for this to occur is due to a person thinking about another before they fall asleep. 

Nevertheless, dreams about people can also be caused by that person being absent from the dreamer’s life, one of the reasons being death. A dreamer might see a loved one who has passed as a way of finding closure in their subconscious mind. 

“I had a dream about my grandfather who had passed away. In my dream, he said I love you in Romanian,” said Brianne Coatsworth, Senior.

In addition, it’s also not uncommon for a dreamer to find themselves in a specific location such as a mall, school, home or even another place in the world. Our dreams often are a representation of a place we might have never gone before and therefore long to travel to. 

Dreams can be due to feelings of comfort, anger or even sorrow. An example of this could be someone dreaming of their grandparents house when they are being chased by an individual. The reason a person might dream of this location is because it is a place of comfort to the dreamer. 

There’s also a fear factor when it comes to dreams, often times a fear of falling. It’s not uncommon for people to move in their sleep, so when someone wakes up on the edge of their bed, typically they woke up due to a dream of falling. When someone has this dream, it may be induced by possible insecurities or anxieties in the conscious mind. A feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control of their life can also affect someone to dream that they are falling. 

From the time we are children to the final stages of our lives, dreams have had a significance on our lives. Whether it has been a dream of a person, a place of importance or even recurring, the majority of dreams have an underlying meaning that only the dreamer themselves can understand.