www.whyville.net Mar 9, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Dreams: Nightime Escape

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Everybody has a wild side that awakens as the rest of you falls asleep, ties on a cape, leaps out the window and takes off on a magical flight to 'Dreamland.'

Everyone dreams, and no one really knows why. One theory that doctors have is fairly simple: We dream to analyze. During the day, whether at school, home, the mall, anywhere, there are at least a thousand different things going on at once. We don't have a chance to analyze everything as much as our brains would like to. So our brains, being the clever little piles of mush that they are, use sleep to analyze those things you missed.

Not all people dream. When you dream, your body enters a stage called REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movements, which is basically what occurs. This is the only time dreaming is possible. Some people, for whatever reason, aren't able, or choose not to, go into REM sleep. Therefore, not everyone dreams.'

Dreams are important. Sometimes they predict the future. Sometimes they can reveal your darkest fears, your worst nightmares, or you scariest truths. Sometimes they're just brain static with no meaning whatsoever.

So, now that you know the basic mechanics, and are possibly hemorrhaging out of one ear because you found that staggeringly dull, here comes the fun part: what can you do with your dreams.

Wait a second . . . I don't remember my dreams! HELP!

Calm down; a lot of people don't remember they're dreams when they first start trying. Believe it or not, it is possible for anyone who has dreams to remember them. The key is grim determination. I suggest keeping a dream journal by your bedside, and making sure the first thing you do every morning is reach for that pen. Don't even open your eyes before thinking about it. Just seeing your bedroom ceiling can chase that dream off, and there's no guarantee that you're ever going to get it back.

I've kept a dream journal for three years now. You may not believe it, but my dreams have helped me through some really tough times.

Design a Dream

If you're finding your dream increasingly monotonous, then try this fun little activity. Designing a dream is fun, and, you'd be surprised at how well it works. Just grab a notebook and divide it into three big parts and one small part (The small part must be at the top.)

Label the top part "Dream Title." Don't fill this out yet. You may think you know what you want to happen in your dreams, but, more often than not, you'll be surprised.

Under that, write a cast list. Love a character from a book? Put em' in! Want your favorite pet hermit crab in there? Don't hold back!!!

In the third box, describe the location. It can be anywhere; this is your dream. Just make sure to describe it in as much detail as you want to see.

In the fourth box, describe what happens. Go absolutely crazy. Everyone and everything should be perfect. After all, you're the ruler of your dream world!

Once that's done, make sure to read it at least six times before going to bed each night. Read over the best parts twice. Make sure that ALL you think about as you drift off. If you're lucky, you'll be experiencing your very own customized dream!

Sweet Dreams

People have believed for years that your dreams can be influenced by something kept under/above you as you sleep. For some pretty sweet dreams, I suggest filling a sachet with mugwort and a dash of lavender (these can be bought at any health store), and storing it under your pillow.

Bad Dreams? Not a Problem!

Everyone has that one reoccurring nightmare. It scares the patooties out of us every time we hear it. You can't help it.

Here's a couple of easy tricks that can make those dreams go down the drain.

Tell someone. If a dream REALLY REALLY scares you, talk to your friends about it. Sometimes just hearing how ridiculous it sounds can help you see that that monster isn't so scare after all.

Draw it out. Draw that monster, ghoul, ghost, or bad guy. Make it as accurate as you can. When you're done, rip it into tiny shreds and say "You have no power over me," repeatedly. Let it sink in.

Try designing your own dream. See directions above.

If the dream seems familiar, then try to change the course of events. Some people can tell themselves that they're dreaming, and actually control a dream while it's occurring. If you know that dead body is in the closet, head out the door before you need to open it.

Laugh. Sometimes those dream bugaboos just need a good strong laugh to ward em' off. (Think bogarts in Harry Potter)

And above all, remember that bad dreams happen to good people. Just because you dream about killing someone doesn't mean you're going to be a serial killer. If you're dreams are seriously scaring you, there might be a bigger issue, so I suggest your talk to an adult that you trust.

This concludes my article about the magical world of dreams. It's been a joy, babes.

"Did you seriously just stamp your foot? I thought it was only girls on T.V. that did that!"

Author's Note: Sources: Klutz Dream Journal, http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215623/whydream.htm


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