I have been having crazy, intense dreams this week. I seem to go through phases where, for a week or so, I’ll wake up and vividly remember a highly detailed dream I was having. I don’t know what spurs these phases, but I usually figure it’s a good thing and means I’m sleeping extra soundly! Lately I’ve been waking up at some point in the morning before I need or want to get up, and the wild dream occurs when I fall back asleep for the next hour or so. Coincidentally, the most recent issue of Woman’s Day had an article about dreams that I just read. Apparently my morning dream memory is legitimate: Dr. Michael Breus, a dream expert, explains that you have more REM sleep early in the morning, so it’s easier to recall a dream when you wake up in the morning.

But what does it all mean? Today’s dream involved a new apartment complex, a few real-life friends who wouldn’t normally “go” together,  tides coming in, and a flood due to said tides (among other events). A. was there, and we were having an utterly fraught interaction with each other and with some administrative type authorities to try to sort out my car, which had been flooded by the tides. (I had parked it illegally the night before and couldn’t move it because the tides came in and made it dangerous to get to.) As I became aware that I was waking up, I brought some of the tension with me, and had to take several deep breaths once I opened my eyes to shake the feeling that I’d just been arguing.

Earlier this week, I dreamt that I was nannying for a family that I “know” from reading the mom’s blog. She was showing me the ropes, and I kept interrupting, saying, “No, I KNOW that already…I read your blog!”

Another one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had occurred some time in my early adolescence. I was standing on the edge of the Titanic as it was sinking, watching a movie on a big screen that was somehow (dream magically) suspended over the ocean. At just the last second, I dove into the ocean. Next thing I knew, I was swimming around with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. We were underwater, but we could still breathe normally. I found a cheese sandwich that was cut into four triangles, and I was very excited.

I’m not big on dream analysis, but it is fascinating to remember these stories that our brains concoct when the constraints of consciousness are loosed. However, I’m skeptical of reading too much into them because I’ve read conflicting meanings for what some recurring themes imply. For example, I often lose teeth in my dreams. This is not too much of a stretch, given that I’ve had extensive orthodontia in real life to remedy a missing teeth situation, so having anything happen to my mouth is one of my greatest fears. I’ve read some places that losing teeth in a dream signifies a fear of change, which I could see being true of me. However, the article in Woman’s Day claims that teeth falling out in a dream signifies hidden anger; you’re clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth in real life, and your dream is warning you about it. This could also be true of me, as I’ve noticed the surface of my bottom retainer is rubbed rough, likely from me grinding my teeth. But if this imagery could mean multiple things, does it really mean anything at all? (Another frequent dream occurrence for me seems to be finding myself under-clothed in extremely public places. I don’t even really want to know what that might mean.)

To me, thinking about and remembering my dreams is just fun. It’s sometimes frustrating when I can sense that I had an involved dream and can’t recall it, but not frustrating enough to spur me to keep a dream diary or write things down in the middle of the night.

What about you? Do you remember your dreams? What are your thoughts on dream symbolism? Tell me about the most vivid dream you’ve had (ever or recently).

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman