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I didn’t want to wake up this morning. I was so comfy in my bed and a wonderfully vivid dream captured my attention, luring me away from the day, holding me  captive to the night.

It wasn’t any special kind of dream, but it felt like being inside a novel, a story I would enjoy to read. I could feel my feet as they ran barefoot over grass, I even believe I could smell the sun on the flowers.

As I curled up in my bed, my eyes tightly shut my thoughts thoroughly occupied, sounds from outside drifted in through my window, pulling me away from my imagination, into reality. And as I slowly let go of my dream and turned towards the day I felt a little sad, knowing that world I was just in would be lost forever.

Dreams are wonderful things and we all have them, even those who claim not too. But they are funny things as we don’t really know all to much about them.

An average dream can be anywhere between 5-20 minutes long which means we spend about six years of our lives dreaming. So why can’t we seem to hold on to them, remember them? Well, for one thing brain scans taken while people were asleep show that the frontal lobes, the area that plays a key role in memory formation, are inactive during our REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, our deep sleep.

Another interesting fact about REM sleep is that we are sort of paralyzed while we dream. This phenomenon is knows as REM atonia and prevents us from acting out our dreams, this just really means that our motor neurons aren’t stimulated, ensuring our body doesn’t move, protecting us.

The freaky thing is that this paralyzes can carry over into our waking state. For as  long as ten minutes someone who has awakened from a dream can feel unable to move, this condition is know as sleep paralysis, and can be frightening but should soon pass.

An American psychologist called Calvin S. Hall did research over a period of more than forty years and collected over 50,000 dream accounts from students. The surprising result of these dream accounts is that people tend to experience more negative emotions than positive ones. Why this is, is a little unclear but many researchers believe that this helps us tackle stress.

But the most interesting dreams are the lucid ones, dreams that we can influence and that we are aware of. These are dreams we direct and often remember, but only half of all people can recall at least one instants where they were able to control their dream and only few experience them quite frequently. I seem to be one of these lucky ones.

But for now I am awake and will make the best of the day, maybe wander down to an antiques fair in a little while, or take a stroll on the beach, happy in the knowledge that dreams don’t seem to run out and await us all when we close our eyes at night.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde

 

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