Apparently, when I’m overheating or otherwise distracted when sleeping, I dream a lot.
That’s not quite accurate. I dream pretty much every night. Just most nights it either makes sense (in terms of being a dream) or I don’t particularly remember the next day.
At one point recently, I was dreaming things that cause me to wake up frustrated, go off to do a thing to feel normal and settled, then go back to bed, only to do have it happen again a few hours later. In general, I wasn’t remembering details of the dreams, but the cast seemed much larger than normal. People I hadn’t thought of in years popping up, or just random acquaintances featured in prominent roles that were counter to their actual personalities.
A couple of nights ago, I was having one of those “you should get up and get ready or you’ll be late for work” dreams that I sometimes get after hitting snooze a few times. In one of them, I had gotten up. And dressed. And was headed to work when I thought, I should call and let him know I’m going to be late because weather is causing weird traffic. And I looked up, and there across the river valley and above the hills were two enormous charcoal grey thunderclouds smashing into a center third and creating two tornados of a lighter grey. I then thought, Yeah, I gotta pull off to the shoulder and capture that image to send him and explain. It was in a spot of my route that I often want to stop and photograph, because the river bends there.
Then the dream morphed, as they do, to me being sure I was going to fail that semester of college due to never attending class. Why wasn’t I attending class? I’d lost the keys to my dorm room, which wasn’t a big deal, except that all my books and class materials were inside. I was living with my boyfriend (who in real life is my husband, and we hadn’t even met each other yet when I was in college). That absolute lack of continuity in plot (and couple with real life jarring impossibilities) made me wake up before my 3rd snooze alarm went off.
There were a lot of details to both dreams that I didn’t write down this time. My dreams (when I remember them) are extremely vivid. My husband rarely recalls his dreams, although I know he dreams because occasionally he talks in his sleep in that garbled dream speak that makes no sense. On occasion, I can at least guess the theme of the dream depending on the cadence of whatever he’s mumbling or shouting.
At various points, I’ve both assumed everyone dreams the way I do (when I was a kid) and that hardly anyone dreams the way I do (at points when I haven’t spoken to some friends on the internet and am reminded that I’m not actually the only one). Shortly after the late-to-work dream, I mentioned it to the co-worker I was dreaming I needed to notify I was running late. He mentioned relief that he wasn’t the only one to dream vividly, as his wife doesn’t particularly remember her dreams either, and isn’t sure she dreams.
It was interesting. I wonder if we find our opposites on occasion because they help to stabilize us…
…To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil…
Act 3, Scene 1
snippet of Hamlet’s famous monologue