The Magic Behind Sleep and Dreams

March 9, 2017
By crecker1 BRONZE, Cascade, Iowa
crecker1 BRONZE, Cascade, Iowa
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Similar to many children, I had multiple nightmares which led me to waking up screaming and crying or running to my parents’ bedroom to beg to sleep with them. As I grew older, I knew I could no longer continue this act. I made a decision to say a prayer about happiness each and every night, and while I closed my eyes to fall asleep, I would only think of blissful thoughts. Of course, this small routine was difficult to stick to, yet as the nights went on, the simple tasks became another habit. Soon enough, I noticed a difference in the mood of my nightmares, growing into dreams which I never wanted to end. This world of pure imagination amazed me, and still continues to do so after having several random, out-of-this-world, and magical hallucinations; I wanted to learn more about where the ideas, settings, and people grew visible in my occasional nightly fantasies.

Every person has a preferred temperature to be set in order to fall asleep; I prefer to be extremely warm, dressed in multiple layers and no less than four blankets thrown on top of me.

As I cuddle up to my mountain of blankets piled on my queen sized bed, my eyes slowly begin to grow heavy and tired. I am a warm-sleeper; I am only able to fall asleep if I am on the break of sweating. Every night I dress in layers of clothing and blankets. The heat from the numerous layers aids me in becoming comfortable and exhausted. I do not see a problem in sleeping in such a warm environment; however, I have learned this way of sleeping has caused me a multitude of wacky, mysterious, and interesting dreams. One day I grew curious to know if maybe I could control what I dreamt, by changing my usual routine of sleep I began to research exactly what differences would affect dreams and nightmares.

After years of dreaming and hours of researching, I had learned the people mentioned, seen, or met in my dreams are people I have witnessed sometime in real life. The brain is not strong enough to create a new face. Most often, the setting of a dream is somewhere a person is comfortable in and has been or seen at least once. However, the plot of the dream exaggerates feelings or situations which previously occurred to the dreamer. Temperature is another factor when creating nightmares or dreams. I have discovered sleeping below the normal range, sixty to sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit will definitely disrupt a person’s sleep. On the other hand, sleeping in an unusually hot environment will cause over-activity in the brain, specifically when a person is at the peak of a deep sleep. Dreaming has become a whole other world to me, especially when dreaming of the impossible. For example, imagining myself as the star of the basketball team was an incredibly random fantasy I never knew I could make up. The brain is incredible, and continues to amaze me with its abilities.

Often when a significant event happens during one’s day, that night he or she will replay the event in their brain, causing a dream to form. After looking back at previous memorable dreams, I remember waking up with a feeling of déjà vu. For example, approximately a week ago, my mind kept wandering off to basketball teams, skills, and everything else to do with the sport. I had also finished watching a basketball game with my dad and older brother right before going to bed. During the night I had quite the fantasy about the sport. This dream of mine consisted of my history teacher, Mr. Baker, from Kirkwood Academy, my classmates in the history class, and random citizens of Cascade. The setting of my dream was at a basketball court; the stands were completely full of screaming fans. The craziest part, they were all cheering for me! I was the star of the basketball team, receiving an adoring standing ovation from the entire Cascade side! My history teacher was our basketball coach, and my teammates were my peers from the history class. This particular game was no ordinary game, the winning team would go on to qualify to become the state champion. Within the first thirty seconds, tiny me-an entire four feet and ten inches, took the chance to shoot all the way from half court and made the shot! The crowd went absolutely nuts. Unfortunately, by half time Cascade was losing 8-3, and I had awoken. What a heck of a dream, I thought to myself. There is no possible way I, Calli Recker, could be the star of the basketball team! I have not played the sport since junior high, and even then I was no way near close to playing at the level of a star athlete. Although, I could still hear the loud crowd in the back of my head cheering for me; I immediately rushed out of bed to boast about another wild dream of mine to my mother. Her reactions are priceless with her uncontrollable laughter and continuously shaking her head at me, while attempting to ask where I come up with these crazy dreams. Every time I respond with, “It’s all in my head, Mom. I can’t control my brain’s thoughts!” Although, this specific dream proved to me otherwise, especially after confirming research with trustworthy sources.

Dreaming in one’s sleep takes an individual to a whole new world, as their brain imagines an infinite amount of adventures and multiple “new” people to meet. There have been multiple mornings I have woken up to screaming, crying, or even laughing because of the events previously created while sleeping. Through recent research I have learned many triggers can occur which will influence a dream or nightmare. For example, simple everyday actions, such as watching one single basketball game with the family caused for me to become a star basketball player! Dreaming of impossible events like this memorable dream leads me to be continuously amazed at the amount of power the brain contains.

The author's comments:

I came up with the idea for this essay after a very strange dream I had myself just the night before writing this essay.

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