Pull up your psychology couch, if you have one lying around. Recline on it in a thoughtful manner. Now, uh, get up and come back to the computer so you can read the rest of this post.
Let's talk about recurring dreams. Did you know that if you have a recurring dream about certain stuff, other people probably have recurring dreams about that same stuff, too? Everybody has an opinion on what that stuff means, from weird old Freud to websites that want to sell you Dream Crystals. This is our take:
1) Being chased
The dream: You're running from some terrifying thing, but you just can't get away; your legs have decided they're moving through Jell-O, against all evidence to the contrary. You feel awkward and terrified, until you wake up, at which point you feel awkward and terrified.
Analysis: You are not very fond of monsters!
Actual analysis: These dreams often indicate that you've left something unresolved or are avoiding some conflict. If you're a lazy crane operator, did you forget to pick up some important thing with your crane? If you're a student, which is somewhat more likely, did you forget to do something student-y? Did a monster recently assign you a paper about George Eliot and chase you down the hall? Then that's probably it.
2) Being naked in school
The dream: You are naked in school.
Analysis: Stop forgetting to wear pants to school! Your brain is losing patience with you.
Actual analysis: One interpretation is that you have to reconcile your public and private lives, and actualize your inner self-child, and then probably to buy some incense and a Wellness Candle. A less wacky explanation is, hey, you're a student. You're dealing with social and academic pressures that would make most people flip out and kick a puppy. You're stressed about the possibility of embarrassing yourself in public, and this is how your brain has chosen to inform you.
The dream: You discover that you can sail effortlessly through the atmosphere, or perhaps flap your arms like a dangerous lunatic and blunder through the air that way.
Actual analysis: Gravity is stupid and everyone hates it. It causes us to be bad at sports and then fall down the stairs in front of people we want to go out with. These dreams are just your subconscious going, "You know what, gravity? Not today." Unless your dream-flying is all dangerous and traumatic, in which case:
The dream: You had been doing some dream thing that hardly seems important anymore, now that you are plummeting to certain death.
Analysis: You are about to wake up.
Actual analysis: No, really. You are about to wake up. Falling dreams often accompany a hypnic jerk, which is not a snide hypnotist, but rather a thing where your brain freaks out because it is kind of dumb. These sometimes indicate that you're not getting enough sleep, which in the medical community they also call "an indication that the subject is, in fact, in high school."
5) "SparkLife, I don't dream!"
Science hasn't decided whether you actually don't dream or whether you don't remember your dreams. Some psychologist tried to test this in 1978, but like most psychologists, he just ended up killing a bunch of monkeys. His test subjects did in fact cease to dream, but this was because they were no longer alive. In any case, you probably don't remember your dreams because they're boring and non-traumatic, so you're better off than the rest of us.
6) Some crazy recurring dream not mentioned here
We're pretty clever, but we can't cover every possible dream Mad-Lib out there. We can advise that you leave these dreams as comments on your favorite handsome website and then forget about them. Do not consult Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams for assistance. You will be sorely disappointed.
What's your recurring dream?
Related Post: Enter the Mind of an Insomniac