Tailor made dreams.

GV Rama Rao By GV Rama Rao, 22nd Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

A nightmare is an awful and horrible experience. Modern science is trying to find ways and means to mitigate nightmares and make tailor made dreams a reality.

Tailor made dreams.

In the present scenario of economic breakdowns, crashing stock markets, revolutions, frequent terrorist attacks and explosions of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in several parts of the world, many people are often shooting up from the bed amidst a nightmare. The personnel of the Armed forces engaged in war and counter-terrorism operations are particularly affected by this horrifying experience. An estimated six million Americans are reported to have such awful nightmares. Insomnia has now become common, and sleep-peaceful sleep, now a scarce commodity, is engaging the minds of scientists and psychologists.

Dream science.

Dream science is the latest research topic, and its aim is to determine why nightmares occur and how they can be controlled and if possible converted into tailor made dreams. It is also studying to mitigating nightmares.

Some salient points about dreams.
1) Dreams, a succession of images, ideas and emotions occur primarily in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.

2) People can realize they are dreaming and control their dreams. This is called lucid dreaming.

3) Concentrating on dreams before sleep can lead to manipulation of dreams. One can initiate lucid dreaming or simply dictate the subject about which he or she will dream.

4) It is said that a person will never see a character in a dream that he or she has never seen before in waking life.

5) It is easier to remember a dream if sleep is interrupted during the dream.

6) While it seems difficult to climax without physical stimulation while awake, it is possible to have a dream that leads to orgasm.

7) Pain, pleasure, bodily functions and noise can be experienced in reality and meshed into a dream while sleeping.

8) It is possible to wake from a dream and be unable to move. This is the residual effect of the body's mechanism to keep one from acting out dreams while sleeping.

9) Most of everything a person dreams will eventually or immediately be forgotten.

10) It is possible to have the same dream more than once.

11) Some people will physically or vocally react to their dreams while they are asleep.

12) Some medical conditions, medication and psychological disorders can affect the content, frequency and vividness of a person's dreams.

13) People who are trying to stop doing something such as eating chocolate may have dreams that they do that very thing. It produces feelings of guilt and expands into areas of personal application that are virtually endless.

Freudian theories-that dreams have a relation with unfulfilled sexual desires, poor mothering and anxiety have now been discarded as dream science advanced. First, it is now recognized that a pleasant, peaceful sleep is essential for productive work and sustaining relationships. Incidentally, Freudian theories have been debunked in the latest book “Freud Files” by Mikkel Bouch-Jacobson and Sonu Shamdasani. The authors called his theories interprefaction- interpretation as facts and a mishmash of myths.

Dreams, as mentioned earlier, occur involuntarily during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep and hard to recall later. Dreams occurring at other stages of sleep tend to be vivid or memorable. Eminent writers recalled such ideas immediately after waking up, noted them down and produced masterpieces based on their dreams. More about the writers, later.

Reserach and findings.

New tools: The Pentagon, mainly to alleviate the problems of serving soldiers and veterans, developed a Warfighter Sleep Kit, which included a DVD, a camouflage mask and ear plugs. Further research indicated sleep is directly related to breathing. Persons who have chronic nightmares have trouble getting oxygen to their brains during sleep. Treating breathing is now considered an effective way to eliminate nightmares.

The sleep-apnea explanation is simple: bad dreams are the result of narrowing airways and shortage of oxygen in the brain. If the nightmares were to be controlled by regulating the breathing, it would open up the possibility of controlling the nightmares or dreams. This is also connected with lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one's state while dreaming. In this state, the dreamer may often (but not always) have some degree of control over his own actions within the dream or even the characters and the environment of the dream. Dream control has been reported to improve with practiced deliberate lucid dreaming.

Image Rehearsal Therapy (IRT).
Although Freud and his followers believed dreams to be immunable to conscious thought, the modern scientists have developed a new therapy,which, under development, aims to manage the dreams of a person. Everyone can now write his own dream, every day before going to sleep, take a few minutes with eyes closed and should think about the dream. This proved useful in case of patients tested.

Physiological or psychological?

Recent studies about control of breathing and IRT have raised a pertinent question: are dreams psychological or physiological or both? Studies show that treatment of sleep is now shifting from the psychological realm to the pulmonary one. According to TIME magazine, “more effective treatment will combine both approaches, but right now the cure for insomnia is merely a dream.”

Controlling dreams.
LaBerge, who earned a PhD in Psychophysiology and now considered as a dream guru believes “that dreams are no different from awake life and are as manageable as any other behavioral experience.”

The modern theory is not to use the bed for reading, watching TV and other activities but only for sleep and sex.
Any person wanting a tailor made dreams is now required to take drugs for breathing control, write down his dream with the necessary Dramatis personae, venue and outcome, practice IRT for a few minutes before going to sleep. Since dreams can last for a few seconds to about twenty minutes, one can write the script for dreams that last as much as twenty minutes. This opens up immense possibilities for a person’s dream.

In short, custom or tailor made dreams are now possible.

Dreams and writing.

Freudian theories show dreams reflect unconscious wish fulfillment and express the unconscious wishes and repressed sexual desires buried deep in our psyche. These seeds sowed in a land of fertile imagination can produce excellent work of fiction.

If one has a passion for writing, he should make use of this rich, wonderful material for his subject. He can create characters based on his dreams and put them through piquant situations that he had dreamed earlier. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose except his dreams.

Some psychoanalysts, like Jung, however, do not subscribe to Freudian theories. Jung wrote, “It is characteristic of dreams to present pictorial and picturesque language to colorless and merely rational statements.” He also stressed the importance of creativity and believed if writers could access their dreams and their collective unconscious, they would be able to create archetypal characters with which readers and viewers would relate.

It is, therefore, essential for a wannabe writer to retrieve emotional material from his dreams in creating characters, which are original and emotional and also universal.

Whether one believes in Freud or Jung, dreams are a wonderfully rich resource for creating characters and stories. Dreams come from one’s imagination, which is the basis of creativity, and help a writer to write exciting new stories with emotional characters that are well rounded with their virtues and flaws.

In short, dreams are the stuff bloggers should constantly dream of.

The best way for blogging is to go sleep.

As for myself, I script my dream well in advance and keep the nightmares away with a stiff shot of my evening elixir before hitting the sack. My friends, fans and followers, however, should not find it too difficult to guess the kind of dreams I plan in advance.

A few quotes about dreams.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" George Bernard Shaw.

The two words- immunable and interprefaction have been taken from TIME magazine and the authors of the book respectively.

Sources: The Wikipedia, The Internet and TIME magazine.


Breathing, Control, Dream, Dreaming, Experience, Fiction, Fiction Writing, Freud, Insomnia, Jung, Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Dreams, Nightmares, Physiology, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, Quotes, Science Fiction, Scientific Experiment, Sleep, Sleep Disorders, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips And Tricks

Meet the author

author avatar GV Rama Rao
I am a retired naval officer and a published author with three books to my credit. I am a winner of nanowrimo competition for 2008,9, &10. I like humor best..

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author avatar Buzz
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Insightful and interesting, GV.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Most interesting information GV..wow I love learning new things...thank you

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks Buzz for your comment.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks crwriter for your comment.

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author avatar M G Singh
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Very well presented GV

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
24th Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks Madan

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author avatar Retired
6th Sep 2012 (#)

very informative article. I enjoyed reading it.

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author avatar Legend
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Informative and interesting! good share!

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