First things first -- I apologize for telling you I was going to post this second part last week. I felt like 6 days and nights wasn’t enough time to give a detailed report, so I waited one more week!
But here I am, and my experiment was fascinating and fun.
Just to remind all of you good people – during the past 10 days or so I’ve stopped smoking to see how it affects my dreams. And let me tell you, my dreams have been AFFECTED.
After a couple of days of not smoking, I started to have unbelievably vivid, clear, detailed dreams that I remembered. I’d wake up in the morning and think to myself that if I didn’t know any better, I would not be hard-pressed to believe my dreams had actually happened. Sometimes I wouldn’t remember my dream until later in the day. Other times I’d recall it right as I woke up. There is absolutely a difference in my dreams when I stopped smoking.
As I just alluded to, my dreams became crazy vivid. I would wake up and remember individual scenes and how those scenes developed and played out. One morning I woke up and snoozed my alarm, fell back asleep, woke up and snoozed my alarm again, and fell asleep once again, I had three different dreams in this series of wake ups/fall asleeps – one from when I was originally asleep, another when I fell asleep after snoozing my alarm for the first time, and a third after I snoozed by alarm a second time. This illustrates two things – (1) I have a tough time getting my ass out of bed in the morning .. need to work on that .. and (2) The content of my dreams changed each time I woke up and fell back to sleep. I need to work on the former but will talk about the latter in this post. I wonder why my dreams switched like they did? I think that each time I fall asleep, a different part of my subconscious is activated and conjuring up ideas, scenes, people, etc. Whether that is/was completely random or not, I’m unsure, but it’s interesting that I had three separate, unrelated dreams within an hour.
Something else important resonated with me from this experience – the concept of time didn’t match up with how long I had been asleep. The dreams I had during my original sleep seemed to occupy the same time scale as the ones I had after I snoozed by alarms. This is so odd. It didn’t matter whether I had been sleeping for 5 hours or for 30 minutes. I thought a longer time asleep would correspond to a dream on a greater time scale, but it didn’t. I don’t know what this means or why it happened, but I do know it’s odd and intriguing.
I want to get back to the clarity of my dreams. I remember specific dialogue in some dreams – conversations between me and another person where I can recall complete sentences and the emotion in our exchanges. I don’t want to misinform you – I don’t remember having complex conversations about specific ideas, but I do remember 2-3 sentence exchanges between myself and others as well as the emotion in those exchanges. For example, I remember one dream where I was arguing loudly with a fat guy who I didn’t and still don’t recognize. I clearly remember using the words, as a disappointingly unclever insult directed at said fat guy, “you cholesterol ridden fuck” (come on subconscious, you can do better than that). I don’t remember the context of this argument or why I dropped an insult on the fat guy, but it’s crazy that I can remember specific conversational exchanges. Maybe this will develop into remembering entire dreamt conversations and the reason behind those conversations.
The last big idea that struck me is the vibe .. or tone, of my dreams. After waking up, I’d recognize dreams that were laid back and easy going versus those that were more serious. The distinguishing mark was light – literally darkness and light. The more serious ones were dark. I mean literally dark – as in low light. No matter the scene of the serious themed dreams, there always seemed to be a dark, low light overcast present. These dreams weren’t necessarily scary or sad or bad, but there was a distinct difference from more cheery dreams distinguished by the presence of a darkened, shady overcast. These dreams pushed a more serious tone and feel. I think I was drawn towards these dreams more than others as far as contemplation goes. They forced me to ask myself more questions than dreams that didn’t appear to have a ton of meaning behind them. Just like with the other aspects of my dreams I’ve evaluated, I don’t really know what this means exactly, but it definitely raises questions and fascinates me.
I think my little dream experiment was a success. If it did one thing, it raised a basket full of questions. It’s unfinished --for each question I had answered, another five were raised.
Why do my dreams seem to have no time scale?
What’s the significance of the dark toned serious dreams versus the light, easy going dreams?
These are only a couple of the more interesting questions I arrived at.
I had a lot of fun doing this .. so much so that I’m going to continue this experiment and try to answer some of the questions I have.
Stop by next week to see what I find out as I move forward. I hope to gain more intuition on what my dreams mean. If these past 10 days have been indicative of of how my experiment will proceed, I’m positive I’ll end up with more questions than answers, but that’s a good thing.
On that note, a little life advice here for all you good people – Never stop asking why. Never stop searching for more. Don’t accept something to be true because someone simply tells you it is without an explanation.
Answers are never the end. They just lead to more questions. A curious mind is gold is this curious life.
See you next week!
Your friendly blogger,