As a reminder -- the inspiration for this three-part series is to see how a smoke break following semi-regular smoking affects dreams. Below are four takeaways from this experiment.
1. Dreams are vivid.
My dreams, almost immediately, have become vivid and rememberable, with crystal clear images and scenes. I wake up in the morning or from a nap and have to recalibrate myself to the real world because the images in my dreams are so real. Sometimes I find myself wishing I didn't wake up because I'm so interested in the reel playing through my mind. On the same note, I find myself looking forward to going to bed at night. Before bed, I think about which scene is going to play out that night. Sometimes I try to force my subconscious's hand by thinking about a certain event, person, etc. before sleep. However, centering my focus while simultaneously trying to fall asleep is nearly impossible. My dreams range from fun, silly dreams, to dreams with serious undertones. Sometimes I remember my dreams immediately when I wake up. Other times I'm in the middle of my day and I experience something that triggers a recall of a dream I haven't realized I remember.
2. Dream time is different.
Dream time is completely different than real time. The dreams I have sleeping for 1-2 hours occupy the same amount of time as dreams I have during a full night's sleep. It makes logical sense that a longer time asleep should induce a dream that occupies more time, but it doesn't. It's difficult to distinguish between dreams during longer bouts of sleep and dreams during shorter ones. All of my dreams feel like they occupy the same amount of time. And while it feels like they exist on the same timescale, pinpointing that timescale is tricky -- I can't tell if my dreams play out over minutes or days. Maybe the fact that dreams feel as they don't take place on any timescale at all is intuition into time, which, after all, is a human made concept.
Also, there is an odd time connection, or lack-there-of, between the timescale of different scenes within the same dream. Sometimes I wake up and remember my dream taking place in two or more distinct settings consisting of different, apparently unrelated, settings. What's odd is that I see no distinguishable difference in time between the different settings/scenes. Even if I explicitly remember one setting versus another, they both seem to occupy the same timescale. On top of that, there is no transition between settings. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly where one scene ends and another begins.
3. Falling asleep is easier
Personally, smoking sends my mind into a frenzy. I think about this, that, and the other thing. And it's not a bad thing -- it is actually one huge reason I like to smoke. A lot of people use marijuana to fall asleep at night -- I am not that person and don't have that relationship with marijuana. My mind is more at ease when it's time to shut everything down for the night. I can clear my mind from all of the day's stress and fall asleep quickly.
While my dreams do not repeat, I notice patterns in the themes and undertones they contain. I think the same process is at work in dreams as the psychological effect marijuana induces -- nothing can be hidden, suppressed, ignored, etc. Issues are brought to your attention and forced to be dealt with instead of ignored. It's a natural human instinct to expel uncomfortable thoughts and seek comfort. That does not mean these thoughts are unimportant -- in fact, I think it means the opposite. The thoughts we suppress are the ones we need to address to learn about ourselves.
Let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, corrections, additions, etc.! If you've done a similar type of deal and arrived at the same or different conclusions, I'd love to hear about them!