Did they have pepperoni pizza in ancient Egypt? Was Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and the seven skinny cows the result of a late night snack, or something more meaningful? Joseph’s take on it was that “interpretations belong to God.” (Genesis 40:8).
We spend a third of our life in slumber. A good part of that time we spend in dreamland. Westerners have a habit of approaching life from a scientific, analytical viewpoint; we’re naturally suspicious of mystic mumbo-jumbo. In contrast, other cultures have no problem jumping in with both feet.
For the sake of balance, let’s just take the position that dreams are interesting… weird, but interesting. Here are some steps you can follow if you want to do your own dream study.
Get a notebook and put it by your bed. This is going to be your dream diary. Since we’ve already agreed that dreams are weird, you should take whatever steps necessary to protect your privacy. Enough said.
Before going to sleep, you should write down a summary of the day’s events. You should also write down anything you’d like to “work on” during the night. You know – string theory, world peace – stuff like that. Or maybe you just need a seven letter word for “rash.”
If you wake up in the middle of the night, note the time and what you were dreaming. You might also like to make a note to fix that leaky faucet.
When you wake in the morning write down everything you can remember about any dreams you may have had. Then call the plumber.
Don’t rush into dream interpretation just yet. You’ll need to get used to this routine and collect sufficient “data.” (Even though I’m taking a light-hearted tone, I think this is actually pretty important stuff.)
There’s a scientific principle that states you cannot observe anything in nature without changing it. In this case, that’s a good thing. You should start to remember more and more of your dream life.
Once you’ve collected a couple of weeks worth of data, it’s time for phase two. Read over what you’ve written. Look for patterns, insights and connections between your dream time and your awake time.
Although there’s a wealth of material available on the subject of dream interpretation, steer clear of it at this point. The question is “what do YOU think your dreams are trying to tell you?”
As much as possible, share your experiences with those who are closest to you. Ask them for ideas. And yes, it’s okay now to go to the Internet, library and (if you must) your local psychic. If you’re really concerned, make an appointment with your doctor.
Tips and warnings
Most of us probably don’t get the quantity or quality of sleep we need. Now is the time to do something about it. Clean your bedroom, put fresh sheets on your bed, flip the mattress. (Not necessarily in that order.)
How much caffeine do you consume in a day? If you think it may be too much, cut it out altogether for a short period and see if that affects your sleep or your dreams.
Diet and exercise have a profound effect on sleep and dreams. I guess you knew that already, huh?
This is enough for one article, so good luck with your study and, of course, sweet dreams!