Dreams: the original ‘sleep stories’


Emmit John Paulus

Dreams might mean different things for different people, but they are firmly rooted in psychology.

Emmit John Paulus, The Delphi Staff

Dreams: the imaginative scenes that appear in our heads when we sleep. What are they, and how can our own lives influence them?

Dreams are just imagery that occurs mentally while you are in the stages of sleep. Most people have dreams, though they can’t be recalled. 

“Dreams would be random firings of your brain and you would interpret them in various ways using other parts of your brain,” said psychology teacher Rod Jensen.

One of the factors that can affect our dreams is stress.

“80% of your dreams have a negative context to them,” said Jensen. “When you are under stress, [that percentage] is even higher.”

The meaning of a person’s dreams can be up for interpretation. A dream can have many different meanings, depending on what occurs in the dream, though there is no true scientific way to determine those meanings.

Though it might sound odd, people can have similar dreams. This happens due to the fact that dreams are formed around what we have happen in our life.

“Most of our dream content is everyday events,” said Jensen. “So, yes, people would have similar dreams quite often.”

Our own lives can influence how people dream. For example, if you were to have a major test tomorrow and you just spent three hours studying while being very nervous about it, your dreams may have some elements of your anxiety or what you studied.

“Again, most of our dreams are about everyday life, and there’s something called memory consolidation and without it you don’t remember things as well,” said Jensen. “So if you were studying for a test, your dreams that night should have some of the test, whether that be the anxiety about the test, confidence or content.”

So when you lay your head down to sleep tonight, think about how your day could impact your dreams.