Vivid dreams include those, which are delightful and fantastic, as well as those, which are terrifying. For many people no memory of dreams exists upon waking. Nevertheless, when these are vivid dreams, they mean to get our attention. Vivid dreams often seem so real. They are often colorful, surrealistic, and full of intense emotions and action. Sometimes food we eat, medical conditions, supplements, or drugs we take, are the underlying cause of these dreams.
It is useful and possible to study our dreams because they can give us insight into underlying anxieties and help up process alternative solutions, through our imagination, creativity, and insight. With a little practice, remembering vivid dreams is possible. Then vivid dreams are interesting to try to interpret. By gaining access to direct control over the dream state in a controlled manner, it is possible to guide these dreams as well through a technique called lucid dreaming.
What are Vivid Dreams?
Regular dreams include the simple reconsideration and replaying of recent events. What does vivid dreams mean? Vivid dreams causes are hyper-real symbolic expressions from the unconscious, with deeper meaning than regular dreams. Sometime they are prophetic, giving us a glimpse of future events. Other times they warn us of impending disasters, or dangerous persons, which we should avoid.
What Causes Vivid Dreams?
Sigmund Freud used dream interpretation to analyze those things he felt his patients were repressing. Carl Jung felt everyone connects to a collective consciousness and a vivid dreams definition includes dreams, which offer a way to reconnect to the part of us needing reintegration. Jung noted there are dreams, which include common archetypes found in all cultures. Both Freud and Jung define vivid dreams as those, which are available for exploration using dream interpretation as part of psychotherapeutic efforts.
Vivid dream causes include life changes and traumatic events. One characteristic of vivid dreams is they seem very real. More complex emotions and thoughts on a person’s mind are what cause vivid dreams. Because of the realness of the vivid dream experience, often when waking from a vivid dream, it takes a person a few moments to realize they were dreaming.
What do Vivid Dreams Mean?
Dream interpretation derives from the symbolic associations of each person. There are common themes experienced by many, such as falling, flying, or suffering some kind of public embarrassment, like suddenly being without clothes. Sometimes vivid dreaming includes meanings from daily life, other times the symbols are more like a metaphor, with the true meaning partially hidden.
When having vivid dreams, it helps to keep a dream journal. Keep the dream journal by the bed and right after waking from a vivid dream, jot down notes about the dream.
How to Have Vivid Dreams
It is possible to have vivid dreams every night, but many simply do not remember them upon waking. To encourage the process of vivid dreaming, one can practice each night by saying to themselves, just before falling asleep, that dreams will be vivid and easily remembered. It is also possible to use an alarm to wake oneself up in the middle of the night to capture the vivid dreaming process during the period of sleep when dreams are more likely.
The sleep cycle follows a four-part pattern, which includes, 1) falling asleep; 2) sleeping lightly; 3) deeper sleep, and: 4) deepest sleep. Then the body moves into a time each night marked by rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The first REM period occurs about one hour and one-half after falling asleep. This REM sleep is around ten minutes long, then the body repeats the non-REM four-parts, and the REM sleep comes again. REM occurs up to four times per night, with the last REM period, just before waking, lasting as much as one hour. Dreams are easier to recall when waking up, right after REM sleep.
It is important to get enough sleep in order to have a vivid dream. Because of busy lives and overworking, many people have sleep deprivation, so their dreams are fewer and they do not sleep soundly enough to spend much time in REM sleep. To have vivid dreams, take some time for a nice long sleep. When waking in the morning, get up slowly. Lingering in bed for a few moments, helps capture memories of dreams. Over time, some of the symbolism will show patterns, recognizable by reviewing the entries made in a dream journal.
It also helps to have a dream group, work with friends, and/or a therapist to get other people’s opinions about the dream symbols, because others may be better able to see them more objectively and help with the interpretation.
Vivid Dreams Early Pregnancy
According to WebMD, it is common for women to have vivid dreams during pregnancy. Sometimes the first notice a woman has of being pregnant comes from vivid dreams in early pregnancy. The hormonal changes during pregnancy also have a strong influence on increasing the vivid dreams while pregnant. Pregnant women typically sleep more, so the chances for vivid dreams increase. The movement of the baby, which wakes the mother during sleep, and the need to wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, help pregnant women capture more of the dream memories.
The types of dreams experienced by women during pregnancy change depending on the trimester. Common themes during the first trimester include those of fertility, like flowers, fruits, and beautiful gardens, and dreams about water, fish, or swimming as the womb fills with the amniotic fluids. During the next trimester, dreams start to include themes of small animals as a symbolic representation of the baby. According WebMD, by the time of the third trimester, the mother and the baby connect more directly in dreams. Sometimes the mother learns of the baby’s gender in a dream.
During this period, many women have nightmares about difficulty in labor. Surprisingly, these women actually have labor, which is easier. Experts believe these dreams of difficult labor help the women to practice in their imagination, so the result is easier deliveries for them. According to the Baby Center, it is also quite common for women to have bad dreams filled with anxiety about the baby, like dropping the child or losing it. It is normal for mothers, especially for their first child, to worry a bit. They also frequently have dreams of being in traps or running away, which comes from fear of losing freedom. These frightening dreams should not be a cause for extraordinary concern.
Other Causes and Melatonin Vivid Dreams
Some supplements, which are aids for sleeping, like melatonin, chamomile, and valerian increase vivid dreams. Vitamin B6 increases dream activity. Certain spicy foods are another way how to get vivid dreams. Having low blood sugar causes dreams to be more vivid, because the body produces adrenaline. When there is more adrenalin in the system, sleep is disturbed, and dreaming changes.
Bipolar disorder and diabetes interrupt REM sleep, which increases vivid dreaming. Anti-depression medication, blood pressure medicine such as beta-blockers, and other pharmaceuticals, taken for a variety of illnesses, disturb sleep patterns and cause abnormal dreaming. It is a good idea to consult with a physician, if a sudden change in dreaming occurs, because this may be a sign of underlying ill-health from other causes.
Taking Control of Dreams
When there is a desire to work with vivid dreams and to remember them for interpretation, meditation before going to bed each night with the expressed intent of having vivid dreams is a way to increase control over the dream-state. Gently waking at various times during the night, to write notes about dreams in a dream journal, increases access to this dream-state. With a little practice, anyone is able to increase awareness of the dream-state. Remembering vivid dreams and practicing interpretation of them are the preliminary steps needed to increase skills to access a higher level of dream control, called lucid dreaming.
Advanced Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is having direct control over vivid dreams, while sleeping. Lucid dreaming is the opposite from the sensations experienced during a nightmare, where one is a victim of a terrifying dream. With lucid dreaming, the dreamer is in charge. Lucid dreaming is an adventure, different from being tormented by bad dreams.
Lucid dreamers like to fly in dreams, go on trips to fantastic locations, have big parties, see great teachers, invent things, discover things, and create things. Sometimes lucid dreamers wake up with an idea, which is world-changing. Those using lucid dreaming make wonderful creative works and solve difficult problems. The artist Salvador Dali had lucid dreams of his incredible paintings before he painted them. Tesla had lucid dreams of complex electrical inventions and from these registered over a hundred patents. Edgar Cayce used lucid dreams to diagnosis thousands of people’s illnesses. Regular people also have lucid dreams for the enjoyment of them.
The basic practice of lucid dreaming starts with suggestions made to oneself of the intent to have a lucid dream. Then when one is having a vivid dream, one technique is to look down at your own hands in the dream. Once a person experiences this type of control over the dream-state, it is easier to maintain the ability in the future. The dreamer stays aware of the fact they are dreaming, and then guides the dream to unfold in any way desired.
One-step further is to leave the body resting, and project one’s consciousness out of the body to go on a journey. This is a way to move about using a method called “astral traveling.” The person imagines themselves outside of their body and knows when they have accomplished this because they can look down or back and see the physical body peacefully resting, while their fully aware consciousness moved away from it. The consciousness stays tethered to the body, yet there is the ability to move about at the speed of thought.
In total, an average person spends about six-years of their life dreaming. There is a huge amount of information available from the dream-state for us to use to understand ourselves better. Using the dream-state to explore consciousness is a fascinating tool for those capable of making the exploration. Paying attention to vivid dreams and recording them in a dream journal, is one way to learn more about ourselves. Our anxieties, fears, and discomforts give way when lucid dreaming allows the dreamer full control over the dream-state. Then by mastering the technique of the out-of-body experience, the feeling is enhanced with the freedom to move about the universe without any restriction.
Once a person realizes that they are in charge of these nighttime dream adventures, they are empowered to use them to create great things and have a wonderful time.