Dreams have always been an interesting concept to me, mostly because I never remember mine. Sometimes I wish I did, but than again I don’t remember nightmares either. I like to think that my mind is so busy during the day because it never exercises itself while I’m asleep. It just goes to show that dreamers of the day are dangerous men.

I can admit I think too much for my own good. So much so that it keeps me up most nights. Every time I lie down it’s a battle just to silence myself. I want to believe it’s because I don’t dream. I can’t dream. I don’t know how. It’s difficult for me to accept that one moment I’ll be lying in bed trying to sleep and before I know it I’m waking up. Like no time has passed at all. Without dreams to bridge the sleep it becomes meaningless.

It becomes nothing.

Why would my brain want to stop working?


The passage above is taken from a short story I wrote last year that discusses a lot of different elements of my history with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. This passage in particular has always been something that has kept me thinking for a long time. The relation between the ability to dream and being able to sleep.

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Since I was a teenager I have not been able to remember dreams well. I’ve tried writing them down the few times I did have them, but more often than not I would wake up only remembering the moment before that I was trying to fall asleep.

This bothers me. 

I’m a thinker. I like figuring things out and I like solving problems. But this was something I couldn’t wrap my head around. I would sit in bed, almost anxious, knowing that at any moment I would wake up having slept hours away in the night. This was and is a huge part of my insomnia. I’m unable to let go and just drift to sleep because I am trying to figure out why that happens.

Luckily lately I’ve been remembering a lot more dreams and haven’t had a bad period of insomnia in a while. I’m enjoying it for now, but aware that it could come creeping back at any time. Sleep and dreams for me are an intricate puzzle that I may never have the answers too.


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Maybe I do just think too much. 


But it makes me think.

Are those who dream vividly better sleepers?

I like to think that those of us who are able to dream every (or most) nights find sleep easier than those who don’t. They have another land, another life even to go to outside of the physical one they exist in. Time can freeze, speed up, or move at a normal pace. As opposed to not dreaming, where you lie down trying to sleep and wake up from the black of your eyelids. Where no time is felt at all. 

The concept of time, while abstract, does ground us in a reality. And that reality for me personally is shattered when I realize my brain “shuts” off for however long I sleep. Like mentioned above in the passage:

Without dreams to bridge the sleep it becomes meaningless.

It becomes nothing.

Besides letting your body recover and keeping you healthy. But that’s not important right?

Comment below with your experiences with insomnia and dreams.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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20 comments

  1. Interesting read! .. I am one of those very vivid dreamers and I generally remember most of my dreams including the feelings felt, which can be problematic when I wake up having them affect me mood when conscious.
    With regards to sleeping better though, for me I have real problems getting to sleep at night as my brain doesn’t really turn off and sometimes I can even get into a bit of a scared feeling of sleep in case I get stuck in a dream that I can’t get out of or don’t wake in time in the morning. Annoyingly it takes ages to get to sleep yet once there my body clings to it often sleeping through multiple alarms.
    It can also create problems for others who either have odd conversations with me thinking i’m awake or get hit/kicked/squeezed whilst I am asleep and locked in a bad dream.
    Though don’t get me wrong, when the dreams are good they are really good, and sometimes make me feel more alive than in real life…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting. I felt like it may be that those who think a lot at night can have those thoughts turn into dreams. But I can see how it could also be a disconnect for some who still have very active minds. I relate all too much to not being able to fall asleep, but thank you for commenting!

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  2. I’m a lucid dreamer–everything is extremely real, but I’m aware I’m dreaming. On those nights, I sleep well, but there are still nights when I can’t get to sleep or stay asleep. These days, those nights are more common. I think I dream more when I’m less stressed out. Less stress = deeper sleep, better dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of stress is an interesting concept. I would agree that the more stressed I am the harder time I have getting to sleep as well! It’s easier for me to fall asleep when there’s not much on mind, which rarely happens, but it when it does it’s almost always when I’m in a good mood and not stressed.

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  3. I have no knowledge of any dreams. And when I do dream, they are usually bad dreams. Sometimes the same bad dream over and over for a period of time and then it becomes a relief to not be dreaming.

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    1. I guess I benefit from that where I don’t really remember any dreams, or nightmares. I guess it can be better off that way then. But I’m sorry to hear about that. Hope good sleep comes your way.

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  4. . . . Several years and even through it when I slept a lot during the day Id still sleep ok at night. This is a blessing I know!! A lot of times even though I don’t remember my dreams, something in the day might trigger a memory. Last night I dreamed our 18 year old son had been collecting tooth brushes and left about 100 all over the bathroom counter. When I brushed my teeth today I remembered the dream. Funny! This has happened all my life.

    When I was deployed to Afghanistan they gave us doxycycline (sp?) an antibiotic to prevent malaria (or so they said). A lot of people said it offered very vivid dreams in full color. I agree with this that dreams were more vivid.

    I took them daily religiously. It was after I got back and stopped that I began getting really depressed and have struggled since. I’ve never heard of any evidence of connection, but I wonder!!

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      1. …if the antibiotics contributed to the depression I have been suffering from since I returned. I never had any issues before and now I have periods where I am almost unfunctional and was even slightly suicidal.

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      2. If you never had depression before then I would have to believe that it did have an effect then, right? The thing about depression is it can effect anyone at anytime. You can fight it everyday or have it develop from other parts of life. Have you ever gone to have it checked out?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have quite vivid dreams, sometimes able to change them the way i want when im aware. i remember both good dreams and bad though, and usually they will take in how i have been feeling the day before or at least recently. (if i watch a scary film beforehand, 9 times out of 10 that will somehow come into my dream) i have vivid dreams, however i wake up at least 3 times in the night. very occasionally though, when i do actually sleep through the whole night, i actually feel more tired, how does that make sense?? :O good read

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    1. For someone who doesn’t get full nights of sleep often, I can agree about feeling more tired. The times I do get to sleep more I feel exhausted when I wake up. I know sleeping to long can be bad and make you more lethargic, but maybe it’s cause both of us aren’t used to getting that full nights sleep? So for our bodies, it’s oversleeping, and it ends up being too much for us,

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  6. This was fascinating to read! I feel very fortunate that I rarely have trouble drifting off to sleep, unless I’m really dreading something the following day.
    Sometimes I’m glad I remember quite a few of my dreams as I’ve had some interesting ones over the years – one of my earliest involved being chased by an army of skunks! But there are the occasional nightmares such as ones where my pet rabbit drowned, my mother was bitten by a venomous snake, my best friend shot her own mother and just last night I dreamt that an actress I admire committed suicide.
    I’d say the good ones absolutely outweigh the bad though.
    Something which I’ve thought about recently is whether the ability to remember dreams has a genetic link. My father has extremely vivid dreams and I often wonder if that was passed on to me at all. If anyone knows anything of this, I’d love to find out more.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I very rarely dream these days but had Amazing dreams during my childhood. I now lucid dream and even when I initially think I am dreaming I will halfway through the dream change something and then realise I am lucid dreaming and I am just making the whole thing up!
    I too wonder about the lack of sleep over the last five years on my body. My insomnia meds just paralyze my body so I lucid dream through this or just talk to myself ‘its probably 5am now only a few more hours to go’ the same things I say to myself with full on fight club insomnia lol!
    I try so hard to switch off and be healthy and happy but my body does what it does – so why fight it??
    Loving reading other peoples experiences xx

    Liked by 1 person

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