Here is the interpretation of strange dreams in which you know that you are dreaming!

Outside an average Parisian café, on two seemingly comfortable wooden chairs at first sight, Mr. Cobb sits with a girl named Ariadne to ask her to join a team working on getting into people’s dreams and rooting out information from them. We do not know that it is not until we wake up, but there is a paradox, we never remember how we entered the dream, we only find ourselves in the middle of it, here he asks her: “How did you and I come here? Oh Ariadne! Where are you now?!”

This was a scene from Christopher Nolan’s famous movie “Inception.” Ariadne realizes after this question that she is in a dream, and Cobb knows it from the start, as he was living in that very special state of dreams called “pure dreaming” ( Lucid dream) in which we know that we are dreaming, and Nolan was smart enough to draw attention to it. He certainly knows that at least one out of every two in this world has had a similar dream before, and that 10% of people experience it at least once a month. .

Mathematical problems coming out of the car radio

In February last year, an international research team conducted a unique experiment (1) in which four independent teams (in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States) attempted to communicate with 36 volunteers while they were sleeping. The researchers first trained the participants to remember their dreams, then How to realize that they are in a dream and they are in it, you may not know that there are techniques (2) that improve your ability to remember your dreams, and make you realize when you are actually in a dream.

For example, you can put a notebook next to your bed every day, and write down in it what you remember about what you dreamed the night before, even if you did not dream anything, you will be surprised after a short period that this process stimulated you to remember and dreams began to flow on the notebook sheets day after day, the way Another is to tell yourself daily that you will have lucid dreams tonight. This kind of self-talk increases the chances of lucid dreams.

You can also set an alarm or have someone wake you up about five hours after you go to bed. Since you woke up in the middle of the sleep cycle, when you fall back to sleep you will likely enter the dreaming stage again, but you will still be a little conscious, which stimulates your entry into a pure dream.

But the strangest way to stimulate pure dreams is to check the reality, just train yourself daily repetitively on the following: press the sides of your nose and try to breathe, look away from the book you are reading and then look at it again, look at the clock on the wall, when you repeat something What is on the ground, there is a high probability that you will try it in the dream, but in the dream when you press your nose and then try to breathe, you will actually breathe, and when you look at the watch, you will find it is completely different, as well as for the book page, here you will realize in the middle of the dream that you are dreaming, because your memory of that Events in the waking state will be effective in the dream state as well.

Well, the research teams also trained participants on some cues from sounds, lights and taps on their hands. Then sleep sessions were scheduled at different times, some at night and some in the early morning, and each team used a different way to communicate with the sleeper, whether using sounds or Bright lights or clicks, the sleepers were told that they had entered a lucid dream, and they had to answer the questions that would now be read to them by moving their eyes and faces in certain ways.

While the participants slept, the scientists monitored the indicators confirming that the participants in the experiments were asleep, through special helmets that monitor clear signs such as brain activity, eye movement and facial muscle contractions, all of which confirm the state of sleep. In those experiments, researchers asked dreamers simple yes or no questions, with simple arithmetic problems like eight minus six, in some cases answering with gestures that fit Morse code.

The researchers asked 158 questions to the dreamers (3), they answered 18.6% of them correctly, and 3.2% of the questions were wrong, while 17.7% of the answers were unclear, and in the case of the remaining 60.8% of the questions, the researchers did not get a response. Although the percentage of correct answers is not large, it is essential, that is, it confirms beyond any doubt that the dreamer communicates directly with a person abroad.

When the dreamers woke up and were asked to describe their dreams, some actually remembered the questions, and they appeared to him as part of the dream. In a hospital, its lights began to flicker in Morse code, so he realized that someone from the outside was communicating with him, and for fun, there was a person who dreamed that he was fighting goblins, and then discovered that he was killing one of them with every press of the researcher’s finger on his hands outside the dream! So the process of killing orcs matched the signals from outside.

They follow me wherever I go

dream man silhouette

The first indications of this strange type of dreams came from everywhere in our ancient history thousands of years ago. Aristotle referred to them in 350 BC when he said that when a person is asleep, he often experiences the presence of something that tells him that what he is going through now is not a dream, but really strange. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis and author of the most famous book, The Interpretation of Dreams, hardly mentioned pure dreams in his writings.

As for the English writer Mary Arnold Forster, it was (4) perhaps the reason for the popularity of this type of dreams when she dedicated to her an entire book published in 1921 entitled “Studies in Dreams”, during which she presented one of the most detailed and colorful English descriptions of pure dreams. She says in describing one of her dreams: “I succeeded in tracking down a complex and dangerous conspiracy against our country, the conspirators turned on me to find out how much I knew, in the end I found shelter, but they were approaching it. A white-faced man in a hat, followed me to the building where I was hiding.”

At this point in the dream people usually wake up, but Forster was an expert in pure dreams, in fact it came to a degree similar to what we saw in the movie “Inception”, not only was she fully aware that she was asleep, and that everything around her It was just a figment of her mind, but she engineered her dreams as she liked, and as long as she loved to indulge in the excitement of being chased from one place to another, sometimes in a closed house, sometimes in a wide field, and sometimes she personally flies or at least floats several meters up deliberately.

Based on her unique experiences, Forster suggested that humans have two types of consciousness, the first being a “primary self”, which allows us to analyze our circumstances and applying logic to what we’re going through, and a confused and illogical one, which works when the first stops working (during sleep), But in the case of pure dreams, the primary self can awaken, bringing with it memories, knowledge of facts and ways of thinking, in addition to the state of the dream itself, so we see this wonderful mixture of the dream that we realize is a dream. But the modern tools of neuroscience have gone far beyond Forster, to the question of the nature of consciousness itself.

Ten seconds in a dream

sleeper bed

Sixty years later, a professor at Stanford University, Stephen LaBerge, developed techniques that could help subjects to deliberately enter into pure dreams. This type of dream is almost the same during wakefulness. In his experiments, dreamers counted 10 seconds into 10 realistic seconds, and Lieberg’s team picked up on that effect with prearranged signals that could be measured with electroencephalographs.

This aroused Laberge’s interest in the nature of pure dreams, as they – as you can notice – possess some features of consciousness, such as self-awareness and some thought patterns, with a greater sense of strength and will, and the ability to separate the past from the present from the far future. In another study conducted by Laberge, it was found that the right hemisphere was more active during singing, and the left hemisphere was more active during counting (in cases of clear sleep).

That idea was picked up by John Allan Hobson, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, as he looked specifically at the point of perception that one is dreaming, which he postulates is a neurologically rooted condition related to the activation of an area of ​​the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. cortex), which is one of the few areas that are deactivated during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (6), and is the fourth stage in a cycle that repeats every 90-110 minutes while we sleep, in which we usually dream.

This area of ​​the brain is part of a larger network called the frontal frontal network. Subsequent studies have found that it is more active in lucid dreamers than in normal dreamers. This network is involved in the brain’s executive functions, goal-directed tasks, and cognition. Knowledge, a rule-based problem-solving process, along with actively maintaining and processing information and making decisions.

Another evidence for the validity of this hypothesis comes from the world of pharmaceutical chemistry, where galantamine can be used (7) to induce people to experience lucid dreams. In one experiment in 2018, 121 people were divided into three groups, the first received a placebo, and the second received 4 milligrams of galantamine And the third received 8 milligrams of the same substance.

The results came to say that only 14% of those who took a placebo were able to experience lucid dreams, compared to 27% of those who took a dose of 4 milligrams of galantamine, and 42% of those who took a dose of 8 milligrams. Currently, galantamine is used to treat moderate Alzheimer’s disease, but some previous research has shown that this drug can increase nerve signals in areas of the frontal parietal network.

The man who stopped his nightmare

dream sleep nightmare insomnia

Researchers’ interest in pure dreams is undoubtedly justified, as it is a condition that stands on the edge between wakefulness and inattention that can provide us with a lot of knowledge about human consciousness, which is the greatest secret of neuroscience to date. For the same reason, there are other similar phenomena that receive the attention of scientists, such as “sleep paralysis”, a condition during which a person is conscious but unable to move or speak, and “false awakening”, in which you think that you woke up from a dream but you are only in another dream. .

But in addition to this fundamental research on our complex structure, another team of researchers hopes that pure dreams may help treat some medical problems (8). For example, those who suffer from nightmares can benefit from exercise that gives them the ability to realize that they are actually dreaming, simply because it May reduce the negative impact of nightmares on humans.

Several studies have shown that lucid dream therapy has been successful in reducing the frequency of nightmares, but the results in this context are still uncertain so far, the studies are few and the results are not enough, and the studies of dreams are by their nature very complex. On the other hand, some studies have found that pure dreams may be associated (9) with cases of anxiety, depression, violent behavior at times, and other phenomena such as “sleep paralysis”, but we do not yet know a reason for this connection, as this does not necessarily mean that pure dreams are a reason for these things, and may even be a consequence of it.

sleep insomnia dream

The same applies to another area that has been growing recently, where some writings indicate that pure dreams may stimulate creativity, whereby experienced dreamers can learn to think about specific practical issues or seek inspiration or answers to perplexing questions in their disciplines.

In this context, some often cite August Kekulé, the famous German chemist who discovered the chemical structure of the most famous ring in all chemistry, the “benzene ring.” The story says that he was confused about the form in which six carbon atoms could be bonded, and while he was A sleeper dreamed of a snake wrapping around itself making a circle, to eat its tail. Kekula woke up and used this idea in the case of carbon, linking the last atom to the first atom, to make a benzene ring. Despite this, there is still no confirmation that dreams have anything to do with creativity and problem solving, and what is reported about this is usually individual anecdotes.

In any case, it remains that pure dreams are one of the strangest phenomena of the human soul, and the most astonishing to us as we are ordinary humans, or even researchers trying to probe the depths of the human brain through them, but the lovers and professionals of this experience, who are millions around the world, do not care about the benefits nor The damage is as much as they care about repeating the same experience, like dervishes attracted to this strange feeling of controlling the world, like a miniature universe in a mirror and you are Dr. Strange, the genius magician who is able to modify it as you wish, literally as you wish!



  1. Scientists entered people’s dreams and got them ‘talking’
  2. How To Lucid Dream: 6 Techniques, Benefits, and Cautions
  3. Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep
  4. A dream-traveller’s guide to the sleeping mind
  5. Lucid dreaming: An exploratory study of consciousness during sleep.
  6. The prefrontal cortex in sleep
  7. Can lucid dreaming help us understand consciousness?
  8. Lucid dreaming treatment for nightmares: a pilot study
  9. The science behind lucid dreaming

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