Dream-A-Vision: Scientists May Have Found A Way To See Our Dreams

Apr 11, 13 Dream-A-Vision: Scientists May Have Found A Way To See Our Dreams

I love to dream. As I lie in bed waiting for sleep to take me, I just can’t wait to enter the dream world. And I almost always remember my dreams. In fact, if I do not remember them, I feel a bit weird, like I am missing something. True, I do have nightmares, often, but even those bring me some sense of closer. According to WebMD, dreaming may help with memories, emotions, conflict-resolution, and depression. Dreams may exist to help us solve problems, incorporate memories, and process emotions.

Plus, in my dreams, I might have magical abilities or be traveling in another country or even just have time to myself. In some dreams, I am watching what happens while in others I am the main character, so to speak. Sometimes through dreaming, I am able to experience and be in places that I can’t always do and be in reality. I just really love to dream.

Naturally, sometimes I have dreams about past experiences, memories, and lost friends that leave me feeling a bit nostalgic, but I find myself feeling better even in these. In a second WebMD article, those who did not dream experienced the following:

  • Increased tension
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weight gain
  • Tendency to hallucinate

Dreaming is pretty important, but dreams also lack enough understanding in the current scientific world. redOrbit recently reported about a means to finding deeper understanding of dreams and dreaming. In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers, led by Yukiyasu Kamitani, may have found a potential way to decode dreams, which would enable them to predict the content of the visual imagery experienced by the dreamer.

redOrbit explained what the researchers did:

“The team created decoding computer programs based on brain activity measured while study participants were wide awake and looking at certain images. Then, the team asked subjects who were awakened from the early stages of sleep about the dreams they were having before being disturbed.

The researchers used an MRI to monitor brain activity of the participants and polysomnography to record the physical changes that occur during sleep. They compared evidence of brain activity when participants were awake and looking at real images to the brain activity seen while they were dreaming. They were able to reveal that it may be possible to use brain activity patterns to understand something about what a person is dreaming about.”

So, this research could ultimately help scientists and doctors to better understand the function of dreaming pertaining to relevant health issues. Instead of speculation and debate about what dreams do for humans, this research may help us to know the relevance of dreaming to physical, mental, and emotional health.

Now, I do have to admit that I am a little weirded out that perhaps someday scientists and doctors will be able to tap into my dreams. I mean, I love to dream partially because those are just my dreams. I do not have to share that part of my life with anyone or anything unless I absolutely want to. It is just a tad bit freaky to think that people might be able to see what I am dreaming.

However, paranoia aside, I still think the potential for knowledge is worth the experimentation. Obviously, only people who volunteer for dream research should be subject to dream analysis, but to understand why we dream and what they provide is pretty darned cool.

In fact, I think I will go and slip into the dream world now. Nighty-night!

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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  • Anonymous

    In Islam, there are there types of dreams:

    1. Speech of the Soul – This has to do with whatever you are thinking about consciously or subconsciously. The way to recognize your dream in this category is that you forget it very quickly. It has to do with. For example, say I like a certain girl, and then I dream of that girl, then that is likely to fit in this category.

    2. Nightmares – This are dreams from are from shaytan (evil jinn). These dreams are meant to frighten you with terrifying scenes and have a negative impact on your life. When these dreams do have an impact on your life and you give up doing something because you are scared, this makes shaytan (Satan) happy. That is his goal. However, it should be noted that what is meant here is not one evil jinn, but the many evil jinn who, and God knows best, may even outnumber humans. In biblical language, they would be referred to as “Satan and His Angels”. This is a misconception though – Satan and the beings who are like him are part of a creation of God called jinn (genies). They are not angels however though Satan indeed used to be a pious jinn who was worshiping God with the angels in Heaven before he disobeyed God and was then condemned to Hell.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to keep this dream to yourself and don’t tell anyone about it. He also said, if you have this dream, then spit three times to your left side and change the position you are sleeping in (so if you are sleeping on the right side, then switch to the left, and vice-versa).

    3. True Vision – These are good dreams that come from God. In general, they are symbolic and do not convey direct meaning. So usually, they have to be interpreted to understand the message they are conveying to the dreamer. However, if you dream of the Day of Judgement or of the grave and this scares you so as to encourage you to come closer to God, then this also fits in this category.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us that we should narrate these good dreams with those whom we love.