vividdreams

(Rebecca Mena / Daily Titan)

College life has rendered my days into a repetitious itinerary. Wake up, go to class, go to work, go back home and fall asleep. However, sleep often includes a restless pit stop each day: vivid dreams.

“I wish I had vivid dreams! They sound so fun! I never remember my dreams when I wake up!”

Whenever I hear comments like those about wanting to dream vividly, I shut them down immediately. Not for the sake of being rude, but for the sake of not wanting anyone to deal with unrestful nights. 

I get it, vivid dreams sound tempting. At first, when I found that I had the ability to have vivid dreams and remember them each night, it was fascinating and fun. I found it especially amusing when I recounted my dreams to friends and family. Their reactions of awe would boost my confidence in creativity, which I desperately sought.

This process of storytelling consisted of solving mysteries in surreal worlds and walking through a magical village of shadow people. As time passed, my whimsical dreams morphed into night terrors. Terrors that would wake me up more than three times in the early dawn, make my body jerk and break out in feverish sweat, and have me speaking in tongues throughout the night until I woke up with words drooling out of my mouth.  Because of the graphic and upsetting nature of my vivid dreams, my love for recounting them came to an end.

I slowly moved away from telling my friends and family about my dreams, and instead only told my partner about my countless restless nights. I did not want to concern the majority of the people I care about with my vivid dreams that might hint at my pessimistic outlook.

Even if my vivid dreams do hint at my way of thinking, there is a possibility that there might be more to it. After years of waking up tired, regardless of receiving the eight hours worth of sleep ? which falls in the range of recommended hours needed at my age ? I still do not know why I have these dreams.

A handful of my dreams have felt enigmatic and prophetic, as if they were trying to tell me something that is beyond my subconscious. These are the ones that tire me out the most, leaving me emotionally drained and disturbed the next day. Within these dreams, I witness haunting experiences that place my loved ones in dire situations and amplify my fears of mortality.

Unfortunately, I am not the only student who suffers from vivid dreams. It feels nice to find commonality, but I would rather people have a good night’s rest rather than go through a night of disturbances. 

It is not rare for college students to have vivid nightmares when they have gone through traumatic childhood experiences and dissociative episodes that detach them from what is going on in front of them, according to an article published in Principles and Practices of Sleep Medicine. I do not find this surprising since college students often talk about their lack of sleep and the extreme workload they have to deal with on a daily basis.

I consider myself to be stable enough to not let my mental health issues affect my academic work, but it is hard to be sure of that when my mind is clouded with questions as to why my dreams show me so much detail, let alone how tired I feel after waking from them.

My vivid dreams prevent me from concentrating on my academic work since I am too tired to process the information that is being given to me through lectures. 

As a student, I find it hard to put self-care first when assignments pile up and work becomes too much. But I know that can’t stop me from seeking a solution to my unhealthy dreams. Before going to sleep, I go to my living room and practice meditation so I can sort out any troubling thoughts I am carrying. 

If that is not enough, I take a warm bath, pour some Florida Water into the tub and put on some ambient music to create a relaxing atmosphere. Once I feel sleepy enough, I head to bed and fall asleep within five minutes.

Since practicing these methods, I’ve found that the frequency of my vivid dreams has dwindled, but they are not completely gone yet. I cannot expect them to vanish all at once, after all, they have been a part of my life for more than a decade. 

But while these vivid dreams may chase me, I will continue to chase my dreams regardless of their existence.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.