As you may have noticed, our dreams have never been as intense as they are during confinement. While life slowly returns to normal, our dreams continue to play an essential role in our nights and can tell us a lot about what occupies our days.
Dreams are my reality
Some people can talk about it for hours (it's not always necessary...), others have a hard time remembering it, but everyone dreams. The study of dreams has fascinated people since the dawn of time, at the crossroads of medicine, religion, superstition and psychology.
But in concrete terms, what is a dream? In most cases, dreams occur during the sleep phase (or deep sleep). Recent studies show that certain areas of the brain are then "switched off" (such as the prefrontal cortex, the seat of logic), while others are more active. This is the case of the sensory areas (where images are created), the amygdala (emotions) or the hippocampus (memory). This is why our dreams can be so complex when we have our eyes closed: it is our brain that does the work.
What Freud says
With The Interpretation of Dreams , published in 1900, Freud placed dreams at the heart of psychoanalysis and turned the study of them upside down. As he stated, dreams are "the royal road to the unconscious". If many psychologists and psychiatrists today distance themselves from the Freudian approach to dreams - and its obsession with the repression of sexual impulses - psychoanalysis nevertheless agrees that dreams are a form of expression of our imagination. Understanding our dreams, or at least trying to remember them, allows us to know ourselves better and offers access to our repressed thoughts.
The little guide to dream interpretation
That's all well and good, but you may want to understand your dreams better without wanting to spend hours on a couch. Here are some tips to get you started at home:
- Get out your notebook
Many people say they don't dream because they never remember their dreams. Yet everyone dreams. Put a notebook under your pillow (or on your bedside table) before you go to bed and force yourself to write down the summary of your night when you wake up. Don't hesitate to write: "I didn't dream". The idea is to unblock your memory and you will end up having enough to write several pages after a few weeks.
- Strong emotions
Try to remember the emotions you felt during your dreams: anger, fear, sadness... And compare them to how you feel during the day and when you wake up. Maybe that bad news that you thought you had digested is still disturbing your unconscious.
- Beware of ready-made answers
No, losing a tooth does not mean that you are going to die (or that you are thinking about death). Dream dictionaries can provide keys to interpreting dreams - after all, some fears are embedded in our collective unconscious - but remember that symbols don't necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. What matters is to understand what your dreams mean to you and how they can help you to know yourself better.
Whether they seem perfectly innocuous or wake us up with our hearts pounding in the middle of the night when we can't stay calm, our dreams can help us understand our emotions and offer a fascinating insight into our unconscious. And when you know that Jane Eyre, The Divine Comedy or Twilight were all born from the dreams of their authors, you think it's worth investing in a little notebook. And because the most pleasant dreams are born in the most beautiful beds, we recommend our satin bed linen sets for nights - and dreams - that are very soft.