Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,5 November 2013

The Snap:

Freud was kind of an assclown. First, he decided when girls were around 5-years old and discovered they didn’t have penises they blamed their mothers for this flaw. Puh-lease. We blame our mothers for lots of things like the thickness of our eyebrows and our carb addictions, but generally not for our lack of penises. Leaving richards aside, Freud was an asshat for deciding dreams are wicked meaningful and decoding them helps you realize your primal self’s subconscious desires. Thus, when I dream about having a baby the size of my palm, forgetting her at the dry-cleaners, and weeping uncontrollably while she breastfeeds, I freak out trying to determine if this means something, if I have some sort of bizarre dream-inducing brain tumor, or if I just shouldn’t eat chocolate frosting washed down with red wine right before I go to sleep.

The Download:

Recently, a coworker told me of a dream a friend of his had where after shooting cows with a shotgun, she decided to shoot him in the stomach and then woke up laughing hysterically. He wanted to know what it meant. I said I thought he needed to wear bulletproof clothing and get new friends. A few years ago, I had an exceptionally vivid dream where I was trapped on a bus with some of my odder coworkers, driven by a mustachioed man wearing a frog costume. Freud would probably say this means I want to have a penis. But more recent studies say, it may mean absolutely nothing.

According to a UC Berkeley study published in 2011, the fact that we dream is more important than what we dream about. The study’s results indicate the dream stage of sleep acts as a sort of REM therapy where our minds heal themselves from the various and sundry ways we fuck them up in our daily lives. Another smartypants, this time from Harvard, put it this way: dreams are how you tune up your brain for conscious awareness. Deep sleep apparently helps re-charge our brains so that we’re better at reading and responding to the emotional states of those around us. Unsurprisingly, when we don’t get enough sleep, we’re crap at understanding the people around us and controlling our own emotions.

So what the hell does all this mean? Can I stop obsessing that my teeny baby dream means that my sleeping self is disappointed that my waking self hasn’t gotten my act together, been hitched and knocked up? Yes. Will I? Probably not. That’s just how I roll.

For those similarly intrigued/obsessed with the significance of their own dreams, there’s an app for that. Seriously, there are quite a few apps for interpreting dreams so you can fixate on this constantly throughout the day. Or if you want to commune with others obsessed with their nighttime wanderings, a Kickstarter project called SHADOW wants to develop software to log your dreams and build a database of its users’ nocturnal musings. You may say I’m a dreamer…

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Hat Tips:

Dream MoodsThe AtlanticTimeNew York TimesTech Dirt, Image Credit: Flickr

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