It’s almost impossible to write a sleep blog without talking about dreams! After all, they are the most mystifying thing about sleep itself. Just think about it. We go through our work day, filing papers, making phone calls, selling beds. Normal every day activities. Then at night, all of a sudden, we get transported to the land of fiction. We could be in a room with a hundred of the most gigantic spiders exploring Mars or Jupiter in an astronaut’s suit. Wherever it is that we may go when we are fast asleep, it is a mystery as to how we actually get there, and what it tells us about ourselves! I can’t count the times I’ve woken up thinking where in the world did THAT come from? One thing is for sure, dreams are fascinating.
A large part of our dreaming occurs in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. In this stage, most of our muscles are paralyzed. Heart rate, breathing, and body temperature become unregulated as the sleeper may experience vivid dreams. So basically, the deeper sleep you are in, the more likely you will dream. The lengths of our dreams can vary. Some will be 20-30 minutes, and some...if you’re a parent like me and REM sleep is few and far between…dreams can be as quick as a few seconds!
I wish I could say I remember all of my dreams. The honest truth…I don’t. And when I do, the memory of it always seems to fade away in a couple hours after waking. I always wanted to create a dream journal of some kind where I list the dream I just had as soon as I wake up. I can just visualize the craziness that would collect on those pages! Strangely enough, the most vivid dreams I remember experiencing was when I was pregnant with the twins. More than once during my pregnancy I remember waking up in a sweat during the middle of the night from how realistic and vivid the dreams were! A lot of what I dreamt reflected the thoughts that would race through my mind every day. I can’t count the amount of times I dreamt I was in the delivery room at the hospital, or what my kids would look like once they arrived! I could actually see little details like the hospital room number and the weights of my babies. Of course, no dream could ever prepare me for the real thing! Turns out, I was not the only one experiencing vivid pregnancy dreams. Because I was a borderline obsessive collector of pregnancy apps, I learned vivid dreams are actually a common symptom of pregnancy. One of the common reasons is that the hormone progesterone is produced, and it can contribute to a more emotional state, causing the brain to create emotionally generated hyper sensitive dreams. Also, when we are pregnant we often get woken up by the babies kicks and jabs..and of course, the need to pee! When we wake up in the middle of the night, these dreams remain fresh in our minds, causing us to recollect more. Why I still wake up every few hours or so and barely remember anything now? Who knows!
One of the things that fascinates me most about dreams are the ones that repeat themselves. For me, it’s dreams about whales. I’ve always loved whales from a young age. I think it’s their sheer humungous size that intrigues me. For whatever reason, about twice a month, I will dream of being in the ocean swimming freely when a huge whale breaches right next to me out of nowhere. I am pretty frightened, but so amazed that I do not frantically swimming away. Then it happens over and over again. By doing a little research, I’ve discovered whale dreams represent intuition and awareness. To see a whale breach can symbolize an enormous sense of freedom! Nice.
I like to think of dreaming as revealing secrets about yourself that you didn’t realize existed. It is no coincidence of course, that being on a great mattress, DOES help you reach this dream state. The better quality the mattress is, the longer we sleep, and the longer we sleep, the more we dream. Happy dreaming!
Jenna Kagawa is a Bedding Specialist at SlumberWorld in Kailua Kona. She is the happy mother of twins, Hali’a and Makoa. When not busy finding clients the perfect mattress or chasing her little ones – Jenna enjoys making jewelry, reading, shell collecting, and eating really good food! She is a total social media addict and loves photographing life.