Dreaming can be more than just a state of the brain. We can experience daydreams, even most common dreams that appear to be shared or prophetic. Some people are lucid dreamers, a special ability that not everyone can master. Some people experience recurring dreams while certain illnesses can cause night terrors. Sometimes we can even experience false awakenings, where we think we have woken up, but we are still dreaming. Here we will explore some of these phenomena.
Daydreaming was once thought to be a lazy pursuit, I'm sure most of you have been reprimanded for daydreaming at one point or another. However, it is a metabolically intense mental process and can be very rewarding. In recent years, scientists have shown that daydreaming is a fundamental feature of the human mind—so fundamental, in fact, that it's often referred to as our "default" mode of thinking. Daydreaming is a crucial tool for creative thinking, and allows the brain to make new associations and connections. You can generate new ideas or methods; the daydreaming mind is free to engage in abstract thoughts and imaginative ramblings, and as a result, we are able to imagine things that don't actually exist.
Nightmares and night terrors
Most likely, everyone here has experienced a nightmare. A horrible dream, complete with emotional turmoil, causing the dreamer to wake up and stay awake, nightmares are fairly common occurrences. The main purpose of a nightmare is to awaken the conscious mind - usually to change the sleeping position. They can also be caused by stress or excessive exhaustion. Surprisingly, children under the age of five do not experience nightmares at the same rate as older children, while children over the age of five seem to have nightmares at a rate of once a week. However, night terrors are not that common. A typical night terror episode usually occurs within the first hour of sleep. Subject sits up in bed and cries out and appears awake but is confused, disoriented, and unresponsive to stimuli. Although the person appears to be awake, they do not appear to be aware of the presence around them and usually do not speak. The person may roll around in bed and not respond to comfort from others. A person's heart rate may increase during terror, along with sweating and heavy breathing.
Some people, known as Oneironauts or Lucid Dreamers, are able to control the setting and plot of their dreams. A lucid dream can start in one of three ways. A dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD) begins as a normal dream, with the dreamer eventually concluding that they are dreaming, while a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) occurs when the dreamer transitions from a normal waking state directly into a dream state without an apparent lapse in consciousness. A mnemonic-initiated lucid dream (MILD) can occur when the dreamer intentionally affirms to himself that he will become lucid during the next dream. Achieving lucidity can sometimes occur due to dream cues or spontaneously upon recollection. These dreams can be fantastical, where anything is possible, and can often be very real, with sensations of touch, smell, and taste.
Most common dreams that are recurring
The recurring dreams are quite common and they are often triggered by a certain situation in life or by a problem that repeats itself over and over again. These dreams can be repeated daily, once a week or once a month. Whatever the frequency, there is little variation in the content of the dream itself. Such dreams may be highlighting a personal weakness, fear, or your inability to deal with something in your life - past or present.
Have you ever thought that you woke up and went through your daily morning routine: get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast and go to work, only to wake up "again" and realize that what just happened is just a dream? That sensation is referred to as a false awakening. Some people may experience four or five false awakenings before they actually wake up. This phenomenon was the basis for the movie Groundhog Day.