Looking for definite answers? You must be dreaming
Attempts at dream decoding date back centuries – think of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream in the Bible (or, indeed, in the Lloyd Webber musical), for example.
Although there are hundreds of ‘dream dictionaries’ available, they are generally lacking any factual back-up – very broad links is about as far as scientists have got. But while you might not figure out exactly what that particularly vivid dream was supposed to mean, there are other useful ways to consider our dreams that can help us in our everyday (real) lives:
- Because most believe dreams provide insight, they do affect our behaviour. For example, people asked to imagine they dreamt about a plane crash the night before a trip were more likely to cancel than if a real crash had happened. The dream also produced a similar level of anxiety as a real crash.
- If a dream has produced a strong reaction, it’s probably worth taking the time to reflect on it, and ask yourself if it bears any logical relation to your waking hours – even if that simply means less cheese before bed.