REM cat experiment October 25th, 2010
Every night when you go to sleep and enter into REM, you never know what scenario you will – unwittingly – be participating in: a sword fight with a three headed monster, a flight over the tree tops with Superman, or perhaps running for your life with Krusty the Clown hot on your heals. We are very active when we dream… so why is it that, with all the stunts and thrills of an action movie, we remain still and quiet in our beds?
Once we enter REM sleep, which is when dreaming takes place, our brains release a chemical to our skeletal muscles that paralyzes them so that we don’t get up and act out our dreams. It’s a nifty little, primordial safety mechanism that protects us, all warm blooded mammals, from harm and injury while we sleep.
When I was studying Dream Psychology, I learned about an experiment on cats where scientists had cut the nerve pathways that allow the brain to paralyze the cat”s skeletal muscles. Once these cat entered REM sleep, they did indeed get up and act out their dreams. I always wondered what that was like to watch. I’ve since seen videos of people, dogs and cats that have REM behavior disorder, which is a parasomnia where the dreamer acts out a violent or scary dream. While it is fascinating to watch, there is still a certain level of lethargy that is detectable and a certain creepiness to the animal’s or person’s movements. Plus it often takes a while for the dreamer to actually get up from a reclining position.
I recently came across video of the cat experiment, which shows – I believe – much different behavior. The cat does not seem lethargic at all. In fact, it looks wide awake and fully alert. In addition, the cat gets up right away, with ease and acts out the dream. If you didn’t know the cat was actually asleep, you’d swear it was wide awake! I think the difference is caused because the pathway has been completely severed allowing none of the chemical whatsoever to reach the muscles, which in-turn gives the cat complete control over its’ body. (WARNING! There is a second or two of really strange music at the very beginning of the video so don’t be alarmed).
What do you think? This leads me to believe that, with the disorder, there is still some level of chemical that is reaching the muscles. Do you, or does someone you know have REM Behavior disorder? What do they or what do you do when you have episodes?
Jumping out of a plane October 22nd, 2010
I’ve done many posts on what planes in dreams can mean: planes crashing, planes spinning out of control, planes taking off, but I’ve not done one on someone jumping from a plane. In general, planes in dreams often represent something in your life that you have “high” hopes for, something you hope will “take off” and reach new levels, such as a relationship, your job, a project, etc. Knowing this fundamental definition, it’s pretty easy to figure out what it means when you dream a plane crashes or can’t get off the ground. So what would it mean the, if you dreamed of someone jumping out of a plane?
Last week I was a guest on 93.7 The Cat in Spokane, WA when co-host Bob had that very dream…
As you now know, even the type of plane has something to say about your waking life. Every detail in a dream is important. Our dreams have a cool way of piecing together – seemingly random – objects, people and situations in order to show us the big picture of what’s really going on in our current life. When you know how to piece your dreams together, you’ll be amazed at how much information, advice and guidance you will see.
Grab yourself a copy of one of my books and you’ll easily understand your dreams every morning and get a HUGE edge in life.
“Wow, what an amazing book so full of information! I will def be keeping this one on my nightstand and refer to it often!” – Kristi Roach, Angola, IN
Dreams serve so many purposes beyond a giggle in the morning as we replay them in our mind. They problem solve, they shed light on what is confusing us, they advise us, they warn us and they even inspire us. There are countless works of literature, pieces of music and inventions that were born in a dream. The story of Frankenstein, the song Yesterday and the sewing machine just to name a few.
It’s important for everyone to pay attention to their dreams because they are such a helpful and powerful part of who we are… but if you are an artist, writer or musician, it can really pay off to listen to your dreams because they are a goldmine of creative ideas. Just ask singer and songwriter KT Tunstall…
You never know what genius awaits you in your dreams! Grab yourself a copy of one of my books and get a huge edge in life by being able to understand your dreams!
“I LOVE your book Cracking The Dream Code… I refer to it almost every morning! Even with as long as I have had it I am STILL amazed by the accuracy!” – Mindy Direen, Salt Lake City, UT
How a dream about a baby means this gal’s relationship is looking up October 6th, 2010
Every Wednesday I get to dissect a sex or relationship dream for my friends at Em and Lo: Sex, Love and Everything In Between This week’s dream is from a woman who is wondering if her dreams mean her biological clock has started ticking…
I’m a young woman in a very happy committed relationship. In the last few weeks, I’ve had multiple dreams about pregnancy and babies that are so realistic I have trouble coming out of the dream and back to reality. The first dream was my boyfriend and I getting ready to go out to dinner. I was observing us put on our coats… then Dream Me turned around and was HUGELY pregnant, maybe 8 months. My boyfriend and I smooch, then leave. That was it.
Next, I dreamed that I was holding our baby daughter — a newborn, less than a month old — and rocking her close to me. I remember how she looked up at me with so much astonishment, how much she weighed, how she fit in my arms… I woke up feeling lonely and so empty but at the same time, I felt overjoyed and fulfilled.
I can’t shake these dreams — they are so real!
Lauri: At the end of your dream report you say that you can’t imagine that anything is lacking in your life. You’re probably right and in fact, this dream reflects just that. The pregnancy and the baby actually show us that something new has entered into your life, something very precious that you want to hold onto and keep close to you just as you were holding the baby close to yourself in the dream.
My bet is that the idea of your boyfriend being “the one” is what has been growing inside of you, like a pregnancy, and that you are now ready to take it to the next level. Or perhaps, since you did have the baby in your dream, your relationship has already reached that new level. I do wonder though, if there is something you feel that the two of you are not opening up to each other about, because putting on your coats is about something in waking life you are keeping “under wraps.” Could it be the M word?
The emotions you feel when you wake up from a dream are very important because they are connected to how you feel about something in real life. Let’s look at your relationship again. Would you say it is very fulfilling? And would you also say that you are beginning to feel you want even more (the M word), hence the simultaneous emptiness? This relationship is your baby and you are soooo ready to nurture it and help it grow and develop into its full potential. Oh, and the way the baby is looking up at you is important too. It reflects that you feel the relationship is looking up as well.
Dreamer’s response: I was very relieved when I read your interpretation of fulfillment. Even though I have every confidence in my relationship, it is always nice to be affirmed. It’s funny that you should mention putting on our coats being a metaphor for maybe covering up the marriage issue. I say that because the last dream (of holding my daughter) prompted me to finally bring up the subject of marriage and led to a lovely, heartfelt conversation that put us back on the same page. I learned that we both want marriage — soon — but we aren’t financially prepared right now, but will be in the next few years. And although patience isn’t a virtue I normally possess, I know that it will be worth it to wait for a time when we are ready in as many ways as possible.
In response to your questions, yes, I find my relationship very fulfilling. I want for nothing other than a slightly cleaner house, at this point. He is caring and considerate, open with his thoughts and feelings, and tries to always put our relationship first. Yes, I definitely want more — I have never been able to have enough when it comes to him, heh heh. But, I also know that I don’t want to rush a wedding — after all, I only plan on doing it once. I want to do it right!
It is so affirming to hear you say that I’m coming across as ready for the next step — even in a dream.
Your dreams are such a powerful part of who you are. They are giving you answers and direction, even warnings you need to know every night of your life. Why wouldn’t you want the ability to understand these important, even life-changing messages? Grab yourself a copy of one of my books and you’ll easily understand your dreams every morning and get a HUGE edge in life.
“I absolutely love your books! They are helping me sort my dreams out already.” – Belinda, Savannah, GA