Sweet Dreams

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As the students begin to emerge from their various hiding places to return to classes, there will no doubt be the usual battle that all tired university students must face – finding proper sleeping hours.

A fundamental fact is that we must sleep – and when we sleep, we will dream. Now, how we dream is a whole other ballgame to how a person manages their sleep. It’s a much less controllable facet of our lives. The less we can control our lives, the more anxious it makes us; or perhaps the unknown fascinates? In any case, our dreams present to us the unexplored, the part of us we don’t know…

So I present to you: the many different types of dreamers.

The Non-Dreamers
The first on our list is funnily enough those least involved with the practice of dreaming. The non-dreamers frequently find themselves unable to contribute to the impassioned recounts of the more avid dreamers. Their lack of late night internalized movies can often be mistaken for a sign of maturity – they deem these sleeping pastimes to be a childish indulgence. In all likelihood these particular dreamers simply fail to retain their dreams. It’s entirely possible that these non-dreamers are the most childish of all, and simply don’t understand. When engaging in conversation with a non-dreamer, be considerate of their severe lack of experience.

The Over-Sharer
Not everything is related to the dream you had last night, and no I don’t think that it’s totally crazy you saw a dog in your dream and now you’re patting one. You knew I had a dog when you came over today. I’ve had that dog for three years – you helped me name him for heaven’s sake. Sometimes a dream is just a dream – but to the over-sharer it may seem that every dream has a meaning or some hidden symbolic significance. If they tell you about their dreams, it’s best to politely listen to their excited ramblings. Perhaps try to interject with some common sense to stop them from thinking that the appearance of that bald eagle in their dream last night means they are destined to become the next president of the United States, but take care not to unintentionally extinguish their enthusiasm. Feign polite interest, and perhaps invest in some noise canceling headphones.

The Sufferer of Night-Terrors
These poor, unfortunate souls are perhaps the most pitiful yet famous dreamers. Those that suffer from night terrors got the short end of the stick when it came to a vivid subconscious. They take no joy in their particular brand of bad dreams, and many of these sufferers have trouble putting head to pillow at night. Symptoms come in the form of sleep paralysis, edge of sleep hallucinations (frequently involving over-sized arachnids) and generally terrifying dreams. Sufferers usually need special care and attention so treat them kindly (headphones are never applicable when talking to a sufferer).

The Nightmare Exhibitionist (or Enthusiast)
Nightmares by definition are bad dreams, not generally known for being enjoyed. However, even something inherently dreadful can be enjoyed in some twisted way by a small fetishistic portion of the population. Do not be fooled in conversation with these exhibitionists, their intention is not to share the wonder and bizarre nature of their dreams – they instead delight in the horror inspired as they recount exactly what horrible ways they died last night in their sleep to you. You mustn’t think too poorly of them, they may only wish to share these dreams like horrors stories around a campfire. Deal with an enthusiast much the same as with an Over-Sharer: when all else fails reach for those headphones.

The Lucid Dreamer
A lucid dreamer is highly envied. A lucid dreamer can, at times, be insufferably smug. If there were a monarchy of dreams, the lucid dreamers take the crown. With complete control over their own dreams, a lucid dreamer is able to make the best of their nighttime hours. One can practice to become a lucid dreamer, however, the realisation that one is dreaming can lead to a sense of powerlessness and entrapment. When dealing with a lucid dreamer – particularly one of the insufferable variety – there is no need for headphones – merely stand up and walk away.

The Stress Sleeper
Some people cannot escape from the pressures of daily life, even during shut-eye. Many people face the very real scenario of taking the same test twice in one day, or going to that interview three times in the space of one night – all without ever actually completing these daunting tasks. The Stress Sleeper lives out every-day life in their dreams. These dreams can often leave a person more tired and wrung out than when they first dropped into their bed. When handling a Stress Sleeper, do so with a touch of good humour – because honestly, how could you not laugh when they’ve failed their chemistry quiz five times before they’ve even stepped into the classroom?

The Dullard Dreamer
Arguably the dreariest of all the dreamer types, the dullard lives out his or her life in their dreams just as they would in the waking world. Going to work, coming home, doing homework, riding the bus – all absurdly boring, and frankly a perfectly good waste of sleep and a dream. It is a truly sad case when a brilliant mind is unable to do more than play out their daily routine when asleep. When discussing dreams with a dullard, simply step away. They probably don’t want to talk about their dream with you anymore than you want to hear it – if you must engage in conversation, it may be in your best interests to ask about their real life and avoid dreams all together.

The Unmentionables
You know exactly what I’m talking about. I will not spell it out for you. You know.

Happy dreaming.