How to have Good Dreams


The German army is in danger of conquering itself to death.
            from the diary of a German officer during operation Barbarosa, 1941.

D Vautier

Everybody has to dream.  I’m not sure what the mechanics are or how much dream sleep is really needed but for sure some dreaming is needed.  For most of us deep sleep along with dream sleep can take up nearly one third of our lives and we don't even know much about it except that we all have to do it.  Everybody has to deal with sleep one way or another and everybody has different brains that have different needs.  My brain is different and here's why.

As far back as I can remember I got by on five hours sleep a night.  It may have been a product of my childhood fear of sleep and a love of being awake.  When I was eight years old I often listened on my crystal radio way past midnight or until KRKO in Everett sounded off.  Then I was usually up for school at 6:30 the next morning.  That was not leaving me much dream sleep because that usually happens at the end of deep sleep.  I was in a constant state of feverish activity for weeks and then my body rebelled and I went into a period of fatigue and tiredness lasting anywhere from a few hours to a day.  This pattern continued into my adult life and all the while I was afraid to fall sleep.  For want of a better term doctors called my condition “nervous exhaustion” or something like that.  For me I needed a life that was not constantly interrupted by periods of unexplained total exhaustion.  This still goes on today but not as often as it used to because I have pills that help my deep sleep but not my dream sleep.  But I am beginning to appreciate the need to dream. The hard part is waking up from deep sleep and trying to get back into dream sleep because dreaming seems to put a lot more meaning and energy into my life.  But there's a problem -- bad dreams.  Here was my last very very bad dream.

One thing that seems to help is my mp3 player so every night I put on the earphones and turn it on very low and go to sleep while listening to music.  The stuff plays all night but I don’t hear a thing until I wake up or go into REM sleep.  At this time I can have some really crazy fun dreams.  It can be about somebody doing something or taking me somewhere or visiting me and then bursting into song, but there is always song.  Sometimes I recognize the music but in most cases I don’t.  But I do know it’s from that mp3 player.  So I get a lot of musical dreams.  My mp3 player also includes a goodly collection of comedy routines and these all get woven into my dreams.