Dumb Data: Dreams Summarized

Dreaming is likely the subconscious working out recent events, but there’s very little scientific information about what it actually is.

We all dream, but usually don’t remember what they are.

  • To remember them more easily, use a trigger on both sides of the dream (i.e., going to sleep and waking up).
  • Drink half a glass of water, eat a chip, or scratch a specific part of your body.

If you have trouble with nightmares, warm up the room before going to bed.

Apple juice has a chemical compound which causes vivid, surreal dreams.

Thoughts Expressed

Many common dreams are relatively intuitive interpretations of subconscious thoughts, similarly to how we process myths.


  • Being back at school = the work-related side of life
  • Flying = the feeling of freedom
    • Trouble flying = feeling oppressed
  • Food = energy, knowledge or nourishment
  • Houses = the self
    • Basements hold secrets, inner rooms are intensely personal things, attics have spiritual secrets
  • Teeth = the feeling of confidence and strength
    • Teeth falling out = losing courage or strength
  • Vehicles = power for us to achieve or move forward
  • Water = life or the emotional side of existence
    • Turbulent water = unresolved feelings
    • Showering/bathing = changes and new experiences

Insecurities and anxiety

  • Being lost = insecurity or anxiety
  • Driving an out-of-control vehicle or riding an out-of-control animal = feeling out of control
  • Falling = a sense of failure or feeling insecure or out of control
  • Getting cheated on = concern about real-life infidelity
  • Paralysis = the feeling of powerlessness
  • Test/exam day = difficulties with managing life or failing at responsibilities

Fear and hope for the future

  • Being late or unable to perform = fear of failing at an upcoming event
  • Death = either contemplating death, or sensing a significant future loss for you or someone you love
  • Pregnancy = growth or a new experience, unacknowledged desire to create something
  • Running = can be fear of a problem or struggle, or desire for a goal or achievement
  • Sex/Friends = desire for others’ traits
  • Animals = natural power in our environment
    • The size of the animal dictates its power over us
    • Fantasy animals (e.g., unicorns, dragons) represents unknown powers that affect us
    • Snakes = hidden threats
    • Spiders = manipulating a situation or feeling manipulated

Communication problems

  • Can’t find the bathroom = unable to express personal needs
  • Can’t make a phone call or send a message = communication problems
  • Nakedness = vulnerability and exposure in a situation

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is controlling events in a dream without waking up, and isn’t particularly hard to generate.

A. Keep a journal of your dreams to consciously connect to your subconscious.

  • To concentrate more clearly stay still for a few minutes before writing.

B. Every few hours throughout the day, routinely check if you’re dreaming to keep that habit even while you’re dreaming.

  • Pinch your nose, close your mouth, and check if you’re still breathing.
  • Look at your hands and feet to see if they’re familiar or distorted.
  • Check a clock twice to see if the time is dramatically different.
  • Read a page twice to see if it changes or gets blurry.
  • Attempt to push your index finger through your palm while genuinely expecting it to go through, and ask yourself if you’re dreaming before and after you’ve done it.

C. Repeat “I will be aware that I’m dreaming” every time you fall asleep.

  • By conditioning your mind to expect it, you’ve prepared yourself to lucidly dream.