Why Do I Have Such Crappy Dreams?

For the first 30 years or so of my life, I had some pretty cool dreams — flying, sex with Frazetta girls, etc.

But for the last 20 years or so, I’ve had the worst dreams ever. Not scary, just boring. One time I was cleaning an oven for hours (which I have never done in real life). Another time I was walking somewhere over an open plain, seemingly for hours, with absolutely nothing happening around me.

And just last night, I dreamed that I had to go to China for some reason. Hey, that’s kind of exotic, right? Wrong. I spent hours packing up the stuff in my basement and garage for the trip. I was still sweeping the damn thing out when I woke up.

So I guess my question is, is dream interpretation a science yet, or is it still just pop psychology? And if it is, what does it mean that I have such incredibly boring dreams?

If it’s relevant, I have no shortage of raw material to dream about. I read lots of fantasy and SF, I watch my share of porn, and I watch action movies and TV shows. Hmm, maybe my brain is telling me to slow down?

Try eating more spicy foods before bed, and especially Chipotle peppers. That always works for me…

Dreamlife takes you to alternate dimensions where parallel you’s in other lives are doing that stuff… maybe they are living boring lives. Of course I have various cites for this data, but you’d have to connect to parallel Googles.

Maybe in a few years we’ll be able to do this on a daily (or nocturnal) basis.

Way too broad a question for any easy answers… People change. You aren’t the same as you used to be. Your body changes, your brain changes, your mind changes. Growing up isn’t a lot of fun…

(Guy says, “I seem to have gotten much stronger as I’ve gotten older. When I was in my twenties, my erection was so hard, I couldn’t bend it. But now I can.”)

Anxiety dreams may have something to do with real-life responsibilities. As you grow up and take on duties – do you have kids? – you have more to be worried about.

Flying dreams are said to be related to sexuality. I’ve read other places that as we grow older, we have fewer flying dreams. Again, the loss of sexual prowess accompanying age may be involved. The fading away of overtly sexual dreams is similar. (You had Frazetta babes? Wow! I never had Frazetta babes!)

Dream interpretation is far from a science. Most dreams are pretty much random. Just vague elements of ideas, tag-ends of thoughts, the mind entertaining itself with free association.

Some dreams, however, do have very obvious meaning. When a loved one dies, it is very common to have dreams about them. These dreams may be a normal part of the grieving process, but they can be mighty disturbing. In my experience, they were the very opposite of comforting!

One other thought; as you grow older, the very physical experience of sleep itself changes. For instance, if you have gained weight as you’ve gotten older, then your breathing is different, and the whole pattern of sleeping is altered. You may be getting more sleep…or less. You may be waking up more often to go to the bathroom. Your current bed may be harder, or softer, than your previous bed or beds.

Have you experimented with background noises? You might get some interesting results from a noise-generator, one of those things that make sounds like water or wind. Or just run an electric fan. I find that “white noise” in the background makes my sleep much deeper and more restful.

(Frazetta babes! Man, I am so jealous!)

Yeah, I almost depend on white noise. I use an old radio that puts out very smooth static when it’s between stations (and where I live, there’s only one station). When I was a kid, I could sleep through anything, but in my early 20’s I worked as a firefighter, and to keep that job I had to become a light sleeper. Since then, the slightest noise can wake me up – birds chirping, wind blowing, anything. So I crank up the white noise.

Doesn’t help you in any way, but my experience has been the same.
Up to my late 20s I would frequently have dreams that I would just have to write down – because I wanted some reminder of the amazing experience I had had and/or place I had been.
It’s been years since I’ve had a dream worth doing that for.

Granted, my real life is much more mundane now, but it’s not as if the dreams were ever anything like my real life.

All I can say is, you mentioned flying; if those were lucid dreams, then bear in mind that there are techniques you can use to improve the chance of having a lucid dream. And special glasses that can help you have lucid dreams if you really wanted to experience that kind of dream again.

Maybe you should try living a more interesting life. Do things like kayak the Atlantic, scale Mt. Everest, discover a new solar system, clean up some rivers, etc. etc.

Definitely. Or, take an exotic trip-China, perhaps.
If that fails, do something around the house…clean the oven, pack up stuff in the basement.

Hey, I had an interesting dream last night (actually, I slept from 0500 to 1300, so today).

I don’t know if my post triggered better dreams, or if I just remembered more of them, but I definitely remembered more of them. Some were still mundane — I was at somebody’s house eating a big bowl of Cheez-Itz (which I never eat), one after the other. Some were kind of interesting, but probably not to most people — in one I was at the NY Library (which I’ve always wanted to visit, since I have more books in my house than the local library in my very small town has) browsing the theology section, and in another I was playing a round of golf with Hunter Mahan (whom I don’t especially like, but he is ranked #6 in the world).

But in one I was a sailor on a modern battleship, except that it had a crow’s nest like the old sailing ships, and that was my station. And it was a super-deluxe crow’s nest, so the captain of the ship had his desk right next to me, and we got to talking and became great friends, and he showed me all around the ship, and we visited several ports around the world, including one smack in the middle of Switzerland, in about half an hour.

I’ve served in the army, but not the navy, but I’ve read several series of books about naval adventures – Hornblower, Aubrey-Maturin, Lewrie (my favorite), Bolitho, and Harrington, so no mystery where that comes from.

Mods, I’ve gotten one semi-scholarly response and I’m hoping for more, but I also enjoy reading the non-serious responses, so I won’t be devastated if you move this to MPSIMS.

Take a couple of Aleve before you go to bed. That always gave me dreams of the epic cinema variety.

Hopelessly off topic, but… I’d never heard of Lewrie! Thanks!

How I wish I knew the answer to this. I’d long dismissed dream interpretations into the same category as astrology, that is, complete BS and conveniently vague explanations that can be forced into please because they want to believe. Then something like three years ago I went though what is handily and by far my life’s toughest experience, and had the same three dreams repeatedly for months. They were so vivid and persistent (seriously, the same distinct and bizarre dreams for months on end), that it defied mere coincidence.

Frustrated and baffled, I gave in and Googled what the quacks were saying about these dream meanings and they were objectively spot-on. Not fake Jphn Edward sham psychic “I get the feeling you’ve once known someone with a ‘P’ in their name” spot on, but right on the money, exactly what I was worried about spot on. Absolutely fucking bizarre.

But yeah, in answer to your question, I don’t know.

I just found those books by accident, but they are far and away my favorite of the genre. I reject the hypothesis that the reason is that they spend more time on sex than the other series combined, so that Lewrie is half Tom Jones and half Hornblower. I’d rank them like this:

  1. Lewrie
  2. Harrington*
  3. (tie) Hornblower
  4. (tie) Bolitho
  5. Aubrey
  • Except for the earliest Harrington books, I’ve either skimmed or skipped over the detailed explanations of spaceship armaments and Haven political intrigue, which has become about a third of the Harrington books, but the remaining two thirds is usually pretty good.

My experience is that my really great dreams come in the early morning.
Typically, I will wake up around 5 AM-I will stay in bed, and drift back to sleep. The really good dreams happen between 5 AM and 6:40 AM.-why is this?

I can’t help you to have more interesting dreams, but I can tell you that you are lucky in a sense. I’m only 26, but for most of my late teenage years into my early 20’s, I had nothing but vivid, excruciatingly scary nightmares. It got to the point where sleeping became a chore for me. I hated it, because I knew I was going to have bad dreams. Being in a stable, loving relationship, seems to have cured it for me. I don’t know if it was coincidental or if my being single was the cause of the nightmares, but I’m glad because I rarely have nightmares anymore. I still have really weird, bizarre, uncomfortable dreams - some of you might consider them nightmares yourselves if you had them - but compared to my old nightmares, my dreams are now much better.

So, I guess all I’m saying is, be glad your dreams are just mundane! They could be so much worse :frowning:

It means you haven’t discovered large doses of vitamin B6 yet. I’ve raved about this stuff on the boards before. Go to Walmart and buy a bottle of 100mg of B6 (NOT a multi-B tablet. Buy only B6 and get the 100mg. It’s about $7 for 50 tabs).

Take 5 of them 2 hours before bed time. Make sure you are not on any other conscious altering drugs or alcohol. Make sure you have at least 8-10 hours to sleep as this stuff makes you dream, and dream, and DREAM! And the dreams are f*cked up VIVID!!! Scary, adventurous, sexual, even mean spirited.

The great thing is, even on the nights it doesn’t work, so what?:confused: It’s cheap and you were going to go to sleep anyway.

Just make sure you don’t do this more than once per week. It can cause some nerve damage.

Withdrawal from serotonergic antidepressants (i… Paxil) is reported to cause weird and interesting dreams. But that probably isn’t a practical way to enhance dream interest.

I welcome the occasional bizarre dream as a break from the usual crapola involving final exams where I never attended class, or trying to function as a radio announcer with no programming.

The other night I dreamed I was tring to expose a dangerous criminal gang, and arrested their guinea pig to put pressure on them (the guinea pig was heavily into mob activity and deserved a felony bust). I’m only sorry I woke up before the real fireworks ensued.

Do not do this. It does cause nerve damage.

There’s a reason for the fucked-up dreams. It’s not a good reason.
Seriously. If you want more exciting dreams, then read/watch/do more exciting things before you go to bed.

Or if you’re bored, look up some of the threads people have posted about their nightmares or horribly vivid dreams, and be thankful that you’ve got boring ones most of the time.

I’ve found that it only causes nerve damage if it’s done too often.

I’ve been doing it for a while now about every week or so with no ill effect.
When I tried it every night I got some numbness in my fingers that went away after I discontinued for a few days. My research has found that doing it once a week or so is safe.

But I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. YMMV :smiley: