The Vividness of Mid-Afternoon Dreams

Perhaps because of my bipolar disorder, or perhaps because of the medications I take to quell its symptoms, I like to sleep. Like, a lot. When I’m not working, I find it very difficult to make it through a day without having at least one (if not two or three) naps. (To be honest, even when I am working I get so tired after lunch that it’s hard to be productive anyway.)

Also perhaps because of my disorder, or the meds, I dream when I sleep. What’s particularly funny about these dreams, though, is that they are (mostly) benign, never frightening, and vivid as hell. Like, Wizard of Oz Technicolor vivid.

For example, just yesterday I dreamed that I was in the loft in my house, but for some reason my house was on the edge of a cliff bordering the sea. While I was sleeping (because in my dream, I was taking a nap), the cliff started to crumble, and the house started to slide into the ocean. It really wasn’t a big deal, but kind of threw me for a loop.

The best part was that when I woke up (in the dream) and looked out of the window to see my house sliding down a cliff, I thought to myself, this isn’t very realistic – I bet I’m dreaming. But then I went downstairs, and when I passed the bathroom I saw the toilet gurgling and flooding as the water from the ocean started flooding the house. And that’s when I started to worry, because it seemed like a detail too intricate to be dreamt. Maybe my house really was drowning.

This is an example of a particularly fantastic dream, but more frequently my dreams are much more bland; sometimes I’ll simply dream of a day a work where nothing of much interest at all happens, or I might dream of eating a meal that wasn’t bad, but just not really good, either.

I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I don’t have nightmares – the vividness of my dreams would not translate well. And the most vivid of my dreams are usually from those mid-afternoon naps, snuggled deep in the blankets (or on the couch with my cat) where the world outside is cold but in my head everything is toasty warm.

When I’m feeling particularly depressed, I actually look forward to these hallucinatory dreams – it’s like a fugue state, where everything and nothing is real, all at the same time. During these times, I slip into sleep like a warm comforter, just waiting for the dreams to come. When I’m not depressed I don’t necessarily deliberately look for the escape, but I certainly don’t avoid it, either.

Sleeping – and dreaming – is an integral part of my life, and something I couldn’t imagine being without. It’s an odd thought, really, because I think most people don’t really remember their dreams – or care to have them. I find them a necessity, though, in some ways to maintain my sanity; without dreams, I’d probably wonder if the real world was even real at all.

What are your most vivid dreams, and do you remember them well?

3 thoughts on “The Vividness of Mid-Afternoon Dreams

  1. I find dreams fascinating and can have very vivid dreams. I used to keep a Dream Journal but stopped years ago. I think I will start again. Dreams are perhaps nonsensical at times but not always, perhaps we can learn from them as our subconscious comes through. Many years ago I had a phase of lucid dreams. That was fascinating. And quite brilliant!

    I’ve had ideas for stories from dreams and an amazing melody came to me from a really magical dream I had one moonlit night. I also remember when my Grandmother died I asked her to say Goodbye in a dream as I didn’t get to in real life. And other times I have met people that have passed on, in dreams. I had a recent dream like that. The World of Dreams is fascinating. I think it’s great when you remember them. Sometimes I will go through phases where I am not remembering having any dreams. And that’s a bit dull. I usually remember them when I wake up before I’m meant to or before I’m ready.

    But I prefer remembering them as some dreams can be amazing. People have written books and songs based on dreams. I’ve had similar ones to you also about houses crumbling and tidal waves types of things. A house balancing precariously on the edge of a cliff. I’ve been there! It all depends whats happening in your life, what you have been thinking about. Some people analyse dreams. They can be utterly fascinating and otherworldly like a fantasy or sci fi movie. So yeah, DREAM ON…. Dreams are good. I can still remember some of my epic ones. I am going to start writing in my Dream Journal again… 🙂

    • Wow – thank you for sharing! I like the idea of keeping a dream journal – it would be fascinating to look back at all the things I’ve dreamed by since forgotten. Almost fifteen years ago I had a dream about a gothic mansion in a forest, and ever since then I’ve been looking for that house – I’m convinced it must exist somewhere. I also had a dream for a novella once – even the title came to me. I haven’t actually written it yet (too many other projects), but I know what it’s about, and what happens, and what it’s called.

      Dreams are amazing things, and I’m glad someone else out there remembers theirs; it can a powerful tool into the psyche, but it can also be a phenomenal escape/coping mechanism.

      Dream on yourself!

      • Yes dreams are amazing. They are so different from everyday mundane existence. I hope you find that Gothic Mansion! I found one in reality about a year or so ago and I nearly lived there but it wasnt just quite right. I used to dream of a house when I was a child. The same house. Almost like I had lived in it before in another lifetime. As it was familiar. I remember the garden and everything. If you have no time to write after remembering a dream you can record your voice. Recalling what you remember then writing about it later. There are so many dreams Ive had that Ive wished Id written down. They are adventures in magical realms.

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