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?

Daily Photo: August 3, 2008

Lazy cat.

Yes; he’s lazy. All cats are lazy. He especially loved sleeping and lounging around. So do I.