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We spend half of our lives asleep and dreaming. Often we wake up fascinated the next morning by what passed in the night when we weren’t even fully aware. We try to piece our dreams together and remember them as best we can but there often seems to be something lacking and just out of the reach of our memory.
Dreams are powerful. They tap into our most potent emotions. Many of the barriers that stand in the way of our thinking certain thoughts during the day come down during the night when we dream and our minds are given a greater freedom. Sometimes new ideas will occur to you when you dream or or you may have certain realizations that you couldn’t otherwise have.
Most people enjoy the weirdness of dreaming. There’s something mysterious about the entire process and being able to think thoughts that you wouldn’t otherwise think are fascinating. There is a certain logic to dreams that can’t be followed during the day. Events follow each other in a chaotic order as random things are combined and have a symbolism that can’t be pinned down. You might dream that you have an exam. You might dream that you’re a fish. You might dream that you’re a king. You might dream that you are a king who becomes a fish after he fails his exam.
If you want to start having weirder and even more vivid dreams, there are several things that you can try without much difficulty before you go to sleep. We build our dreams up from the events of the day and a few slight variances can have a great effect on your dreaming life.
Your location can have a great affect on your dreams. Try finding new places to go to sleep if you want to have weird dreams. For starters you can try sleeping at different places around your house. Try sleeping on the sofa if it’s comfortable. Any place that seems at all weird to you is likely to trigger stranger thoughts while you sleep and dream. Look for rooms that have a more interesting feel. If you have a room where you can notice the shapes or where you have a certain interest in the ceiling or the furniture, it might trigger some stranger dreams. Buy a sleeping bag or get together a bunch of your blankets and try camping out in all the different rooms of your house. Sleeping in different rooms will likely give you different kinds of dreams.
After you’ve explored your house, you might consider sleeping over at a friends house or even camping outdoors. Location has a powerful effect on our minds. Sometimes it happens without our even realizing it. Dreams are all about exploring what you don’t normally experience. Try visiting new places during the day before you go to sleep. Visit weird buildings. Spending some time at the top of a skyscraper, inside a church, or at the museum is very likely to impact your dreams and make them odder.
Reading is a great way to speak to your subconscious. When we read a good book our whole mind gets engaged and thoughts we wouldn’t otherwise have flood our head. New worlds are created inside our heads when we read a new book. If you want to have weird dreams, try reading weird books. Read things that you wouldn’t normally try. Poetry can be a great source of emotion and new imagery. Poets like Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Bishop often made use of their own dreams for the poems that they wrote.
Not just books, but anything odd or engrossing enough can stimulate your mind into having weirder dreams. Many comic books often already read like they were dreams and they can enter your subconscious to show up in your own dreams if you read them often enough. Comic book artists like Jack Kirby and Grant Morrison often used their dreams for the inspiration to some of their work as well.
Other works of art can also make your dreams a little more wild. Try visiting art museums and looking at some of the artists like Joseph Cornell and Picasso if you really want to give yourself weird dreams. Music also works to stimulate your imagination and putting some on while you sleep is a very good idea.
Bring new people into your life and they’ll probably show up in your dreams as well. The more people that you come into contact with during the day, the stranger your dreams are likely to become. People are social animals and we react most strongly to each other. If you want to experience new emotions that will also be experienced in your dreams, there is no better way than by meeting new kinds of people.
The more adventurous of a life that you lead, the more adventurous your dreams will become. Bring new things into your life and they’ll show up when you sleep. Dreams are how we process what happens to us and they give us new perspective on the events of the day. Dreams often make us aware of people in our lives who we hadn’t even noticed before. A healthy dream life reflects back on a healthy waking life, and vice-versa.
It’s said that some of the Romantic poets, such as Keats and Byron, used to eat spoiled meat in order to have weirder dreams. There’s no need for you to take it this far. Eating certain foods is a good way to have weird dreams, however. Your dreams can be influenced by anything that’s happening in your body at the moment you have them. Strange sensations or changes in your metabolism will influence your dreams. Try eating something like smoked meats or anything that might make your stomach more active before you go to sleep.
It probably isn’t a good idea to try doing this every night but if you only do it once in a while, you should be able to have some more interesting dreams.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” Shakespeare wrote. Dreams are some of our most personal experiences. Dreams cut us to the core and expose us to ourselves. If you follow any of these relatively easy steps to having weirder dreams, you’ll likely learn more about yourself and perhaps even grow as a person. Dreams are a large part of our lives and they shouldn’t be neglected.
I’d love to hear about your strangest dream you’ve ever had if you try any of these tricks (or even if you don’t). Feel free to share below if it’s not too personal. Happy dreaming everyone!