Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dreams for sleep

It’s early but not crazy early. Sleep has been a little less difficult recently although the dreams have been markedly more vivid. Is there a trade-off that takes place in the brain, an extra hour of sleep in return for letting the brain run wild dreaming? There doesn’t appear to be any similarity in the stories my brain has been spinning – except one.

The settings are all different, the people who inhabit the dreams are unrecognizable, there’s nothing sexy going on and I never feel in danger or wake up in a cold sweat. The dreams are, for the most part, uneventful. The running similarity in these recent dreams is that I generally find myself in an odd situation, some place I probably shouldn’t be, an unauthorized visitor of one sort or another.

The scenarios are all different; one time a delivery man, another time a traveler and yet another time just a man looking for a warm place to pass the night. Usually the other inhabitants of these dreams react with curiosity or confusion, sometimes there’s a measure of suspicion, but never fear or hostility.

Do any of you expats out there experience similar dreams? Is this a “stranger in a strange land” dream experience we share?



Blogger heather said...

Markedly vivid dreams: definitely.
"Stranger in a strange land” dreams: no.

My dreams while being an expat are more vivid and outrageous than they ever were/are when I was/am in the US. Most interesting to me--these vivid dreams also existed for me when I was an expat in the UK, which points me to the expat experience overall, rather than purely the foreign German language as a source.

When they become too vivid I throttle back on the sleep, to 6 or 7 hours, as I know that will curtail them...

11:21 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

When my employer went to Berlin in 1999 and my wife and I spent some sleepless nights wondering whether we should follow--and in the end didn't--I had dreams about meeting former colleagues in uncustomary settings, like Penn Station. This was disconcerting but in time as I began pursuing other things my dreams changed as I changed.

I find it helpful to reflect that we as dreamers are setting the scene and assigning the roles in our dreams. In waking life we aren't always at the mercy of events but can shape them, and dreams will mirror the actions we decide to take.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had one of those dreams last night. I was in a german street car going home, but instead of ending up at the stop near my home here in Germany, I ended up on a street near my parents house in California. I woke up totally confused about where I was.

I'm curious of you other expats. What language do you dream in? I mostly dream in English still, but also have dreams in German. My German husband, as soon as he's in the States, starts to dream in English.


10:16 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Heather ... To be able to sleep for 7 hours would be a dream in itself.

Ralph...Dreams certainly seem to be reflective in nature - but I'm not always certain as to what they are reflecting.

Kazzie ... I dream in English although when I first arrived here and was intensely studying German, the new language frequently crept into my dreams.

12:16 PM  

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