Deep, restorative sleep has become an elusive prize lately. It's probably just the difficulty of dealing with jet lag as I've made several coast-to-coast trips recently. The frustrating aspect is that I vividly recall how deeply I slept as a child and young teen. Now I'm lucky if I make it past two hours without waking.
I remember my father knocking on my bedroom door at noon on a Saturday and calling "Time to get up!" In hindsight he must have been ticked that he too had lost both the ability and luxury of logging 12 straight hours in bed. When I did have a restless night back then, it was often the result of recurring dreams.
Surely you've experienced at least one of the common recurring dream themes: the Chase dream, the Falling dream, the Flying dream, the Teeth dream and worst of all, the Naked dream. There are as many methods of interpreting these as there are dreams themselves, but the difficulty can lie in fully remembering the details. Supposedly, at least 90% of a dream is lost as soon as we wake. In fact, most of the things we dream are lost forever.
My weird recurring Chase dream was a Tyrannosaurus Rex stalking me, ever-closer, in the alley behind my childhood Ednor Gardens home. My legs weighed a hundred pounds each as I struggled to lift them and escape. He never got me, but I always woke with a pounding heart just before his teeth closed on my flesh. My Falling Dream involved plummeting from a cliff into the mouth of a tiger in a bar-less cage at a zoo. The Teeth dream had to have been a stress dream. I would dream that I had awakened and that all my teeth had broken and crumbled into my hands. My jaw always hurt afterward.
The Flying dream was my favorite. I was a Supergirl of sorts, and found that if I flapped my arms fast and hard enough, I would levitate and soar around the old neighborhood. The Naked dream was the worst, finding myself in the halls of Blessed Sacrament Elementary School without a stitch of clothing as the bell rang to signal the end of classes.
Although the dreams recurred for years on an infrequent basis, they stopped by the time I was about sixteen. Probably because by then, I'd worked out my most irrational fears that had evoked the dreams.
But now, I'm excited to have the chance to relive my treasured Flying dream in HD when NBC airs its "Winged Planet" documentary which shows the world from a bird's point of view. Every minute of this film reflects ten hours of footage and will air this Saturday, October 6th, on the Discovery Channel.
What's your recurring dream?