The REM Cycle

devoted to dream education, dream analysis, and the latest dream trends

Taking Vitamins and Minerals May Help Dream Recall

Citrus Fruit by José Luis Hernández Zurdo

This morning, I woke up and entered several dreams into my dream journal. I remember thinking during the night after having and remembering one dream after another, "Man, I've had so many dreams! It's still dark...when is the night going to end?!?!?"

I wasn't really complaining. I was enjoying my dream time after having a little bit of a dream drought of not remembering dreams for several nights previously. This morning after journaling my dreams, I wondered about what was different about yesterday than any other days.

What came to mind right away was martial arts class that morning. I was practicing self-defense techniques and I pulled a back muscle during one of the forms -- that muscle right next to the shoulder blade that's hard to reach. For the rest of the day, it nagged at me: more of an annoyance than an actual injury.

A teacher of mine suggested that a deficiency of calcium and magnesium might be possible players in my muscle pull, and suggested that I take calcium lactate and rub magnesium lotion into the skin for the body to absorb. I did as instructed, went about my normal activities for the day, and went to sleep at a decent hour.

Are Dreams Important? Ask a Zombie.

Zombie Princess by Jourden C

This past week, the Oscar awards were presented. I watched on and off throughout the evening, watching presenters announce the nominees for a lot of the same movies (most of which I haven't seen yet) and thought to myself, "It would have been awesome if Warm Bodies was nominated for an award."

Have you seen Warm Bodies? You know, the one where the story's told from the perspective of a zombie "falling" into something we call "being human" as he falls in love with a good-looking blonde pumping shotgun rounds into his brain-eating comrades? Take a typical romantic comedy theme, add great writing, mix in zombies and Voila! You have an interesting movie that totally went beyond the expectations of this dreamer!

Zombies in dreams have come up with greater frequency over the years. With movies creating a zombie buzz in the collective human consciousness, they've over time become a dream symbol related to imagination and stagnation. Since death represents charge in a dream and, while zombies are "dead," they really aren't. They've be tied to the imaginative aspects of our imagination that are trapped in stagnation -- extreme cases of writer's block, apathy, and leading a life "like a zombie."

I found it fascinating to watch a film that involved zombies being "infected" by humanity, slowly but surely becoming more human throughout the film. When interpreted as a dream, the zombies in the film depicted those parts of ourselves that seemed to die a long time ago, just waiting for the chance to become alive once again in our minds, hearts, creativity, and existence.

Have you ever had an old aspiration or desire you dropped one day without knowing it, trading it in and settling for something else because, "Things weren't working out/not the right time/don't have the energy or expertise/etc.?" Sometimes, a part of ourselves dies and another "zombie" enters our mind in the process.

Dream Symbols: Water

Glass Of Water by MALIZ ONG

Water has many forms and can conjure up many associations in people's minds. Some think of having a drink of water when they are thirsty, while others rejoice when they see rain. That same rain might bring forth feelings of depression in the thought, "Here's a another gloomy day," while kids catapult themselves into the arms of a swimming pool, yelling, "CAANNNOOONNNNBBBBAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!"

In dreams, water represents our conscious life experiences. Much like the examples above (and others that may have come to mind as you read them), our experiences are many and varied. Some bring happiness, while others bring sadness. Sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed by our experiences; at other times, we can feel like we're gliding smoothly though our experiences. How we see our experiences will reflect in our dreams both in how water appears in the dream and our interaction with it.

Here are some examples of how one woman in India dreams of water, courtesy of's featured dream of the week Waterworld.

Dream Case Studies: Dinner and Music with Megan Sheehan

Have you ever had old friends appear in your dreams that you haven't physically seen in several years, even decades? Ever wondered why they'd appear in your dreams, even "after all these years?" Whether it's been decades or only a few hours ago, the people we interact with can have a lasting impact or leave an impression on us that's timeless. Whether in the form of a humorous encounter, a shared passion for a creative project you once worked on together, or simply one of those "Do you remember that time when ... " moments, people in our lives make all the difference in the world no matter how much time has passed.

The popularity of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter can vouch for this. Do you remember when you first opened your Facebook account and the numerous hours you spent searching for people you thought would be great to contact? Or searching through names on Twitter, clicking on the "Follow" button, wondering if people from the past would recognize you? The quality of social interactions account for 85% of a person's happiness. People are important!

This translates into the realm of dreaming. The subconscious mind communicates to us every night through dreams, whether we remember them or not. It will use any experience imaginable, from situations we've been in and the people we've met to the latest movie we've seen, to get its message across in a way that's insightful and memorable. People play a very important part of our dreams, for they represent aspects or qualities inside ourselves. The subconscious mind knows we learn through our waking life interactions. Therefore, people in our dreams can serve as great symbols to learn more about ourselves, the way we think, and what motivates us.

Two nights ago, I had a dream with my friend Megan Sheehan. It's been almost 14 years since we've graduated high school. Recently, I caught up with her through Twitter and discovered that she's now a country music artist in Nashville! For the past month, I've been thoroughly enjoying her latest album About Love, which has accompanied me in many drives through Missouri's country roads and in the office while working.  Here's my dream:

Dream Trends: Are Short Dreams Worth Interpreting?

Tape Measure by Junior Libby

Are short dreams worth interpreting? This week, I've had several requests to interpret very short dream. From a dream interpreter's point of view, working with a complete dream comes much easier. As with an story, a dream that has a complete setting, theme, characters, and clear action give a more complete picture. It provides many ways to approach a dream interpretation and might be easier for the dreamer to relate to his or her own life.

However, pictures really are a thousand words. There are some dreams that, although short, do provide a clear picture. Much like a haiku, it's possible to capture the essence of a dream that's only described in one or two sentences. Sometimes, the subconscious mind captures our attention with very short dreams, making it's message very concise. At other times, the act of honoring and considering very short dreams, rather than dismissing them entirely, may help the dreamer to remember future dreams.

Dream Inspirations: Is "Gerbil Water" the Next Cure for Finger Cuts?

Finger by Darshana Ganatra

It's been awhile since I've written a new post. Last week, I had an unfortunate mishap involving a kitchen knife and cutting turnips. In the process of considering alternate ways of cooking turnips for dinner, I mistakenly mistook the tip of my finger for a turnip. When using knives, it's highly important to keep your full undivided attention on what you're doing!

So this past week, I've had my finger in bandages and it's making good progress. What first looked like a long, slow process of my finger growing itself back into normal size and shape has turned out to be a little more hopeful. I've also learned how important index fingers can be, and how flexible other fingers can be to "pick up the slack" should one of their brethren become functionally compromised.

This morning, a colleague of mine said, "Matt! You were in my dream last night, and I had a dream that you need to put this on your finger!" The small bottle with a built-in dropper had "Gerbil Water" written on it in permanent marker (his family takes care of two highly adventurous gerbils). "Don't worry, it really isn't gerbil water. My dream said that you need to take something called Helichrysum."

Dream Symbols: What Do Snakes Mean in a Dream?

Do You Speak Snake? by Bobbi Jones Jones

This past week, I've received several dream inquires about snakes. One man had a dream about seeing three large snakes in the distance, each with distinct coloring and poses. Another woman had a dream about receiving a snake as a gift and spent the rest of her dream trying to figure out how to take care of it as a pet.

In previous articles about animals, you may have read that animals represent habits. Habits are things that form when practiced over and over, consciously or unconsciously, until they become second nature. They can be mental habits, like forming opinions based upon a strong system of beliefs, emotion habits that revolve around a certain emotional reaction on a set of similar circumstances, or even physical habits like keeping a familiar schedule or dietary plan.

In addition to these considerations, snakes have a special meaning. Since ancient times, they have appeared in Biblical stories, ancient Egyptian mythology, and have even acted as part of common medical symbology, like the caduceus. Because of their rich history in humanity's collective consciousness, special definitions of snakes in dreams should be considered.