Dreams are Rehearsals
I don’t always have dreams that I remember. When I do, I mark them down in a dream journal I keep in an app called Day One. This is also where I keep a regular journal which is sort of a log of my life.
What’s nice about Day One is that you can line these journals up and see where your dream events and life events intersect.
I did this recently and I noticed that I usually have dreams I remember during really heavy times in my life, whether it’s work or personal. It makes sense, considering that stress can interrupt normal sleep cycles, and interrupting sleep cycles can sometimes spur dreams (which is why if you set an alarm for 3am and then go back to sleep, you can sometimes force a dream).
I’ve always thought of dreams as rehearsals for events that may happen in some universe. And during heavy or stressful times, my brain feels the need to rehearse. After all, rehearsal is preparation, and my brain seems to crave preparation in times of high stress.
An interesting twist: my nightmares are mostly stories about being unprepared. Setting up for a concert but forgetting my guitar at home, on stage at a play but I don’t know my lines etc.
Maybe the nightmares serve to scare my brain into dreaming so I can prepare for life. Like an endless subconscious cycle.