By Pallavi Dani:
One fine Sunday morning a few years back, I woke up to a bizarre scene. I was lying on my bed trying to get up but without any success. I felt as if some invisible hand was holding me down. And from the corner of my eyes I saw a white figure that looked at me, then turned around and walked away. A second later I shot out from my bed and ran out of the room as fast as I could.
Have any of you ever had a similar experience? I don’t believe in super natural, yet I was confident that I had seen something that was beyond my understanding. This remained a puzzle for me for 3 years, until now. Just few days back I stumbled upon an article and to my surprise and great relief I found a perfectly scientific answer to it. How many of you have heard of sleep paralysis? Our brain paralyses our body during sleep so that we don’t enact what we do in our dreams. So that morning when I was transitioning from sleep to waking state my mind woke up faster than my body because of which I couldn’t move and had that strange illusion. It makes me wonder that this can very likely be the reason behind people claiming on seeing aliens or having supernatural experience?
There are numerous activities that happen when we are sleeping which we are least aware of. Dreams are the most mysterious of all. For centuries, we’ve tried to figure out just why our brains play these nightly shows for us. Early civilizations thought dream worlds were real, physical worlds that we could enter only from our dream state. Our dreams weave everything we see, feel, and hear into an entertaining story line. From personal experience I believe every dream that we have speaks a lot about our waking hours. Like my biggest fear in college life is sleeping through my exam or some important meeting.
But dreams are not just path for our subconscious mind to dwell upon our emotions. Dreams are also used by many people to find solutions to their problems. Did you know that many musicians, including Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Beethoven, have found inspiration for their music from their dreams? Some hear musical arrangements in their dreams, while others hear lyrics. Kekule, the German chemist saw snakes forming circles with their tails in their mouths in his dreams. Can you guess which major discovery did this dream lead to? Yes it was the structure of benzene. Elias Howe in a dream, found himself surrounded by native tribesmen with spears which had holes in the point. When he woke up, he realized that a needle with a hole in the point was the answer to his problem. And this is how the world was introduced to the sewing machine.
You too can solve your problems in your dreams using a simple concept which is dream incubation. Dream incubation refers to planting a specific topic to occur in your dream. For example, you might go to bed repeating to yourself that you’ll dream about a presentation you have coming up or a vacation you just took. It has been found that if you focus on a problem before going to sleep, it is certainly possible to come up with novel solutions in dream.
The world of dreams is full of endless surprises. One day we might even be able to communicate with each in our dreams. Even though we may not remember them, everyone dreams several times a night. In fact, during a typical lifetime, we spend about six years dreaming.