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Dreams and the subconscious;a psychological experiment

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Posted 06-10-2010 at 10:15 AM by glowstickfirefly

<h1>Dreaming up the idea...</h1>

While I was in school I studied a wide variety of psychology classes. My professors told me that I should go into psychology, but I wasnt sure I wanted to make a career out of it. Sometimes I wonder about what it may have been like. Well, Im about to share with you a theory I have been working on regarding dreams and the subconscious, which is my favorite subject in psychology. If I studied for a Masters, this would easily become my thesis. If you are interested in reading, by all means, help yourself. If you would like to participate in helping me reach a valid conclusion, please let me know. The more results I get, the more accurately I can test my theory.

I came up with this theory one night that I awoke from REM sleep to a hell of a surprise. It was an interesting discovery indeed. I awoke from my REM sleep, expecting that I would be in the center of my bed, where I started my sleep, so I rolled over. I was quickly acquainted with the cold, hard fact that I was not in the center of the bed but was, however, finding my way to the floor. I began to wonder why my brain didnt know that I was at the edge of the bed when I awoke. This also piqued my interest into those sudden 'rude awakenings' everyone gets when they are just about to REM sleep but see themselves trip or fall and suddenly jerk their body, waking themselves up. I remember those occasions all to well when i used to sleep in a water bed. I would jump or jerk myself awake and then the waves in the water bed would be a consistent reminded that, "Haha, you just jumped yourself awake!" There is also the cases where when people sleep somewhere new, they dont sleep as well. Sometimes people sleep better in a new place though, which is perplexing. My guess is that mentally preparing yourself for a change in bedrooms will factor into my theory.

<h2>Cognitive Memory, Subconscious Thoughts, and Dreams</h2>

I decided that I needed to understand these situations better. So, I began to look back into the things I learned about psychology. The thing that caught my interest was cognitive memory function. Cognitive memory function, or cognition, refers to the brains ability to learn something we do all the time, that now seem to come to us naturally. By this I mean things like walking, breathing, eating and digestion, as well as sleeping. When people who suffer from amnesia lose memories, it does not affect their cognitive memory functions. Meaning, they can still walk around, talk, and breathe like anyone else but they cant remember names, people, places, or dates. When your brain accesses cognitive memories, it follows the same neural pathways every time that because it has 'hard-coded' them into your brain. My theory plays off of this task as well as subconscious thoughts and dreams.

Your subconscious is a sponge, constantly soaking up all the information that your body and conscious mind absorb. Any thought you have, anything you tell yourself, anything; Its all taken in by your subconscious. Repeated occurrences of the same thing get copied to your conscious mind. This all happens behind the scenes, meaning you are unaware of this.

Example: Someone who says or even thinks they suck at something often enough, generally do suck at that because their subconscious absorbs it. Your subconscious cannot filter things like your conscious brain can.

In your conscious brain, you can sort info by type. Example: You watch a film that portrays a man killing his friend, over and over. In your conscious brain, you determine that this is just a film, it means nothing to you. Your subconscious takes it in as raw data, it cannot determine that it is just a movie. Slowly, over time, your mind would accept and justify someone killing his friend. This is how brainwashing works. When you subject someone to mind numbing material for a long length of time, their mind accepts that as fact. This is why I have a problem with marketing and advertising. They numb people to whats really important and convince them to buy shit they do not need, which aids to dissolve the morality of people. They no longer know whats right or wrong. Take 10 to 15 years ago as an example. Television was very popular. This was before the large internet boom or the cell phone boom. TV was a centerpiece for American home entertainment. What was on primetime? Sitcoms and advertisements. Sitcoms have a basic formula in which each episode take you through a generic path of emotion. They start out all happy, then thereís an inevitable dilemma. After the characters go on an emotional rollercoaster of story and making light of every situation, it all works out in the end. This is constantly interrupted by advertising telling you that you need to buy this or that. People watched this for hours on end every weeknight. What do you expect to happen to theses peopleís subconscious? I suspect that this is a primary reason for so many people having problems with bi-polar and ADHD, stress, and anxiety. Their minds were messed up, and then the advertising steps in to offer a pill solution for just about every problem you can think of. Anyway, Ive gotten off topicÖ

There are still many mysteries of the subconscious. One such mystery, is that of how it affects your dreams. Psychologists still have trouble explaining dreams. The more accepted and most commonly placed idea that I am aware of is that dreams are a result of information processes in your subconscious mind. All that raw, unfiltered data is floating around in your mind. When you dream, you may be accessing it and seeing morphed or merged thoughts, ideas, images, voices, all at once. Your mind tries to make the most sense of it that it can and present it to you in that manner but what you get is a crazy and mostly non-sensible 'video'. Almost like they are corrupted data files.

<h2>Finally, the Thesis and Experiment</h2>

So, the way my thesis works is as follows. When you go to sleep at night, you look up at the same perspective or viewing angle of the room you are in. What I think happens is that your mind has placed that image of the room in your cognitive memory, and it is a basic starting point for your sleep cycle. I believe the mind uses this reference as a point to return to when the sleep cycle is completed. This is why you may become startled when you wake up looking at a different angle of the room, or in another location altogether. So using this as my base, I went ahead and assumed that if I change the perspective of the room in which I sleep, right before I go to bed, I have given the brain an all-new place to reference for its starting point. So simply by changing which end of the bed I am sleeping on, has altered the way my mind will begin and end the sleep cycle. Does this mean that my brain will function somewhat differently as I sleep or dream? Will it have to travel a different path than usual just because Ive changed the starting and ending points? Thatís the idea I have, that it will indeed change your sleep and/or dreaming cycle.
So far, Ive gotten about 6 people to try this idea. At the last minute, before you get into bed, just decide to sleep the other direction. If you prep your mind for it in advance, it may not work as efficiently because youíve already given your mind time to adjust to the change, preemptively. So if you are going to try this, do it at the last minute. Donít decide in advance, just do it. Then let me know what results you get. Heres what people have reported so far:

Every single person has reported to have more vivid and memorable dreams.

5 out of the 6 have slept surprisingly better, whereas the other 1 didnít sleep any differently than normal.

2 out of 6, including myself have found that we can lucid dream easier in this fashion.

FYI: Lucid dreaming is a state in which, while you are dreaming, you consciously become aware that what you are seeing is a dream and can therefore control what happens in it. Sometimes you only become aware for a moment, sometimes for the entire length of the dream.

For me, since Ive been doing this by myself for so long, I have found that If you change directions and sleep the opposite way and stay that way for too many nights in a row, the results diminish. This tells me that the mind has began to use the same pathways over and over, entering it into memory. If you stay facing the opposite way long enough, and then switch back to normal suddenly, the results have returned again, just like the first time. Im still working out the kinks in this thesis but I find it very interesting. Please, give it a try and tell me the results. It would be nice to know if this simple solution could help people sleep better and/or enjoy and remember their dreams. My dreams are where I get ideas for my graphic novels. Some people use their dreams to interpret problems they are having in their waking life. For me, I think that dreams are too random to interpret with fact, but thatís me.

Good luck and have fun. Thanks for Reading.
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  1. Old Comment
    WugglyUmp's Avatar
    um...something rad that i want to share is...i had a dream about my friend's daughter losing her tooth (in my dream when that happened they (who ever they is) took the tooth to have it dna tested and found out that she had a different father) but...it was a weird dream, anyway i told me friend about it the next day and the wackiness was, was that her daughter lost her tooth earlier that day.

    i just thought it was way nifty.
    no that this has that much to do with that...whoops
    Posted 06-10-2010 at 03:16 PM by WugglyUmp WugglyUmp is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Weaselheadx's Avatar
    My 2 cents. I lucid dream all the time regardless of where I am. I can sleep most anywhere and it doesn't make any marked difference in my sleep patterns. I sleep walk at times, and am shocked to find myself somewhere other than where I went to sleep(I once awoke on my parents' porch when I had stayed at a friends, I apparently walked 3 miles in my sleep, and before anyone asks, no I wasn't drinking). As for advertising, Hitler poised propaganda as a sort of show. The comparison he used is that you sell an art show as an event to get people in to see the actual art. That's how advertising works. That's why commercials rarely have anything to do with the product, the idea is to get you interested in the commercial and then bam product flash. It is brainwashing.
    Posted 06-10-2010 at 05:22 PM by Weaselheadx Weaselheadx is offline
  3. Old Comment
    glowstickfirefly's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WugglyUmp View Comment
    um...something rad that i want to share is...i had a dream about my friend's daughter losing her tooth (in my dream when that happened they (who ever they is) took the tooth to have it dna tested and found out that she had a different father) but...it was a weird dream, anyway i told me friend about it the next day and the wackiness was, was that her daughter lost her tooth earlier that day.

    i just thought it was way nifty.
    no that this has that much to do with that...whoops

    Not at all bad. I have a friend who consistently has dreams with events she has no knowledge of prior, and somehow, only sometimes, they come true. Of course, not in vivid detail, but very very similar. It freaks her out.
    Posted 06-10-2010 at 06:51 PM by glowstickfirefly glowstickfirefly is offline
  4. Old Comment
    glowstickfirefly's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Weaselheadx View Comment
    My 2 cents. I lucid dream all the time regardless of where I am. I can sleep most anywhere and it doesn't make any marked difference in my sleep patterns. I sleep walk at times, and am shocked to find myself somewhere other than where I went to sleep(I once awoke on my parents' porch when I had stayed at a friends, I apparently walked 3 miles in my sleep, and before anyone asks, no I wasn't drinking). As for advertising, Hitler poised propaganda as a sort of show. The comparison he used is that you sell an art show as an event to get people in to see the actual art. That's how advertising works. That's why commercials rarely have anything to do with the product, the idea is to get you interested in the commercial and then bam product flash. It is brainwashing.
    Your case is very interesting. Ive never known of too many sleepwalkers and I didn't think about them when I wrote this. Embarrassingly, I should have. Ive had a couple instances of sleep walking myself. One time, I opened all the doors and windows in the house. Another time I came out of my room and my family asked what I was doing and I told them I was throwing my brother out of my room, but I was really throwing my pillow out in the snow. Ive had an easy time lucid dreaming too. I wonder if lucid dreaming and sleepwalking have something in common. hmmmmmm

    Yeah marketing is evil. I have a degree in business and when we studied advertising and marketing, I decided Im never going to work in that area. I do grpahic design and have a business degree, so i could, but i wont. It is evil. They abuse psychology to make a buck.
    Posted 06-10-2010 at 07:24 PM by glowstickfirefly glowstickfirefly is offline
  5. Old Comment
    WugglyUmp's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by glowstickfirefly View Comment
    Not at all bad. I have a friend who consistently has dreams with events she has no knowledge of prior, and somehow, only sometimes, they come true. Of course, not in vivid detail, but very very similar. It freaks her out.
    hooray for fun stuff of that nature.
    Posted 06-13-2010 at 09:02 PM by WugglyUmp WugglyUmp is offline
  6. Old Comment
    glowstickfirefly's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WugglyUmp View Comment
    hooray for fun stuff of that nature.

    Hooray, indeed.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 08:20 AM by glowstickfirefly glowstickfirefly is offline
 
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