Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

I love my bed.
Every day I look forward to changing into my comfy pj's, climbing in between the sheets, pulling the heavy quilt folded at the end of the bed over me, and nestling my head into my favorite down filled pillow.
No, I'm not depressed. I like being awake just fine, but I'm so glad that God created sleep.

Do you ever think about how weird sleep is? It's like something out of a science fiction movie, that every sixteen hours or so, we climb into our pods, close our eyes, and let our consciousness unplug from its socket. We drift off into another way of being. We still our bodies and let our brains go wild.

Ever since I heard author, teacher, and Jungian analyst Jim Hollis speak of dreams as an "extra-conscious forms of cognition," I've tried harder to remember and examine my dreams, to see what God may be trying to say to me through them.
My daughter is great at this. Sarah keeps her cell phone next to her bed, and the moment she wakes, even in the middle of the night, she texts herself what happened in her dreams. Then she reads it the next morning and tries to make sense of it. I'm afraid this method wouldn't work for me. I have a hard enough time pushing those tiny buttons when I'm awake. By the time I managed to focus, any dreams would have dissolved! So I keep a pen and pad by my bed. Sometimes I remember to write things down. It has been an interesting exercise.

What do you think about your dreams? Does God still speak to people through them, as God did throughout the Bible? Has God spoken to you through your dreams? Or do you see your dreams as messages sent to you, not necessarily by God's presence within you, but by your own subconsciousness?

I find this fascinating.
Maybe that's why I so enjoyed The Edge of Dreaming. Have you seen it? It's a beautifully done documentary on NPR's POV. Here's the synopsis from the website:

Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie has built a career making science documentaries that reflect her rational temperament. When she dreamed one night that her horse was dying, only to wake the next morning and find the horse dead, she dismissed the incident as a coincidence. Then she dreamed she would die at age 48 — only one year away. When Hardie does get ill, just as the dream predicted, she visits neuroscience experts and eventually a shaman. The Edge of Dreaming is an evocative, intimate chronicle of that year and a fascinating investigation into the human subconscious.

If you have the opportunity, I hope you'll watch the film. It's really a piece of art, and it may raise all sorts of interesting questions.
I found it fascinating to watch her trying so hard to look at her experience rationally, from a scientific point of view, but finally delve into the spiritual to get her rational explanation.
As a biochemistry major and a science teacher myself, it's not hard for me to see the spiritual woven throughout the scientific--maybe that's why I so love this documentary. Plus, it's just a gorgeous film to watch.

But perhaps you've seen it already. If so, I'd love to talk with you about what her dream might mean. Tell me in your comments, or shoot me an email. I have my own theory and I'd love to hear yours!

So what do you think of dreams? And your bed and your pj's and your pillow?
I wish you deep sleep and sweet dreams!

Love, Becky

Photo by photoA.nil, creative commons


Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ said...

absolutely LoVe bedtime! especially the days i've changed the bedding and that fresh scent of sheets,scrunching up the pillow just right and snuggling under the quilt.. mmmm~ well done, Becky :)
as to dreams i have recently had a God prophetic warning dream, so yes, definitely a believer. these are the dreams so vivid you don't easily forget! and thankfully there are prophetic Christian interpreters to decipher and explain. much benefit submitting them & finding out the meaning as the understanding can be life benefiting in many ways.
great post my friend! be blessed today ~

Sockrma18 said...

Not only do we share the same name, we share the same love of sleep! I am the "Queen of shut eye" as my hubs laughingly calls me. I love that same feeling of cozy pj's, great blankets, and snugglin' in. Only I dislike my pillow very much....need a new one! :0)

I have had a recurring dream all my life....that I will die in a car accident when I am 42 (I'll be 39 tomorrow) so needless to say, I'll be not leaving my home AT ALL that entire year! So, I'm not sure if it will be a self-fulling prophesy if in fact I do go that way (I'm pretty willy nilly in cars anyway and probably cause more drama on the road than if I didn't have that fear) or if it is God showing me that I need to live in the now and stop thinking about tomorrow (I am NEVER in the moment....a planner to the nth degree). Who knows.

I am also a crazy, sleep walkin' dreamer. My hubs has gotten so used to me flying out of bed just sure someone is crawling through the window or digging a hole in our yard. :0) I'm quite afraid if there ever really is an emergency, he'll shrug me off! I'm not sure what they mean or how to interpret my dreams....I just know that my over-protective mommy thoughts during the day sometimes turn into impending doom dreams at night. It ain't pretty.

Anyway, kinda thought it was cool that we now have two things....make that common. Our name, our love of sleep and the fact that we both adore the Greatest Man to ever walk this earth. :0)

Happy sleepin'!

Susan said...

I love to dream. It's like going to the movies all night. I don't really analyze my dreams, I usually just enjoy them. I have been dreaming a lot about work and my old boss. (I quit work about 4 years ago)so sometimes I wonder what is causing that. I have a recurring dream that I am downtown somewhere and can never find where I supposed to be. I ride in elevators, go through alleys, and visit public restrooms, but I have never reached the actual destination. I am never scared, just busy and intent on the journey. Yep, I like to sleep. I have a new mattress and even went out and got feather pillows. They are awesome and I recommend them for anyone that likes a squishy but still firm pillow. Ahhh, dreamy.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

While I do dream, I honestly don't think there is any meaning in them. But I do love sleep--soft sheets, warm quilts, cuddled up, quiet and dark.

Amy Sullivan said...

So like you, I think sleep is "glorious". I am a big, big dreamer, and I believe God does speak to us in our dreams. I could go on and on about the things I've learned through my dreams...insight regarding jobs, friends, moving, even people I don't know.

The movie clip looks so interesting. I will have to hop on over to the NPR site to see if I can find out more about viewing this documentary.

Laura said...

I knew I liked ya a lot...every night when I snuggle into bed I just say, Thankee, God, for my bed." I love my bed. And I've said that very thing--I'm so glad He created sleep.

God has used dreams on two significant occasions to communicate important things to me. Very vivid dreams...the kind when you wake up you just KNOW what they mean. Thank HIm for that. Otherwise I would have been so confused.

This documentary sounds fascinating. Those Jungists. I just love those guys.

Kat said...

I think dreams are your mind's way of working out problems or questions that you won't allow yourself to think about during the day. Kind of a release. Or course some dreams are probably just a compilation of things that happened throughout the day. But I think many dreams mean something.

I am considered my family's dream interpreter. They all come to me to tell them what their dreams mean. It's fun!

I've always been fascinated with dreams and have read many books on dreaming. I'll have to check out that doc. :)

Faith Hope & Cherrytea said...

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind ~
Emily Bronte

Mompriest said...

after years and years of being a person who feel into a deep sleep the minute my head hit the pillow I now have a love/hate relationship with sleep. love to do it, hate it when I have chronic bouts of insomnia. It's part of aging I hear. It's also stress, of which I have way more than my fair share (If there is such a thing as fair share of stress).

I'll check out that film though, sounds like something right up my alley.

roundballrev said...

I wish I were as fond of the whole sleep thing as you are. That sure sounds inviting.

I, on the other hand, often approach sleep resentfully and aggravated that my mind and body need me to stop! Sick, huh?

Still, some of my best thinking happens when I'm asleep!! (So, what exactly does that say about the character and quality of my thought in general?) I have found that the proverbial "sleeping on it" is a productive and sometimes even revelatory act.

In addition, I think there is more to be said for dream work than I am usually willing to admit. While I don't journal them, I have learned over the years to pay attention to what is going on in my mind during that "extra-conscious form of cognition."

Frisking your dreams for the presence of God opens up a whole new world!

Great post!