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John R. Eggers: Had any good dreams lately? They are worth exploring

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I had a dream last night. I dreamt Campbell Soup had a new soup on the market: Cream of Lutefisk.

As a German I should take offense to being influenced by Norwegians and Swedes. I should be dreaming about a Cream of Sauerkraut Soup.

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On second thought, both of those dreams are nightmares. Have you had any nightmares lately other than dreaming about lutefisk soup? Did you know childhood dreams are shorter than adult dreams, and nearly 40 percent are nightmares? Scientists believe this may be a coping strategy.

We know much about dreams but still they remain a mystery—a mystery we can look forward to every night.

One of the reasons I enjoy going to sleep is because I do look forward to dreaming. For me they are one of life’s unique pleasures.

Everyone dreams, but not everyone can remember his or her dreams. Why? Five minutes after we dream, half of it is lost. After ten minutes, 90 percent is lost.

One recurring dream/nightmare I have is that it is final exam time and I haven’t even opened the book. I barely know where the class meets. I think most college students have that dream.

Abraham was one of the most prolific dreamers in the Bible.

The first dream in the Bible occurs in Genesis:15 and it is a dream of Abraham’s.

This is the chapter where God came to Abram in a vision and promised he would have more descendants than the number of stars in the sky. That’s a lot of dreamers.

Dreams played an important part in the life of Muhammad who received his first revelation during a dream.

One of the most infamous dreams in history was President Lincoln’s in 1865.

The President envisioned his own demise just a few days before he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater.

What is unusual about Lincoln’s dream is he actually shared it with his friends. Do you ever share dreams with friends?

I remember teaching a class one time about the brain and I gave my students the assignment of writing down their dreams.

Here is what I dreamt this past Wednesday night. Yes, I woke myself up and wrote it down.

I was at a hockey game in my hometown, which does not have hockey. Believe it or not, the game was at my church and I was looking for a girl by the name of Betty, who lived in another city, but came just to attend the game with me. I didn’t see her in the crowd so I left. I was driving a gray or tan conversion van. I left the church and drove one block when I decided to return to look for her again. I was angry with myself for not getting her cell phone number, which did not exist when I was in high school. I returned to the church and again began looking in the crowd for her. I didn’t see her. I was very disappointed. End of dream. (Maybe I will analyze that dream for you in another column.)

There is a connection between the quality of your sleep and the more vivid the dreams.

We know we sleep in different stages and the soundest sleep occurs during the last stage, or REM period.

Dreams during this time tend to be more bizarre, detailed and often have a story line—kind of like my dream. Dreams in the first two stages of sleep are usually shorter and less complicated.

Working on some new ideas or projects? Here is how I often get new ideas. I purposely go to bed with a plan.

I will try to dream about a project or idea I am working on, or even a speech I have to give.

Often I will wake up with the problem solved, new ideas generated or with an entire speech rehearsed.

In my dreams I visualize what I need to do. Try it. Just remember to write it down as soon as possible.

The power of visualization, which is kind of like dreaming cannot be over stated.

I heard a story one time about a U.S. soldier who spent considerable time in a North Vietnam prison camp.

He had nothing to do so he visualized himself playing a couple of rounds of golf every day.

When he was released and not having played golf for many years, he teed off and shot his best score ever.

What if everyone in Beltrami County visualized 70-degree temperatures, robins returning, snow melting and sun shining? If I were Mayor Rita, I would proclaim a day whereby all citizens had to visualize spring.  

Here’s a tip for teachers. Before calling on students for the answer, tell them to picture the answer in their mind.

They will be more likely to give the right answer and they will be more likely to remember the answer.

I never told my wife this, but I am happy when she wakes me when I am snoring. Why? A person cannot snore and dream at the same time.

So, wives, if you want your husbands to dream big dreams and come up with new ideas, don’t let them snore.

We usually dream between one and three hours per night. Again, we may not remember any of this.

During a lifetime we will have spent a quarter of a century asleep and six years of that will be dreaming. See, there is no excuse for all us not being millionaires.

Sweet dreams. Remember; visualize robins, sunshine and melting snow.

— John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.

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