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November 13th, 2003

Acting on a Dream

We’ve talked about dreams and sleepwalking a number of times, but here’s a question for you: have you ever acted in real life based on something that happened in a dream?

Early this morning I had a dream that the wind was really fierce outside (which it was) and that I went downstairs to bring some things in off the porch. As I was outside gathering a couple things, I realized I must have set the alarm off, so I ran back inside to turn it off. Oddly, the alarm wasn’t going off… I couldn’t figure out why. I went back outside and was started by Huyen, who was sitting in the back seat of her car with an evil grin on her face. Apparently, I had set it off, and she came downstairs to shut it off, then decided to come outside and scare the bejeezus out of me.

When I woke up, it was about 4am. Sure enough, as the forecasters had predicted, the wind was whipping around outside. So, I went downstairs, turned off the alarm (see, I learned my lesson), and brought a couple things in from the porch.

A few times in the past, I’ve acted on a dream, usually when the dream brought something up that I had been meaning to do before I went to bed. Nevertheless, it’s kind of a strange mingling of worlds when your dream world so directly effects your real world.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday November 13, 2003 -- 10:36:20 am
I have called or emailed people who appear in my dreams, especially if I have not spoken to them in a long time.

Continuing to remove all testosterone from the Ping: earlier this year, in a dream, I decided to try a different method of applying eye liner and it worked in reality! I adopted the new method that very day.

Did I tell you all about my mom thinking that our friend's daughter had died? I saw in the paper that she had been in an accident and told my mom; that night, she dreamt that the girl had died in the accident and woke up in tears. She wrote the mother a long, heartfelt letter and put together a gift for her. I am serious. She called my voice mail asking if I was sure that what I had read was true, and I called her back immediately because she sounded so distraught. Thank God I caught her before she delivered the letter and gift!

FROM: Michael
DATE: Thursday November 13, 2003 -- 10:38:13 am
I had a slightly different scenario than Ryan’s. When I was a kid learning to surf, there was a particular maneuver that I couldn’t grasp. I had seen this move done by other older (and better) surfers in the water and I had also seen it captured in film and print, but none of these mediums helped me improve. I just couldn’t get it. That is, until I dreamt (actual past tense of “dream”) about it.

I had this vivid dream where I could actually feel the surfboard and the wave underneath me, and in this dream the maneuver was no problem. Now this wasn’t a flying dream or some other dream where the rules of physics and gravity did not apply. It all felt real to me. So the next time that I went surfing, I remembered the feeling of the board and the wave in my dream and I was able to successfully complete the move and go on with my merry surfing. It felt exactly the same to me in real life as it did in my dream.

Professionals with more letters after their names than mine call this type of dreaming “cognitive dreaming.” It usually involves people coming up with the answer to some difficult problem that they’ve been pondering or otherwise learning something through dreams.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Thursday November 13, 2003 -- 2:25:41 pm
Once I went to bed after attempting some calc 3 hw problem that was doing the 4th derivative of cot(x) or something weird like that. I couldn't do it right and went to bed frustrated about it. Until I went to sleep, and then every dream involved that derivative or me working on it. So when I woke up I got my papers together and just did it! That was cool.
I've also dreamt about code I was writing, sometimes it help with problems I'd had.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday November 13, 2003 -- 2:38:55 pm
Some great stories there.

jk -- I've also gotten in touch with people (or at least searched for them) after dreaming about them. There have been times I've dreamt of people I went to elementary school with and haven't thought of in 15 years, and I make it a point to Google their name afterwards.

Freaky story about your mom, too.

Michael/Monica -- Can't beat solving problems in your sleep. A former roommate once had a dream where he had come up with the perfect solution to a programming problem he had to figure out for class... unfortuantely, he didn't write it down. By the time he got up in the morning, he had forgotten it.

What is this then?

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