Why Do We Dream About Certain People?

People have been fascinated by their dreams for thousands of years and have consulted experts to decipher their meaning. Most dreams are so far-fetched that you instantly know that it was merely a fantasy; however, others can leave you dazed and frightened by their reality. When you dream about a family member, your boss or someone famous, it's only natural to wonder-why do we dream about certain people?

What is a dream?

A dream is inspired by the sensory cortex, a phase during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dreaming is a creative way in which people subconsciously deal with emotions, thoughts and experiences. The stages of REM sleep can last anywhere from five minutes to more than an hour.

Why do we dream about certain people?

When you dream about a particular person, that person is most probably on your mind.

  • Couples in love long to be together and think about each other when they're apart. The normal extension of these feelings is relived in dreams, hence the one person dreaming about the other.
  • An employee who had a confrontation with his manager is likely to dream about the event. Maybe he was judged unfairly or maybe he didn't get to have his say. In a dream the scenario is likely to play out quite differently.
  • If a person is about to have a face-to-face meeting with someone whom he either looks forward to or dreads, that meeting can manifest itself in a dream. Whether it's an interview, a dental appointment or family member you haven't seen in a while, the person is on your mind.
  • Dreams are a way of wishful thinking, which is why you may dream of meeting a celebrity or partaking in a prestigious event.
  • Children will often dream about their teacher or characters they saw on television. If what they saw is particularly frightening, the dream turns into a nightmare.

Recurring dreams

The same can be said of a recurring dream. When you suffer a loss or a situation doesn't work out to your advantage, your mind can't accept what happened. Whether consciously or subconsciously, your brain is looking for closure, an improved outcome or revenge.

Can a dream be induced?

Although you cannot control what you dream about, there are ways to encourage a dream.

  • Thinking about someone or writing about a person in a journal may translate into dreaming about that person. It may not happen that same night, but it can happen within a matter of days.
  • Some claim that eating a big supper, pizza, chocolate or pineapple late at night encourages dreams, but this theory has not been proven.
  • Experts agree that alcohol and drugs decrease the chances of recalling a dream.

Ways to remember dreams

Most people will clearly remember a nightmare because of its vivid images and frightening emotions. Remembering ordinary dreams is more difficult and may need a little help.

  • One way is to keep a dream diary. As soon as you wake up, write down what you remember of the dream.
  • If you cannot write anything down, lie still and concentrate on the dream, remembering people, scenes or emotions.

A bad dream or nightmare is usually easier to remember because of the emotional involvement and because you wake up in the middle of the action, making the dream events easier to recall.

When you wonder why you dream about certain people, the answer can be found in an emotion. Some people you love; some you admire; some you might hate. All of these emotions are enough to summon a dream.

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