It’s natural to dream of people you know, as they occupy an important part of your life. In fact, when you dream about your friends it can have many meanings. It all depends on the dream scenario in which your friends appear and the type of emotional bond you have with them.
Dreams have been interpreted since the dawn of humanity. The practice is even mentioned in the culture of Ancient Egypt, 4000 years ago. Fortunately, today, we know more about it. One of the first things we now know is the fact that dreaming is an activity of self-knowledge rather than mysticism.
How your brain works during sleep
A dream is a succession of sensory experiences resulting from brain activity during the deepest phase of sleep. In principle, the scenes that you experience don’t have a narrative as such, but are ordered and given meaning when you’re awake and you remember them.
Deep sleep oscillates between two phases, REM and NREM. There are certain relevant differences between them :
- REM phase or random eye movement. Paradoxically, brain activity during this stage is similar to that when you’re awake, except that your brain stem blocks muscle movement. This phase is characterized by fast brain waves.
- Non-REM or NREM. In this phase, you fall asleep more deeply, with low-frequency brain waves – less than 4 Hz. During this state, your brain reacts minimally to external sounds and you’re less likely to wake up.
In the REM phase, you experience the strangest, longest, and most memorable dreams. However, in either phase, dreaming is more likely when your brain waves are weak. When they’re stronger, you tend to feel as if you haven’t dreamed and that you were largely unconscious throughout the night.
Dreaming fulfills interesting and necessary functions
Dreams, like any other psychological process, have a role in the proper functioning of your mind. Here are some of their properties:
- They consolidate memories. It’s common to dream about what you’ve done during the day or during the week.
- They process your emotions. Repressed feelings might be released when you’re asleep. In fact, it gives you the chance to experience them in a ‘safe environment.
- They express your deep desires. Everything you intensely desire, but can’t achieve, is likely to appear in your dreams. It’s a form of catharsis.
- They act as a rehearsal for facing future problems. In your dreams, you plan and imagine things to come. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re premonitory dreams.
- They stimulate creativity. Since dream sensations are random and free from conscious limits, you may be inspired by what you dream of when you’re creating in reality.
- They reinterpret external stimuli. If you’ve ever heard your alarm clock while you’re dreaming, it means that your brain is allowing you to connect with the outside world so that you could wake up if there was danger.
What does it mean when you dream about your friends
Friends are a source of joy and concern in almost equal measure. Also, given your tendency to feel comfortable around people you’re compatible with, friends can become a personal projection in an abstract and projective mental context, such as dreams.
Personality and social relationships are often complex and full of nuances. Here are several interpretations of what it means to dream about friends. There are some positive and some negative connotations.
Dreaming of a friend dying
Seeing a friend die in your dream is usually a nightmare. The most basic meaning is an intuitive one. It’s the fear that something bad and irreversible will happen to them – or to someone equally important to you. This kind of dream can also be acting out the fear that your friendship will end.
Dreaming of friends from the past
The most obvious meaning is that you miss these people and dream of moments and experiences that you remember with them. On the other hand, the feelings you have towards them or certain emotional impressions could be represented abstractly in the context of the dream.
Many people reconnect with friends from the past as a result of dreams.
Unknown people who are your friends in dreams
We all create random faces in dreams, or even swap identities and faces. This phenomenon is difficult to interpret. However, dreaming of friends that you don’t know in real life usually means that you’re exploring parts of yourself that were hidden until now.
When interpreting your dreams, you should take into account the complexity of your friendships. This is a good exercise in self-observation and introspection, so take time to explore the feelings and ideas that these types of dreams awaken in you. Remember, this isn’t a scientific study, but it never hurts to sit back and reflect from time to time.
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