Our expert says:
There is a good deal of good scientific research into dreams. But people who appoint themselves as "dream analysts" or insist they know the hidden meaning of dreams, are quacks, inventing or copying myths and legends.
Our brain needs to dream - when people are experimentally deprived of dreaming sleep, they grow more unwell. But under various circumstances, we dream more than usual, and as this is a very active form of sleep, we may also be more tired in the morning if we dream more than is needed.
Depression significantly affects sleep and dreaming, as do antidepressants and a number of other drugs. One should discuss one's own specific situation with the shrink, who can assess it i the light of broader knowledge about you.
The greatest proportion of dreams ( we can tell on an EEG when someone is dreaming ) are not remembered at all - it is the dreams ocurring just as one is waking up, or those which wake us, which we tend to recall.
Dreams often have emotional tone and content, which may reflect one's general emotional tone, though in a more visual and dramatic way.
Although we are familiar with nightmares, upseting dreams in which we wake feeling scared, there can be other emotioanl arousals from dreams - such as sadness, or anger. Occasionally, I have even woken from a dream roaring with laughter !
Your scratches are puzzling. They could, obviously, be self-inflincted, perhaps related to the dream content, except that you say they are also found on your back where you could not reach, asleep or awake.
You don't mention whether you sleep alone. IIf someone else sleeps in your room, they could report on whether you are active at night - variations on sleep-waling occur, in which piotentially you might get scratched. I at times wake with fresh scratches, but those arise because my cat insists on sleeping with me, and in her dreams or just when feeling luxuriantly droway and happy, she may scratch me wioth absolutely no hostile intent, but I bear the scars to show for it !
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