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Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 11 | Quilt Episode: First Dream Poll

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 11 features a quilt episode that includes an update about nightmares, a dream poll, and a comedy routine. The question for this week: What makes you dream?

Dream Poll

https://forms.gle/gZ2CHpRyAYUFRWT36

Episode Transcript

Are you ready to wake up? You are Now Entering Dreamland.

Hi everyone! You are Now Entering Dreamland, a podcast about dreams, sleep and everything in between. Welcome back to those of you who have been to Dreamland before, we’re happy to have you back and welcome to those of you joining us here in Dreamland for the first time.

It’s time for a new episode of Now Entering Dreamland, and this is going to be a special episode. As an homage to one of my favorite podcasts, My Favorite Murder, this is going to be a “quilt” episode. A quilt episode is an episode that combines a few pieces of many topics to create one episode. I hope you enjoy it!

First, I have been reading old paperback books that I haven’t read in years. Which may seem boring. But it has made me realize two points. One: I used to read a lot. Two: I should read more.

One of those books is The Giver by Lois Lowry. And rereading this book for the first time in years struck me because I think I created my entire theory about dreams and dream interpretations based on this book.

If you haven’t read this book, just know it is a classic and you can find spoilers all over the internet. It was the first book of what became a series. In my opinion, I like Lowry’s book Number The Stars more… but I digress.

To give you a short synopsis of the book, the main character, a tween boy named Jonas, lives in a very regimented society that makes everyone in the community report on their dreams every morning. Typically, these dreams mean something to the community members. For example, they can signify the beginning of puberty.

And it made me stuck on an idea: I tend to think dreams mean something. But what do they mean? And what if they mean nothing?

Do you ever fall asleep in front of the television and wake up while a new program or movie is running and you try to figure out what is happening. But it is impossible because it is just a random snippet of entertainment. What if that is all a dream is? Just a way for your brain to process the random things you see during the day, like a possum crossing the street or a bag blowing in the wind.

So, for the first time since I started this podcast, I am including a poll. I would love some feedback: do you think dreams have deep, personal meaning in your life, or are they just random images without symbolic meaning?

For the next part of this quilt episode: I talk often about my sleep issues. In a recent comedy show I performed, I personified the internal thoughts I have at night that make falling asleep difficult. I am including a snippet here. Thanks so much to the PIT’s SOLOCOM for letting me perform this past weekend.

On another note, I went to North Carolina this past weekend and slept like a baby. Normally, I sleep terribly when I am away from my bed. On one hand, I could chalk up this turn of events to just sheer exhaustion. On another, I truly think I slept so well because I felt good and safe and surrounded by people I love, which I think is a recipe for good sleep. All of this to say: no weird dreams to report from me.

But that is a great transition to the last part of this episode. This is, I am creating some different content for this podcast and website. I don’t want to let the “cat out of the bag” so to speak, but I can say this: this will be a multi-part story involving shared dream experiences. The first part of the story will be released soon on this channel.

And with that, the quilt is completed.

Thanks for tuning into the latest Now Entering Dreamland episode. You can find an archive of all past episodes and subscribe to get the latest content directly to your email on nowenteringdreamland.com.

You’re now leaving Dreamland. But we’ll see you next time.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 10 | What Keeps You Up At Night?

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 10 features an interview about dreams, anxiety dreams, and cults.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 9 | The Art of Napping and Napping Correctly

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 9 features a discussion about naps.*

Episode Transcript

Are you ready to wake up? You are Now Entering Dreamland.

Hi everyone! Welcome to Now Entering Dreamland. A podcast about dreams, sleep and everything in between. Welcome back to those of you who have been to Dreamland before, we’re happy to have you back and welcome to those of you joining us here in Dreamland for the first time.

It’s time for a new episode of this podcast! Today I am releasing an episode all about a topic that means a lot to me, but I never even thought about discussing it on this podcast until recently. That subject is naps. The art of napping, and napping correctly.

If you’re like me, you are someone who naps a lot. You may nap several times a week. You used to nap more frequently, but you still nap more than what might be considered “appropriate” for an adult.

But here’s the thing: I LIKE NAPS. And I’m not afraid to say it. Well, to be honest, I just really like my bed. I’m staring at my bed now- as I record this podcast- thinking about it. I just changed the sheets. It looks so comfortable…

Sorry, everyone, I was just thinking about how nice it would be to take a nap right now.

Regardless of my love for my bed, and naps, and being otherwise unproductive- I feel a great sense of shame about this part of my personality. A lot of my friends work out in their free time. They go on runs. Or work on their art. Or do the laundry. And I nap. It sounds lame.

But is it lame? I wanted to find out.

So, as I do with a lot of topics on this podcast, I decided to do some research.

And WOW is there a lot of research. I found more scientific research about naps than any other topic on this podcast. If I had known that at the outset of this project I would have made this podcast about naps. But I digress.

Are naps bad for adults? No. Naps are good for adults. But the key is moderation.

A Johns Hopkins article I read indicated that adults should keep naps around 20 to 40 minutes. Anything longer than that can cause grogginess after the nap. And wow, I can attest to this. I used to take two-hour naps in college after class and I would wake up feeling even more tired and confused.

The Johns Hopkins article also indicated that the best time to nap is between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. because that would fit best with natural sleep cycles. Unfortunately, that time is not feasible for me, but if it is feasible for you- take a nap! No longer feel ashamed you are not working out during the day.

Naps can allow you to feel more energized during the day. “Power Naps” are aptly named because, if you nap for the correct duration for you, you should wake up refreshed. Naps also should help increase recall.

Something the article stresses is that adults need to find balance with naps. If napping during the day prevents you from falling asleep and/ or staying asleep at night, that can lead you to nap longer the next day and it creates a cycle of poor sleep.

Another thing I learned (from a different article) is that if you dream during naps, especially short naps, it can be a sign that you are very sleep-deprived. I dream during my naps all the time and I consider myself perpetually sleep-deprived.

TL;DR: Power Naps exist and can be good for you in moderation.

And that’s it for this episode of Now Entering Dreamland. You can find all of our past episodes on our website nowenteringdreamland.com. A new dream interview is being published on Sunday evening, so stay tuned for that. You can subscribe to this podcast to get the episode directly into your inbox.

You’re now leaving Dreamland. But we’ll see you next time.

*Information gathered from this episode came from this Johns Hopkins article, “Can a Nap Boost Brain Health,”: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/can-a-nap-boost-brain-health

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 8 | I Have A Need. A Need For Caffeine.

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 8 features a discussion about insomnia and the impact of caffeine on sleep.

*This episode contains resources from Healthline (healthline.com) and sleepeducation.org.

Episode Transcript

Are you ready to wake up? You are Now Entering Dreamland.

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Now Entering Dreamland, a podcast about dreams, sleep and everything in between. Welcome back to those of you who have been to Dreamland before, we’re happy to have you back and welcome to those of you joining us in Dreamland for the first time.

It’s time for a new episode of Dreamland, and I am departing from my usual content to discuss something I have thought about for a while: how does caffeine impact sleep?

For those of you who have listened to this podcast for a while, you probably have heard me mention my long list of sleep issues. One of those issues is my periodic insomnia, an inability to fall and stay asleep.

So, some background. I have struggled with periodic bouts of insomnia since childhood (or teenage-hood… if that is even a thing). There were times when I was stressed about taking a test or an essay and I just wouldn’t sleep. I just laid in bed, anxious.

I pulled all-nighters in college. But I think a lot of people do that.

And ever since then, there are sometimes nights that I don’t sleep.

But last year, after COVID quarantining began, my sleep just got really out of whack. I began staying up days at a time. After a night of not sleeping, I would chug an energy drink, I don’t like coffee, in the early morning. Then I would drink another caffeinated beverage in the afternoon around lunch. If I had a virtual class or a Zoom in the early evening, I would need another caffeinated drink around 5 pm to keep me going. And after a day full of caffeine, it was hard to go to sleep. And the cycle would repeat.

And all of this really got me thinking: what is caffeine and how does it impact sleep?

Well, I finally did some research. And before I go further, please note: I am not a doctor, sleep expert or any kind of medical professional. This is based on research I have found online. If you have questions about sleep and/ or insomnia, consult with a medical professional.

From Sleep Education at sleepeducation.org: “Caffeine is a natural substance that can be extracted from plants. Natural sources of caffeine include coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans. It also can be produced synthetically.”

From Healthline: caffeine is a “central nervous system stimulant that affects your body in numerous ways.” “When it reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness. You’ll feel more awake and less tired, so it’s a common ingredient in medications to treat or manage drowsinessheadaches, and migraines.”

Let’s analyze your morning cup of coffee.

For years, people made fun of me for drinking energy drinks in the morning. People would say that I was drinking too much caffeine. Well, I did research, and coffee actually can have more caffeine than an energy drink. I mean, I know people drinking espressos in the morning and no one tells them “boo”. Granted, energy drinks have other ingredients in addition to caffeine. 

I have a need. A need for caffeine.

I am someone who drinks a caffeinated beverage daily. Sometimes twice a day. Is this good for me? Bad for me? This is what I have found.

According to Healthline: “Caffeine may improve mood, decrease the likelihood of depression, stimulate brain function, and protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”

And also: “Caffeine can have negative side effects in some people, including anxiety, restlessness, and trouble sleeping.”

Yeah, I have experienced the “trouble sleeping” part.

So, shouldn’t I just stop drinking caffeinated beverages?

I don’t think it’s that easy.

Did you watch Saved By The Bell? I did. I used to watch it every morning. And, as a fan, I remember a certain episode about caffeine. 

Even if you’re not a fan, you probably know this episode. It is *that* iconic.

In it, one of the main characters, Jessie, begins taking caffeine pills to keep up with everything. Her friend group is appalled at this, so she hides the pills and begins taking more and more of them. Eventually, she breaks down and begins to sing “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters. If this premise sounds a bit ridiculous to you, that’s because this episode is ridiculous.

But caffeine is a drug. And it is addictive. Caffeine withdrawals do happen and symptoms can include headaches and muscle aches. I even notice days when I don’t drink an energy drink, like on the weekends, I tend to experience a tension headache.

So, all in all, I think I’ll keep drinking my caffeinated drinks in the morning. But I’m trying a new thing: I’m trying to not drink caffeine past 3 pm. I hope I stick with it. 

And that’s it for the latest episode of Now Entering Dreamland. You can find all of the episodes on our website, nowenteringdreamland.com. 

You’re now leaving Dreamland. But we’ll see you next time.

Read the resources:

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 7 | Dream a Little Lucid Dream of Me

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 7 features a discussion about a dream symbol I keep seeing in my dreams- broken bones (gross and painful). I also discuss lucid dreams and how I am trying to lucid dream.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 6 | Did My Dream Cause Sleep Paralysis? (Episode 2/2)

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 6 features a reading of one of my more recent vivid dreams that I think caused me to have sleep paralysis. This is the second part episode that details a follow-up regarding my belief of how my dreams are causing me to sleepwalk and act out my dreams.

Episode Transcript

Are you ready to wake up? You are Now Entering Dreamland.

Hi everyone! Welcome to Now Entering Dreamland. A podcast about dreams, sleep, and everything in between. Welcome back to those of you who have been to Dreamland before, we’re happy to have you back, and welcome to those of you joining us here in Dreamland for the first time.

This is a special episode of Now Entering Dreamland. For those of you new to this podcast, I release episodes on Sunday and last Sunday I released the first two-part episode of this podcast.

At the end of the last episode, I asked a question. “Is my dream causing me to have more sleep issues like sleepwalking and sleep paralysis?”

I’m not a doctor or a medical professional or even an expert in any sleep disorders. But I can answer from my own experience. Two weeks ago I had a really scary dream. And I think it caused me to have sleep paralysis.

Interested?

Well, I am.

And I guess I was because the second I was able to after my sleep paralysis wore off, I took a pen and wrote down everything I remembered about my dream. I’m trying to find some dream symbolism or some reason WHY this happened to me.

This is what I remember:

The dream happened in three distinct parts. The dream started while I was staying in an old house. In the dream, I was “me” and not another person. It seemed almost like an Air BnB situation in which I was staying in only one room of this house.

I got to know the residents of the house, who were all around mid-20s to mid-40s in age. Pretty soon after I arrived, the residents of the house all gathered in the kitchen to make dinner. And the conversation turned to how their neighbors in this community were starting to disappear.

In the “real world” if I heard something like this in a place I was staying, seemingly alone, I would leave. Probably immediately.

In “dream world” Dream Stacey seemed very intrigued by this news and not worried at all. Even more, Dream Stacey seemed to think, without any investigative knowledge, or even an eye for regular details, that I could solve this mystery.

Great idea, Dream Stacey.

The residents of this house took me to two sights around this community. The first was a boatyard with a bunch of old ships. We began sneaking around the ships. It was a grey, overcast day. And suddenly, one of the residents of the house disappeared. Everyone was shaken by this, including Dream Stacey.

At this point, the residents of the house revealed a secret. All of them could see ghosts, but all of them could see only different ghosts. And worse, they all struggled with communicating with the ghosts, so this ability was pretty useless.

The group then took me to the second sight: an old abandoned amusement park. The group showed me a broken roller coaster track. They told me to concentrate because there were ghosts on the track. I concentrated and saw dozens of ghosts sitting in old coaster cars.

As I read this dream back, I am mildly spooked. Dream Stacey was nonplussed.

Dream Stacey started walking away from the group and went into a school.

This begins Part Two of the dream.

The dream gets a little surreal at this point for me. Because while the events of the dream make little logical sense, the dream begins to take place in areas and locations I know.

Dream Stacey entered the school and walked in the ground floor level. There was a science fair taking place at the school.

The school looked exactly like my middle school, which is bad enough. I hated middle school.

Anyway, I walked around the ground floor, which was set up for the science fair with posters and displays all around. Suddenly, my Biology teacher appeared and asked me where my project for the fair was.

I suddenly felt very embarrassed. I didn’t have my project! I was so ashamed.

And then there was an abrupt change in the dream location. I was suddenly in a car on a major road near my childhood home. If this was a movie, the effect was like a “smash cut”.

Anyhow, I was in a car speeding down the road in the middle of the night towards a restaurant to get food. Several of my friends were in the car. We pulled up to a restaurant. Geographically, the restaurant we went to exists as a building, but it is a different restaurant in the “real world.”

As we get out to get food, one of my friends asked to go back home because she forgot something. We decide to leave the car and call an Uber.

We get into the Uber: myself and two of my friends including the one who requested to go back home. While we are in the car, the first friend begins to vomit profusely. The Uber driver is very angry. The last thing I remember is that a Monster Truck passes us on the highway. It causes a major backup on the road. I’m strapped into my seat with a seatbelt.

And then I wake up. And this is the weird part. Because I was strapped into a car in the dream. And when I woke up I had sleep paralysis and I couldn’t move. Just like being strapped against my seat.

I wasn’t scared. I was annoyed. I wanted to move.

It felt like hours, but what I think was only a few minutes, I managed to move my arm and then my sleep paralysis stopped.

So… did my dream cause my sleep paralysis? It seems too much of a coincidence to just happen. Did my dream of being strapped in a seatbelt cause my brain to think I was strapped in somewhere, unable to move? Did it just take a few minutes for my dream to fade and for me to get back to reality?

Can that happen?

And also, what’s up with my dream? It was so vivid. And so creepy. It felt like an episode of Are You Afraid of The Dark. Should I analyze it? Look for clues?

Maybe that’s what I’ll do on the next episode.

And I think that’s a good place to end for tonight.

That’s it for the latest episode of Now Entering Dreamland. You can stream all the episodes on our website, nowenteringdreamland.com. Subscribing to this podcast will deliver all episodes straight to your email, or you can check for yourself- we have new episodes released on Sundays.

You’re now leaving Dreamland. But we’ll see you next time.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 5 | Sleep Positions & Strange Dream Logic (Part 1/2)

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 5 features a discussion of sleep positions and how sleep positions influence dreams and sleep. It allows details a follow-up regarding how my dreams are causing me to sleepwalk and act out my dreams.

Part 1/2.

This episode contains research from Psychology Today. Read the original article here: Your Sleep Position Affects Much More Than You Think | Psychology Today

Episode Transcript:

Are you ready to wake up? You are Now Entering Dreamland.

Hi everyone! Welcome to Now Entering Dreamland, a podcast about dreams, sleep and everything in between. Welcome back to those of you who have been to dreamland before, we are happy to have you back, and welcome to all of you joining us here in Dreamland for the first time.

It’s time for a new episode. This is going to be a two-parter since we are covering A LOT of material.

At the start of Season Two of this podcast, I talked about how I believed that my dreams, more specifically, my nightmares, were causing me to sleepwalk. I have a really big update about these dreams and nightmares.

Because of this, I have been thinking a lot about what causes nightmares. I’ve talked about this in previous episodes, and scientists and doctors are not sure of the exact reason, or reasons, people dream. But I went one step further- what physically causes the type or types of dreams we have? Is this in any way dictated by the environment we sleep in or the type of sleeping position we favor?

I did some research, and the wonderful people at Psychology Today had a really interesting article on this subject. I will link this article here. There is one passage I like in particular:

And what about dreams? Research suggests a correlation between sleep position and dream type. If you sleep on your side and experience disturbing dreams, you might want to consider switching sides? Right-side sleepers may experience fewer nightmares than left-side sleepers. Back sleepers also may be more likely to have nightmares—and research indicates they may also have a harder time recalling their dreams. Stomach sleepers, according to studies, experience dreams that are more vivid, intense, and sexual. They’re also more likely to have dreams in which they’re immobilized or restrained. 

I try to sleep on my right side, I have mentioned I think it is lucky, but I often move in my sleep and wake up on my back. Could this be a reason I have nightmares? Yes… apparently.

This is a great segue to an update on my nightmares and my sleepwalking and the correlation between the two. As I often say on this podcast, I am not a doctor or medical professional, or scientist. This is just what I noticed about my sleep and dreams.

Right at the top: Am I still sleepwalking more than usual? Yes.

Do I think my dreams are causing this? Yes.

My dream has morphed from the one I reported in an earlier episode.

The dream now takes place in a theater. This is interesting to me because I used to spend a lot of time in theaters as a child and young adult. I enjoyed plays and musical theater and went to theater camp. When I was in middle school and high school I performed a lot of theater. That continued into college when I also began doing improv and standup. All of this to say that I have spent many hours in theaters throughout my life and I often think of theaters as a “happy” place, though I hate that phrase, and I place I feel very comfortable. 

But this is where the dream becomes weird. Because in my dreams, it seems like everyone in this theater is upset. The actors are upset and nervous. The techies are angry at the experts. The stagehands are mad at the director. The audience seems upset at everyone. Audience members are leaving the theater. I am unsure of my role in this production, but I am in the back of the theater, and I decide to leave. 

I leave and I am in a downtown area. This is not a downtown area I know from real life, but I do know this area from a “dream logic” standpoint. I know it because I have dreamed about it before.

I walk to a bar. Again, not a bar I know in real life. The bar kind of looks like a bar I used to go to with my friends in DC in the time before COVID. But inside, the bar looks very different from the one I know in DC.

The last time I had this dream, I went into the bar and I was upset because my “normal” bartender wasn’t there. It was another person. And this person told me that they couldn’t make a gin and tonic. That upset me. And that was the last part of the dream I remember.

I woke up in my living room, near my couch. No longer in bed. SO maybe when I physically walked to the bar in my dream, I walked to my living room in “real life”?

But one thing stays with me. And that is that my dreams are getting vivid. And maybe, that is why I am sleepwalking because of them. And if that is the case, can they cause other sleep states or sleep issues?

Well, that’s a loaded question. Because I have an answer. An answer particular to me. A dream caused me to have sleep paralysis. I was trapped in a dream. And I will tell you more about it in the next episode.

That’s it for this episode of Now Entering Dreamland. You can find all episodes and additional information on nowenteringdreamland.com. New episodes are released on Sundays, and you can get the latest episodes in your inbox by hitting that subscribe button.

You’re now leaving Dreamland. But we’ll see you next time.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2 SPECIAL | Dream Deep Dive

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

The Season 2 Special features a snippet of the interview with comedians Rosie Grant and James Jelin about stress dreams and nightmares.

#Podcast#Nightmare#DreamInterpretation

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 4 | Nightmare Fuel and Haunted Places

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 4 features an interview with comedians Rosie Grant and James Jelin about stress dreams and nightmares. We also discuss haunted objects (like Robert the Doll), urban exploring, and the 90s.

Now Entering Dreamland, Season 2; Episode 3 | What’s It Like To Get Good Sleep?

Now Entering Dreamland is a podcast that centers around dreams, sleep and everything in between. Sit back and relax- you’re now entering Dreamland.

Season 2; Episode 3 features an interview with comedian Katie Watkins about sleep paralysis, sleep walking and sleep apnea.