Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming and Mythology

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development;
How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps;
Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming, and Mythology;Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

Q & A: Questions and Answers about dreams, mythology and spirituality. As your trusted advisor on the subject of dreams, spirituality and mythology I have compiled a list of the questions people usually ask me about dreams, the meaning of dreams, mythology and spirituality.

Q & A #1: What does my dream mean?

There are several ways you can use to attach meaning to a dream. Non of them is 100 % accurate. Because it is all a question of interpretation. That is why people who try to help you attach a meaning to your dream always say that a dream is ‘layered”: it has multiple layers of possible meanings attached into all its symbolism.

I always consider dreams a kind of Rorschach test. You have vague images and you project your own meaning into them. The one problem people can encounter using this method, is that people usually get stuck into their own interpretation of the world. That is why I always encourage seeking an objective opinion when you have the feeling that a dream has a significant meaning.

Q & A
Calvin & Hobbes Cartoon


Q & A #2: What book do you recommend to help me figure out what my dream means?

I have a list of ten favourite books that I re-read on a regular basis. You might have noticed that I am a book-addict and I regularly review books. Each year I publish a list of books I have reviewed. Here is my book review list of 2016 an my book list of 2015. And here are the books of the first quarter of 2017 that you are going to find soon on Mindfunda.


Q & A
Cartoon: BizarreComics.com


Q & A #3 How can I Teach Myself to Lucid Dream?

There are a number of techniques to teach yourself to be aware that you are dreaming while you are in a dream. The famous “hand” technique” as mentioned by Carlos Casteneda. Your hands are always with you. So when you look at your hands while awake and asking yourself if you are dreaming is going to create a habit in which you will ask yourself that question while you are dreaming. In your dreams, your hands look odd: sometimes they fade away, sometimes you see extra fingers. This can be a trigger to induce a lucid dream.

Q & A

There are many techniques and supplements that help increase vividness of dreams and therefore will make lucid dreaming more probable. Galantamine, commonly used for patients suffering from Alzheimer, is one of them. There are some good books about lucid dreaming. Robert Waggoner is one of the best and most knowledgable teachers in lucid dreaming. I can also recommend the book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” of Stephen LaBerge, that I used myself.

Q & A #4: Are There Ways to Improve my Dream Memory?

People often tell me that their partner remembers dreams all the time, but it never happens to them. Here are some things you can do about it. Drink water during the evening. That way you will probably wake up and have to go to the bathroom in the night. Waking up encourages dream memory. Another tip is to wake up early.  Tell yourself that you are going to wake up at a certain time and ask yourself what was happening. Try to “walk back” in your mind and see if this triggers any memories about your dream.

eBook: 10 ways to improve dream memory - Mindfunda
eBook: 10 ways to improve dream memory – Mindfunda


Write down a story, any story that comes into your mind early upon awakening. your mind will get used to it and you will start to recall and write down your dreams very soon. Want more tips? Download my free ebook.

Q & A #5: How Much Sleep do I need?

This varies from person to person. There are people who function well with little sleep. For example: Margret Thatcher was famous for her short nights. But on average people need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When you suffer from sleeplessness it is usually caused by medicine, food or illness. You can read much more about sleep in this blog.

Q & A #6: Does the way I Sleep influence the Content of my Dreams?

Research done by Hong Shue Yan indicated that if you sleep on your stomach, you will get more sexual orientated dreams. Another research indicated that sleeping on your left side can lead to more nightmares. Sleeping on your right side induced more pleasant dreams.

Q & A

When you sleep and take care that you are not lying down, but sitting up, you try to stay conscious while dreaming. I have even heard of people who sleep in carton boxes to induce this kind of dreaming. It is called Tibetan Dream Yoga. Falling asleep this way should retain your consciousness during sleep and induce lucid dreaming.

Q & A #7: Why do I never have a Big, Meaningful Mythological Dream?

I am convinced that everyone has those big dreams. You might not have remembered them. You might not have recognised them. How do you spot a mythological theme in a dream? Answer the question: where am I in waking life on the path of the hero?


Determine the adventures that are calling you. Usually we don’t want to hear the call. In your dreams you are in the “special world”. If you read the archetypical dream I recently analysed, you know it is mythological. But there are mythological themes in ordinary dreams as well. You only have to know how to look for them.

Ask yourself some questions if you want to discover the mythological content of your dreams:

  • Is your dream about Love or about Power?
  • Is your dream about Heaven or Earth?
  • Is your dream about Life-Death-Resurrection?

If the answer to one of the questions is yes, you are sure there is a mythological theme that lies at the foundation of the dream.  If you want more knowledge about mythology and dreams my own online course treats six subjects: creation, animals, woman, men, trickster and the grail. Each lesson has a multitude of questions regarding your own dreams that will make you see your dreams in a new light.

Free: 10 Tips to Remember more Dreams

Related Content: Mindfunda Book Reviews

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Tryptophan, the royal road to sleep


Sleep is vital to our health. Recent research says we need at least seven hours of it. If dreams are the royal road to the unconscious as Freud once said, then tryptophan is our royal road to sleep. This Mindfunda will tell you more about this essential amino acid. I wrote before about sleep: how long can you stay awake and 15 other secrets about sleep and about how neurons get trained during sleep. Sleep is important. Let us explore tryptophan, the royal road to sleep

Tryptophan,the royal road to sleep #1

The first step in understanding tryptophan is understanding amino acids.  There are two kinds: essential and non-essential amino acid. The essential amino acids who find in our food, we have to eat them. Our food consists of three groups: fat, carbohydrates and protein. To understand the tryptophan pathway we focus on protein. Your body uses tryptophan to make proteins. Protein is build out of amino acid.

Non essential amino acids are quite important for your body, even though their name would imply that they where just fun to have around but non-essential. But your body can build them no matter what you eat. Things are different for essential amino acids. In total there are 20 amino acids. 13 of them are non-essential but 9 of them you have to digest in your daily meals. Our little friend tryptophan is one of them.

Why do I focus on tryptophan? Because tryptophan is the building block of melatonin. The stuff that makes you drowsy and guides you into sleep. So how does that happen?

First you need to eat food rich in tryptophan. Cashew nuts, bananas, spinach, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, mozzarella, tuna fish, eggs. You can create some delicious meals with tryptophan rich food. But I know what you are going to say now. Tryptophan is not melatonin. I need melatonin to fall asleep when it gets dark.

Tryptophan,the royal road to sleep #2

The second step to creating melatonin from tryptophan involves vitamin B3. A bit of tryptophan “leaks away” into the production of Niacin (vitamin B3). that is why it is sometimes a good idea when you have sleeping problems to take some 5 htp. That way there is no leakage of tryptophan into vitamin B3.
And that is why I always advice people to use a good vitamin B supplication whenever they are having problems sleeping.
Using this a substance called 5 hydroxy tryptophan is created. If you have trouble sleeping you might want to consider taking 5 htp as a supplement.

5 htp

It can also help you reduce food cravings and aggression.

To create serotonin from 5 htp your body needs zinc, magnesium and Vitamin C. vitamin C with rose hips is easier for your body to use so always make sure that when you want to use a vitamin C supplant you search for one with that ingredient.

Vitamin C with rose hips

Only when these substances are available in your body serotonin can be build. So mak sure, bu healthy eating or using supplements that your body can compose serotonin.

Tryptophan,the royal road to sleep #3

The last step is creating melatonin from serotonin. That is easy. You need two things. Movement and darkness. So when you eat the right foods, use supplements when you need them and you still can not fall asleep: start moving when it gets dark. Go for a walk in the dark.


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Three steps to a good night sleep

3 Steps from good food to a good night sleep (which are actually four steps)

Our brain has this magical natural recipe for a good night sleep, you just have to add the right ingredients! In our food there are some important proteins. One of them is called Tryptophan, and I am going to tell you about it today. Tryptophan is like the Hypnos under the proteins, it acts like the god of sleep. How do we get this sleep god to work?


Here are 3 simple steps to get a good night sleep:

Step #1: from good food to Tryptophan:

The first thing you got to do for a good night sleep is start eating good healthy food, the food that actually flew, walked or swam when it was alive, and vegetables that kissed the ground of mother earth. That is how you get Tryptophan. From good food. Especially rich in Tryptophan are seeds, tuna fish, eggs and bananas.

Step #2: from Tryptophan to Serotonin

Tryptophan is only the first building block of Melatonin, the hormone that gets us to sleep and dream (The Morpheus under the proteins). You need to have enough vitamin B, vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium and a good gut to build 5 http from Tryptophan. Why a good gut you ask? Well we are on our way to build Serotonin. Yes, the feel-good hormone Serotonin is constructed out of Tryptophan in your gut. So one of the things you need to do is restore your gut when you want have a good Serotonin level.

But even more important: recent research by Nils Paumann, Diego Walther, and colleagues show that serotonin plays a key role in controlling insulin secretion and that its absence leads to diabetes. So Tryptophan which the body turns into Serotonin regulates your blood sugar level and your cravings as well.

Step #3: from Serotonin to Melatonin

In the last step, under the influence of diminishing daylight and your night time rituals your serotonin level gets transformed into melatonin. So make sure you don’t get extra light at night by watching tv too late, or working on your iPad or iPod, create a ritual before you go into a good night sleep, go easy on the melatonin you can buy at your local drugstore cause it sets back your biological clock and that may not be the problem. In fact, most doctors would advice you to stop taking artificial melatonin.

Bonus-step (that makes #4): 

But let your final step please be to take up healthy food habits. So let’s first quit sugar! Sugar gives you a high. You feel happy when you eat a lot of sugar. Every time you are on a sugar high the receptor cells for insulin in your body get less sensitive to insulin.

Say what??? Well it is your body’s way to protect your brain. Your brain is your number one organ and too much insulin gives you low blood sugar levels. And if you have a low blood sugar level your brain does not have gas anymore, so the engine drops down. And your brain does not want that to happen!

One of the best ways to get a good night sleep started is with “The 21 Day Sugar Detox” program by best-selling author Dian Sanflippo.

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