Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On daydreams

Some people have the magical ability of climbing into bed and falling sleep almost immediately. I'm not one of them, although I'm fortunate not to have difficulties with insomnia either. Generally, though, there will be a window of time between when I close my eyes and when I drift off. Reading helps to reduce that time, but it doesn't eliminate it.

Once, this window of time provided an opportunity to plan the next day, reflect on the day that had finished, and worry about upcoming events or deadlines. It only took me 20 years or so to realise that this may not be entirely conducive to a restful night.

These days, I daydream (evening dream?) instead. This seems slightly foolish to admit to in the day, but in that twilight zone of sleepiness, it is rather soothing.

What do I daydream about? Well, three top scenarios are below...

Walking / hiking / camping

Although I enjoy walking and activity, and generally being outdoors, I'm not really a camper. I've only been camping a handful of times, all of which were school-based trips, and the reality is that I like running water and bathrooms. I wear contact lenses. I don't like being dirty. I don't think I'm high maintenance (I can skip make up and my hair is almost always tied up), but tents are probably not my ideal environment.

In a daydream, though, the practicalities don't matter. I entertain myself with thoughts of where I would walk, where we would camp (Mr Bite is forced to come along in these daydreams), what I would carry in my pack, what I would cook over the camping stove, and what it would be like to wake up surrounded by trees.

Sometimes I daydream about the pre-camping stage, too: buying a tent or pack, choosing food at the supermarket (this keeps me particularly entertained :) ) and planning the trip / route.

Being stuck in a department store or shopping centre

As a child, I watched a movie (or TV show) about a child (or children) who got stuck in a department store over night. Despite the fuzziness of my memories now, the general concept stuck with me. In the show, it was approaching Christmas and the child / children entertained themselves with the Christmas display, played with the toys, and then slept on the display beds.

In reality, I would hate to be stuck in a shopping centre over night. But in my daydreams, it is a lot of fun. I overlook the fact that most stores would have security systems, or if in a shopping complex, have each shop individually shut up. Instead, in my sleepy state, I have access to the whole centre, including toys and outdoor equipment, books, coffee machines, and soft-serve frozen yoghurt. It's pretty magical.

I don't think I'd choose to be stuck in a Dubai shopping centre, but I do have photos of a Dubai shopping centre. Thus, that is what we get here.

Having a tight budget, and shopping for a particular set of items

I'm a big planner. I like value for money. I like getting the best possible deal, and I like the challenge of trying to get that deal.

I don't really know what prompted this daydream to start, but it now has a number of variations. For instance:
  • Having to buy a week's worth of food for $20 (this one is a challenge!).
  • Having to buy a full set of basic clothes / shoes for $100.
  • Having my luggage lost on a trip and having to buy all essentials at a single shop for $50.

Of course, I don't know the prices of every item I may want to daydream about, and so a certain amount of creative license is used. I can imagine specials if I need to. In my daydreams, packets of pasta never exceed $1, and I can buy a reasonable number of apples for $2. I can find cheap running shoes for $20 (when my real ones cost >$200...) and the 'single shop' helpfully stocks everything I want (which is never the case in real life...).

Am I the only one to entertain myself this way? (Please don't tell me I am!)

Do you have any daydreams, or soothing pre-sleep routines?


  1. I don't have these daydreams but my mind wanders all the time - though I can't think where just now - probably over recipes I might make! I love to read before bed though some nights I hardly manage it because it is so late and I am so tired

  2. I must admit being very attracted to the 20.00 food challenge. It's something I really want to try.

  3. hahah hmm I guess I don't have the time to day dream but my mind does wander to thoughts of different things!

  4. If I had structured daydreams like yours i would never go to sleep! Mostly I try to stop my brain working, so it ends up just wandering over random things. I sometimes wonder about just how often an episode of telly or a movie is where it wanders to - possibly it is because I always fall asleep infront of the tv.

  5. Oh lord, how I wish I didn't have issues with insomnia! I usually have at least one bad night a week, and my main problem now is not letting the anxiety enable that to turn into multiple bad nights in a row. I definitely don't have structured daydreams (nightdreams), I wonder if that would help?

  6. @Johanna GGG
    I'm finding that the older I get, the less reading time there is. I'm thinking I'll have to wait until retirement to enjoy it fully again, which is a tad depressing! Maybe holidays, in the meantime...

  7. @thehealthyapron
    I probably shouldn't have the time to day dream, in truth!

  8. @Lisa
    Hehe, I am surprised sometimes how effective it is at putting me to sleep. Although I'm with you - TV will do it too!

  9. @Hannah
    Maybe? It did for me, although it sounds like your insomnia is worse than the mild anxiety / sleeplessness that used to hit me at night. If you do try it, I hope it helps! xo

  10. Hmm, I remember that mall movie. Wouldn't have a clue what it was called though...
    If I can't switch my brain off before sleep I imagine a long hall with lots of doors. Each door represents a thought/worry. I look inside, then gently close the door, working my way along. Usually works!

  11. @cityhippyfarmgirl
    What a brilliant idea. Very clever :) I'll keep that in mind too.


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