It is official, we need to dream.
Infact, we really need our sleep, severe cases of insomnia can lead to death in some cases. Why are we discussing sleep today? Well, lets say Insomnia is on the rise, due to our evolving lifestyle. Part of this involves the increasing use of cell phones after midnight, tapping away on laptops at an ungodly hour and falling asleep in front of the television. The bedroom is supposed to be a place of rest. TV, Laptops, cell phones should ideally be kept out of the bedroom otherwise at what point do you propose to switch off? Over the years I have made sure my bedroom has nothing electrical in it except the fan, otherwise I would be wired all the time.
There is another factor to consider when discussing insomnia -Diet.
What you eat will not only add or subtract years from your life but it will also affect your sleep. If you indulge in carbohydrates you will have shorter periods of sleep, if you entertain a diet high in protein, you will sleep better with less interruptions. Common sense tells us that if your diet is BALANCED then you will be able to maintain a restful sleep. That means: fruits and vegetables; whole grains and protein such as chicken and turkey but not steak.
Most of our dreams occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which usually takes place early morning where it is longest. This is when our most vivid dreams occur. The dreams we remember that stay with us during our waking hours and in moments of contemplation.
So what happens when we dream of food?
When I dream of food, its usually spread out on a dining room table with people gathered round getting ready to pile their plates. In my dreams, I see individual forks plunged in the middle of contrasting colors with layered textures spread across the plate. There are times when I dream I am in a restaurant where everyone has ordered food and I cant. I cant read the menu. I look for my glasses and i cant find them either. Then it turns out, no one else can read my menu. I get frustrated because I cant order any food. In other dreams, I want to eat but my spoon is missing or there is no water in my glass... there is always some sort of conspiracy to stop me indulging with my friends in my dreams. I can never actually eat.
The times I can actually eat in my dreams are when someone offers me food. Strangers, relatives, friends and work colleagues offer me food. When this happens the food is usually good to go. Cutlery, water, spices are all appropriate and ready to be used.
But guess what the rule of food dreams are?
There are rules concerning food in your dreams incase you didn't know. I was schooled in this when I was about 11 years old, a freshman on the shores of the west African city port - Freetown.
Rule 1 states you must NEVER EVER accept food from anyone in your dreams and if you accept the food because you didn't know any better then you better abide by Rule 2.
Rule 2 states that you must NEVER EVER eat food offered to you by anyone in your dreams particularly if they are DEAD.
Nuh sah, you nor for eat am!
What is your concern....if your not of African descent?
Because the dream is an omen and will not occur if you don't eat it.
Because someone is trying to hurt you.
Because someone is trying to Kill you.
Did anyone hear the story about the person who was offered food in their dreams and they ate it only to wake up with the worst stomach ache and end up in hospital? The story has different endings, usually the person dies or vomits the food that they were served in their dreams. I don't know if any of it is true... I'm just saying.
The interesting bit is that since I have been aware of these rules I learnt throughout my adolescent years to control my self in my dreams. I learnt to refuse food and walk away. Isnt that cool? When you refuse the food, you suddenly realise you have managed to bring the rules of the real world into the world of dreams. I used to wake up from those dreams feeling very proud of myself.
So in a nutshell dreaming about food can get EXTREMELY complicated when you are West African. I am sure there are many superstitions concerning food in dreams around the world but not all of them come with warnings of poisoning and death.
'The impotent man does not eat spicy foods'. ~Congolese Proverb