If You Dream of Pain

Evan Rachel Wood's back tattoo at the 2009 Tri...

Evan Rachel Wood's back tattoo at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Woody Allen's Whatever ...

I had one of those “aha”, or rather a “hmmmmm” moment this morning while driving to work. I have been somewhat under the weather, and it started with a bit of a sore throat, but mostly achiness, like when you have a low-grade fever. I woke up this morning with my throat irritated but not hurting. Yet, I remember quite vividly experiencing *excruciating* pain trying to swallow last night. I have had strep throat too many times to remember, so I know full well what that feels like, and this was worse.

BUT, considering I woke up with my throat feeling much like when I went to bed, I am assuming I was dreaming, which made me wonder.

* If you experience pain in your dreams, did you really feel pain? Did your mind register that as pain, and did your body have a stress response as if it were “real”? If I can experience pain in my dreams and remember, could I be experiencing pain in my dreams when I don’t remember? In other words, if the pain is felt as if it were truly manifested in the waking state, and that solicits a stress response, could it be possible that people dream of painful situations and end up stressing their bodies nightly without having any real “nightmares”?

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