in reply to Dreaming in Perl

Hi Dingus,

I also had a time where I dreamed code. I remember even some situations where it was good code that solved a problem I had a day before, so I woke up next day and basically wrote down what I dreamed the night before. But of course most times there just was the way I could remember not the code lines themself.

For some reason this stopped completly after a while, I didn't have any coding-dreams for quite a while now and I must say I'm quite happy with this.
Of couse it's kinda funny and can really help in some situations but is it good to "think" while sleeping?
I think it's not. Your body needs time to refresh, and your brain definitly also does. I found out that I'm much more refreshed and so can be more active and do better coding when I had a dreamless sleep.
But we also have to seperate between normal "dreams" and dreams where your brain still thinks about everything. I also dreamed of chess-games when I was playing chess lots and I often dreamed of stock-charts when I did lots of trading.
You always dream about such things when you can't leave them behind you once you left your desk...but I think you should try to really sleep and not only sleep with some parts of your body/mind...or you probably will get ill one day, getting serious problems to sleep etc.
We already had such a discussion in the chatterbox I can remember and came to the conclusion that lots of coders don't sleep much and not very well. The deep-sleep-phase is kinda missing in lots of peoples sleep-time and that's what everyone should try to change.
Good ways to do this I found out for myself are doing things like meditation (no not perl-meditation :) or going for walks in the nature for example. Find something to get your head clear (no drugs are bad!)...

I hope I didn't miss the topic to much :)


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Re: Re: Dreamig in Perl
by Jenda (Abbot) on Dec 02, 2002 at 11:16 UTC

    I doubt you ever had a dreamless night. You just don't remember the dreams. From what I've read about the subject the brain needs the dreams, to ease the strain, to filter and reprocess what happened, to forget, to remember ... You could have serious problems if you did NOT dream.

    I agree though that some walks and/or meditation (a nice lonely walk is a just meditation in motion :-) to clear ones head are good. Anything that'll help you fall asleep instead of rotating in the bed for hours rethinking your day/life is good. It's these halfdreams that drain ones strength. (Especially if you are a depressive fellow like me.)

    I'm having problems with this, especially during autumn+winter. I can't get up in the morning, I can't fall asleep in the night and all the time I feel like crawling into a cave and sleeping till the spring comes. I'll try if phototherapy helps.


      Well I think you're right, we usually do dream almost every night. I only had the feeling of those non-dream-nights when I did meditate lots over a weekend for example. This way all that stuff in my brain went by during meditation where the brain is a a very similar state like while sleeping but with your mind awake. It all passes by finally and you can come to the point where it all stops. This of course needs time of course but I had that experience and I guess in that state of mind you have dreamless nights.
      About walks I think it's an important point to NOT think about it all while walking, instead let it all pass by and just concentrate on the walk itself, then it can be like meditation yes.
      I also had similar problems to you for some time but it just got better and better...and I'm pretty sure it got better because I finally changed my way of live in lots of ways...
      You have to find the roots of that problem not fight the symptoms. In my case the problem simply was that I completly had lost the connection to nature and was living "online" more than I really lived. I also think food is an important point, and maybe the most important thing is to find back to calmness and not always hear/see something...find back to the root of all things.


        Sometimes you have to fight the symptoms to get the strength to even look at the roots. I know what the roots are and I know some of them are not solvable. I just have to learn to live with them. But I'm not going to speak about them here.


        Depression is an altogether too complex subject to generalize a solution like that. The western way of life does foster situational depression, which your tips are very helpful with, but it's far from the only cause. I do agree that the overwhelming majority of those who suffer would be better off with some help in changing their style of life than the nowadays so easily prescribed medication, but don't discard the fact that for some, finding a cure is not as simple.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Re: Dreamig in Perl
by steves (Curate) on Dec 03, 2002 at 00:44 UTC

    In college, I once dreamed I was in a program I was having problems with, stepping to each line and doing what it told me. I do not have any other vivid code dream memories since that one. Maybe the subsequent electroshock helped. 8-)

    A guy I worked with at my first job topped that. We had this godawful C program that was driven from a signal handler. Basically they were using signals and pipes as IPC; Process One would write a message and signal Evil Process Number Two to wake up and get its messages. Evil Process Number Two did eveything asynchronously from the signal handler. If you've ever lived the horrors of doing that in code that's not fully reentrant, you should be able to sympathize. This guy dreamed that he was being chased by the signals, which were striking at his feet like bolts of lightning. No lie. He left not long afterwards and went to law school.

    The interesting trivia associated with that Evil Signal Handling program is that a person whose name we all know wrote the original code. Many now look to him as a guru. I guess he had to learn somewhere. I will not incriminate him by giving his name.

    My big problem now is code daydreaming. It's a good way to pass the time when mowing the lawn, but when I zone out with the wife and kids present it's not so great. I just enjoy working problms over in my head like that, but it does tend to annoy those around me.