Dreaming - Dream Health

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Tuesday 1 November 2022


Types of Dreams

What do you know about dreaming? It refers to stories & pictures made by our minds when we sleep. Hence, these can be fun, frightening, entertaining, irritating, romantic, and so on. Let's know about dreams or dreaming.

What is Dreaming?

Dreams are universal human experiences that you can explain as a conscious state. Hence sensory, cognitive, and emotional things can be related to this during sleep. Dreaming is still a mystery of human cognition.

Fast facts on Dreams:

  • People generally don't remember dreaming. But each person can dream between 3 and 6 times per night. 
  • Every dream can last between 5 to 20 minutes. 
  • When we get out of bed, we forget around 95 % of our dreams. 
  • It can assist you in learning and developing long-term memories. 
  • Blind people can dream more with other sensory components than sighted people.

How long is the longest dream?

The longest time that a dream can take is generally 35-40 minutes in the morning before waking up. But, the time can extend for longer, especially during lucid dreams where physiological variables are exact ones for prolonged dreaming. So, the longest dream can be about two hours long. These last mostly for about 45 minutes.


Why do we dream? Different theories exist about why we dream. Do these belong to the sleep cycle, or do they serve other purposes?

These are a few explanations which are as follows:

  •  It can represent unconscious desires and wishes. 
  • In addition, it can interpret random signals from the body & brain when you sleep. 
  • It can consolidate and process information. 
  • Besides, it can work as a psychotherapy form.

Lucid Dreams:

What is lucid dreaming? It indicates the state when you are conscious that you are dreaming. You can have little control over the dream. But it can vary. These can occur in the middle of an ordinary dream and make you realize that you are dreaming. While a few people can experience it at random, some people say that lucid dreaming can boost their capacity to control their dreams.


These can make you feel frightened, anxious, or sad. Therefore, you could wake up due to feeling terrified or crying. But remember that these are valuable.

Why don't we always dream?

People cannot always dream whenever they sleep. Our conscious mind must be inactive for dreaming. While sleeping, our conscious mind is not necessarily asleep.

Usually, five stages of sleeping exist from light sleep to profound sleep and culminating in REM sleep. Hence, Rapid eye movements help to characterize REM sleep. It is in the sleep cycle where most dreaming happens.

While snoring, the conscious mind remains wide awake and busy. As a result, people snore. As a result, our mind, which is in an unconscious state, can't get a chance to take over and give us dreams. In simple terms, it is impossible to dream while snoring. According to research, People dream in non-REM stages. But scientists haven't explained non-REM dreams clearly yet so far.

The functions of dreaming:

People have suggested different theories on this, and the debate is ongoing. There is a major difference between the functions of sleep stages and the functions of dreaming. We have given here the REM sleep's well-documented functions, including:-

  • Thermoregulation and the cortical structures' progress in birds and mammals 
  • Neurotransmitter repletion, 
  • The reconstruction and maintenance of brain circuits, 
  • Brain's structural development in early developmental phases, the preparation of a repertoire of reflexive.

None of them are connected to dreaming. Protoconsciousness theory is one of the exceptions where REM sleep is crucial in foetal development. It can offer a virtual world model before emerging awareness.

Many studies have investigated how much sleep is important to memory consolidation, with various sleep stages promoting various memories. But only a few have investigated the relationship between dream content and memory consolidation in sleep. Remember that these involve episodic replay of waking memories.

Regarding Prominent theories, remember that it mainly focuses on the dreaming function of bad dreams and nightmares. People have thought that dreaming can result in emotional processing. Nightmare sufferers can experience this.

Dream Lag:

It is when the pictures, experiences, or people emerging in dreams are images, experiences, or those whom you have seen recently. Sometimes, a few experiences can take seven days to encode into long-term memory.

There are a few images from the consolidation process which can appear in a dream.

Events that you experience when you are awake reflect in 1 to 2 percent of dream reports. However, 65% of dream reports reflect aspects of current waking life experiences.

Can dreams predict the future?

There are a few dreams which can predict future events. A few researchers say that they have evidence proving it is possible. But they don't have sufficient evidence. In most cases, it can be because of coincidence, a false memory, or the unconscious mind. You should know that dreams can assist you in learning more about feelings, beliefs, and values. We see different images, symbols, etc., when we dream. These have meanings and connections which are specific to every person.


Various philosophy fields like epistemology, ontology, philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and ethics are closely intertwined. Scientific proofs from sleep and dream research can let you know the philosophical discussion. It has been done previously.

Regarding dreaming discussion, it has functioned as a lens on wider questions about knowledge, morality, awareness, and self. Philosophy of both sleep & dreaming is central to vital philosophical questions. In addition, it is crucial for interdisciplinary consciousness research.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is the true meaning of dreaming?

It is a part of the cognition process. Besides, you can consider it a type of thinking that can happen as you sleep.

Q. What does psychology say about dreaming?

Psychology says that dreaming can reflect the Unconscious. It represents unconscious desires, thoughts, wish fulfilment, and motivations.

Q. Do dreams tell you something?

It tells you what you feel and what you know about something.

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