We all dream and at some time we all have dreams
which we want to understand. It may be simply
curiosity or we may have a troublling dream,
perhaps a recurring dream which we want to understand
and work through. While every dream is unique
to the person who dreams it, the world of dream interpretation
is a rich, fascinating and exciting one. I have
included here some of the most commonly asked questions
about dreams and their analysis.
What is the significance of dreams?
Yes, dreams do have significance in the real world.
Dreams are told in a symbolic language, and the
images in dreams tend to contain hidden meanings and
hidden messages. When analyzing and interpreting
dreams, it is important to understand that the stories
told in dreams are symbolic and not meant to be taken
literally. The significance of dreams for each
dreamer is a personal matter related to each personís
experience and emotions.
Why do recurring dreams happen?
Recurring dreams are very common. Most often,
recurring dreams indicate that the dreamer has some
issue that is not being confronted in his or her waking
life. Examining these recurring dreams, and understanding
what triggers them, can often allow the dreamer to resolve
the underlying issue and banish the recurring dream.
Once we have solved a problem our unconsious has no
need to come back to it again and again
Do most people dream in color?
Most people do dream in color, but many may not notice
the colors in the dream world. Since color is
such a natural part of our normal day to day experience,
color may be overlooked in the dream world. In
addition, because dreams fade so quickly, the sense
of color may be the first thing to leave the conscious
mind. Often dreams which we describe as 'vivid'
have very strong colors but this doesn't mean others
are in black and white, it simply means the color is
of less significance in them and we remember the parts
of the dream that we experience as most important.
Do animals dream as well?
Anyone who has watched a pet sleep will be able to
attest that they look as if they are dreaming and indeed
all mammals studied have exhibited the same brain activity
that humans exhibit during dream sleep. Many scientists
see this as proof that animals do in fact dream, although
what they dream about is likely to remain a mystery.
How are dreams affected by our daily lives?
Any feelings or thoughts repressed during the day
are likely to make an appearance in your dreams during
the night. For example, if you wanted to show
your anger to someone but were unable to do so, you
may express anger to that person or a similar figure
in a dream. In addition, those who have experienced
traumatic events are often troubled by nightmares in
which they relive that trauma. It is possible to solve
problems in your dreams which is indeed one of their
main functions - if we would only listen to them!! I
have also found that often my dreams will use situations
from the previous day to try to tell me their message.
Our dreams are significantly affected by our daily life
in many areas and this is how by understanding them
we can often make changes which will help us to make
changes to our life so that it becomes more suitable
to who we really are.
Do men and women dream differently?
Men and women both experience the same brain wave
activity during dream sleep. The content of the
dreams of men and women do differ, however. Studies
of dream content have shown that men tend to dream more
about other men than about women, while women tend to
dream about men and women equally. That being said both
men and women have dreams wehich are trying to tell
us things we need to look at and which work on quietly
solving our problems.
Why do I remember only bad dreams and never good
This is certainly not true of everyone and tends
to be more true for people who have a difficulty in
remembering dreams. One reason is that the most vivid
dreams tend to be those that are remembered, and nightmares
are generally more vivid than good dreams. In
addition, sleepers are often awakened by a particularly
vivid nightmare, and waking during dream sleep means
that the dream will most likely be remembered in its
minutest details. Rest assured our sleep is packed with
a variety of dreams some of which are most enjoyable.
What does it mean to dream about dreaming?
Experiencing a dream within a dream may be a way
to deal with items from the subconscious mind. A
dream within a dream may prevent the dreamer from waking
up prematurely, and they often are reflections of a
critical issue that the dreamer needs to confront and
gain control of.
Will I really die if I hit the ground during a
The many people who have described hitting the ground
during a dream about falling are proof positive that
hitting the ground in a dream is not a terminal experience.
It is true, however, that dreams of falling often
wake the dreamer, and that is probably where that old
legend got its start.
Can I influence my dreams?
Absolutely and this is where the fun begins! As a
child I used to ask for a particular dream before I
went to sleep and surprisingly often my dream was centered
around the theme I asked. Likewise if we have
a problem we can ask for an answer in the dream and
often will receive one. Our dreams are part of
us. They are our unconscious talking to us. Yes
we can most definitely interact with them. We can even
get involved in lucid dreaming where we are completely
aware we are dreaming and choose to work with the characters
in our dreams. This obviously is a more advanced way
of working with our dreams and only possible once we
have mastered remembering them and begun to understand
Here are some other interesting facts about dreaming
that you may not be aware of -
One third of most peopleís lives is spent asleep,
and a good portion of that time is spent in dream
In the average lifetime, a person will have
spent approximately six years in dream sleep, equivalent
to more than 2,100 days of dreaming.
Dreams have existed as long as human beings.
There are records of dreams going back over
Dream interpretation has existed almost as long
as dreaming, and Roman senators in the ancient world
often engaged the services of dream interpreters
before making important political and social decisions.
Every human being dreams. Even if you
do not remember your dreams, you dream between four
and seven times a night, every night.
If people are prevented from dreaming, they
suffer a variety of personality disorders and psychological
problems. The exact function of dream sleep
is still not known, but it is known that dreaming
is an indispensable part of life.
The average person spends two hours per night
sleeping, and has from four to seven dreams during
Even blind people dream. The dreams of
blind people who were previously sighted sometimes
contain visual images, while the dreams of those
who have been blind from birth do not. Vision
is not the only component of a dream, however. Dreams
also contain sounds, sights, smells and touch sensations.
Dreams are forgotten very quickly upon waking.
It is estimated that 50% of the content of
a dream is lost within five minutes of waking, and
after 10 minutes as much as 90% of the dream can
The word dream is derived from a word in Middle
English. This word, dreme, translates to "music"
and "joy".. It is therefore apparent that dreams
have long been looked at as a source of wonder and
Studies of brain wave activity have revealed
greater activity during dreaming than during waking
People who are awakened during dream sleep are
able to recall their dreams vividly, while those
who wait until morning to wake often are not.
Everyone, men and women, seem to experience
sexual arousal during their dreams, regardless of
whether or not the content of the dream is overtly
Smokers who are trying to quit often report
greater intensity in their dreams.
Studies have shown that toddlers do not dream
about themselves. In general, toddlers do
not appear in their own dreams until they reach
the age of three or four.
It is impossible to snore and dream at the same
Children commonly experience nightmares, and
these nightmares usually begin by the age of three
and last until the child is seven or eight years
More than 60% of people surveyed have reported
experiencing Déjà vu in their dreams.
Déjà vu dreams occur more frequently
in women than in men.