10 Common Questions About Dreams

An image of a girl with brown skin asleep, her hair fading into a galaxy as she dreams.

Are You Questioning Your Dreams?

What are dreams, why do you dream, and where do dreams come from? By day, you consciously process tons of information and experiences. They impact your decisions, life path, and ultimately your identity. By night, your subconscious mind springs into action, accessing that data on a deeper level and offering insight into the parts of yourself that are elusive to your waking mind. You could call it a link between your two states of mind that channels relevant messages through mysterious images — or you can call it dreaming.

Understanding dream symbolism can heighten your awareness of your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical states of being. If you’re struggling to figure out the meanings of your dreams, you can try adopting some meditative practices and rituals to better connect with your inner self, or you might consider looping in a dream analysis expert.

As you prepare to delve into the world of dreaming, check out the answers to 10 common questions about dreams.

1. Why Do We Dream?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. There are several theories that attempt to explain why people dream, but when dealing with such an ethereal subject, it’s unlikely that there will ever be 100 percent certainty. However, there are hypotheses out there, some with more empirical support than others.

Some researchers believe dreams are meant to help process intense emotions that the conscious mind refuses to confront. Others claim that dreams consolidate people’s emotional memories into data that is easier to understand. Another theory is that dreams offer hallucinatory fulfillment of libidinal desires. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of that spectrum is the idea that dreams simulate daytime threats so they can be more effectively avoided.

Still, others feel that dreams are meant to protect people’s feelings and help them cope with trauma. And, of course, there is a school of thought that insists there is absolutely no reason why people dream — they just do.

2. Does Everyone Dream?

Yes, everyone dreams. This includes mammals and birds who experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. When someone says they don’t dream, what they are really saying is that they don’t remember their dreams. Remembering a dream is more likely if you wake up in the middle of it or almost immediately afterward. That’s why light sleepers who wake up frequently during REM sleep generally have better dream recall than people who snooze more soundly.

Perhaps your dream recall is better on the weekends or while on vacation because you don’t use an alarm clock. That jolt can be enough to abruptly disconnect you from your fantasy land, immediately erasing your dream and dropping you directly into the real world.

3. Why Do Different People Dream the Same Things?

Whether you’re falling from a cliff, being chased, or flying, there are universal, timeless dreams, containing themes that occur across cultural or geographical boundaries. People often have similar dreams that relate to the anxieties all humans share. Have you ever had a dream where you’re taking a test you’re not ready for? Where you’re naked in public or your teeth fall out? These dreams can indicate your hidden fears — humiliation, loss of beauty, undesirability, or failure, to name a few.

4. What Are Recurring Dreams?

According to the experts, intense, frightening dreams are both common and normal — as long as you don’t have them every night. However, uncomfortable dreams that recur are typically linked to unaddressed anxiety. For example, let’s say you had a recurring dream about being gagged, and in real life, you are dealing with a change in your home life, such as a family member coming to live with you. This recurring dream could mean that you’re anxious about this change in your living situation but aren’t able to express that feeling. Addressing the root of your concern is usually the key to fixing this, whether that requires doing some internal reflection or speaking to a therapist or spiritual guide such as a dream analysis psychic.

5. What Is a Nightmare?

A true nightmare is usually brought on by a real-life event. It can be something as simple as a move, or it can be something more serious. One common cause of nightmares is trauma that someone has undergone, such as being the victim of a crime. However, nightmares, though disturbing, can be illuminating and instructive too. Use them to access any emotions that you need to deal with.

Children are more prone to nightmares than adults, as they have not yet developed the skills to deal with their emotions while awake. Their nightmares about animals and monsters can be a sign of all the big things in life that they don’t understand yet.

6. Why Are Some Dreams So Weird?

The answer is part biology and part personal experience. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for logic and reasoning, is inactive during sleep. While it’s off duty, the other parts of the brain allow all sorts of crazy imagery to run amok. As your subconscious mind grabs bits and pieces of your experiences to link old memories to new ones, it becomes an associative conglomeration rather than a logical, linear storyline.

However, when you discuss dream meanings with someone else — perhaps a friend or a dream analysis expert — you may find that what at first seems like a haphazard array of images can actually be a group of symbols that all connect to the same theme. Though, some dreams really are just crazy dreams with absolutely no significance.

7. Can Dreams Be Predictive?

Maybe. Although it’s not a good idea to assume that every dream is a glimpse into your future, there may be times when something you dream comes to fruition. One famous example of dreams predicting the future is the account of President Abraham Lincoln telling his wife that he dreamed of his own assassination — days before it actually happened. Was this just a coincidence?

8. How Long Do Dreams Last?

REM sleep, the sleep pattern associated with dreaming, can last up to 45 minutes at a time, though it’s impossible to tell whether you’re dreaming the entire time. Some dream experts suggest that a dreamer’s memory of the dream is proportional to its actual length. This supports the theory that dreams can indeed last longer than a mere flash of an instant, as earlier theorists supposed.

9. What Are Lucid Dreams?

Lucid dreams are dreams in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may have control over the environment, characters, and narrative of the dream. Some prefrontal neural networks exhibit higher activation levels during lucid dreams than during ordinary dreams.

10. How Can I Remember My Dreams?

Start a dream diary and keep it next to your bed. This will make it easier for you to record your dreams as soon as you wake up. Another great thing about keeping a dream journal is that you can have it to refer to during a reading with a dream analysis psychic, should you choose to seek one.

There’s more to your dreams than you think! That’s why a Dream Analysis Reading can get to the bottom of your dreams and discover what they have to say about your past, present, and future. Our Dream Analysis Psychics know that no two dreams are alike. Aren’t you curious about your dreams? Learn more about our psychics from real testimonials and read through our Dream Analysis Blog. Find a Dream Analysis Psychic or learn more about Dream Analysis Readings today.

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29 thoughts on “10 Common Questions About Dreams

  1. Rayneake Jeffery

    I keep dreaming about weddings I was in a wedding the next dream was my ex boyfriend asking someone else to get married at a football game.

  2. Trixi

    I used to have the same dream like every other week. I would be looking up some stairs. It wasn’t always the same stairs, but there was a powerful feeling like threat, but I never saw what it was. It was like unholy-scary! Then I thought if I have this dream again I’m gonna say-Go Away, what do you want. The next time I did that and I never had that dream or feeling again. ✝️

  3. Pam Boyd

    Whenever I was pregnant (5times..lol) I always dreamed of my teeth falling out. I could be in the middle of a conversation and all the sudden have to put my hand up close to my mouth to catch them. My daughter had the same dream during her pregnancies.

  4. Mary R

    Dreams are the brain’s wiring trying to connect random info/data, and trying to process emotions to that random info/data. Dreams are also a way the brain tries to resolve UNresolved emotion and events. OUr brain is very much like a computer..it has to defragment and organize date and process it or purg info/data that is now not needed. REM state allows for that happen and it refreshes the body. Weather peaceful dreams or not…it is needed for us to maintain a stable mental and physical state. We as human have to rationalize our dreams by giving them meaning and reasons as to why they were dreamt. If that help a person to deal with an emotional or to resolve an issue…then it’s a good thing.

  5. charles manning

    Dreams are a recapitulation of what happened after the last time you woke up. If you’re thinking a lot during that time about events that occurred long ago, the events related to those thoughts can also be recapitulated. However, because we have to be able to distinguish between dreams and events that occur while we’re awake, in dreams the events are disguised so that they make no sense after you wake up, if you even remember the dreams. Dream emotions are as real as emotions felt while awake, but due to the disguising in dreams, we don’t, normally, confuse dreams with reality. The purpose of dreams is to prioritize events we recall, making some remembered long term and allowing forgetting others that have little significance to our lives.

  6. Pebbles

    i some times have a dream where im at a place and i don’t like it. i hate it its so scary. and me and meh mom were there

  7. Larry

    I just dreamt about trying to figure out how many zeros are in a trillion and then a zillion. I wonder if that has to do with my frustration of not being able to figure out things mathematically beyond the basics. Also I have often dreamt about losing my dogs and am frantically looking for them. The best dreams are the ones where I am having a conversation with a loved one who has passed.

    1. Pebbles

      i have nightmares when im at the Strong. I go into a place that creeps me out. Then sombody yells at me. i hate it. its so dark and scary. there r ppl who hav kids and they r mean. its sooooo scary.

  8. Gary

    I often have night mares of the first time I experienced an attack on my US Army unit by the enemy in Vietnam, I was in a Tank recovery and rebuild, heavy equipment maintenance Battalion, I had only been in my unit 3 days when we were attacked. I spent the next 18 months in Vietnam, but that first experience is what has stuck in my mind. It’s like it was yesterday, but has been 50 years.

  9. Becky

    I’ve had dreams of a house with many hidden rooms I discover in my dreams. I’ve had dreams that someone has broken in during the night to harm me, I never see them but I can’t move or scream – I’m trapped. I’ve also dreamed of rats crawling over me. The last dream I had there was a blanket hanging and as the blanket blew in my direction coffee grounds were coming from it. In each of these dreams I’ve had I would google the main topic and get the reason behind such dreams.

  10. linda

    have had 5 dreams of an ex who i deepy love but had no contact around 42yrs. dont want to move on only want him. all day all nite he is in my heart

  11. snap211

    I have had dreams, that as I look back now, they were warnings about my future. In one particular dream I as riding alone in a taxi at night. It’s a small town similar to where I currently live. It was back in the 70 & it’s late at night. There’s very little traffic on the road. Back then there were no cell phones & I want to make a call so I need to ask the driver to pull into a nearby convenience store on the corner. As we’re coming to a stop light I start to lean forward to ask the driver to please turn into the store but then I’m shocked to find that there is NO driver. I had this dream around the end of 2014 or middle of 2015 & my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2016 & passed away that same year, two days after Thanksgiving. My husband always drove us everywhere. He insisted & I got used to it. I think this dream was only one of my things that I have had happen to me as warnings of what was to come. Many warnings that came to me have actually happened while I was awake.

    1. jana barlow

      Linda, you’re not alone. I had a premonition that my lost love had passed away-he had told me, 42 years ago that “if anything dire happened to him, I would know.” When I googled him, sure enough there was his obituary where he had passed away on the day that I felt the premonition. As I was grieving, he came to me in a lucid dream. He said in his own voice, ” I came back to get you, but you were already gone.” I told him, “but I was easy to find.” He told me that he had always loved me. I didn’t want to wake up. I found this to be a great comfort but am still struggling with the loss now and 42 years ago.

  12. Pebbles Stone

    Why, can I see clearly, and hear plainly, the voice of my boy friend , he sounds as he does when I am awake. I can never see nor hear my self in these dreams. There’s also a woman who he is blaming me for their ended friendship in these dreams, that we fight, and are considering parting ways.

  13. GrannyNow

    I have the most terrible dreams sometimes, like on a road and the car lights won’t work and I struggle to make my way down
    the road in the dark, gas pedal barely functional. It’s not good. I have this dream a lot. No need for me to write down my dreams. It’s usually a pleasure to forget them.

    1. George Grier

      Remember that we only use 10% of our brain powers… Maybe dreams are the remainder of cognitive powers waking up from dormancy… I once use to do meditation and breathing exercises.. which culminated into vivid Clairvoyant experiences that scared me so bad , i stopped doing that shit..! De ja vou is not to be fucked around with… Trust me..!!
      Imagine knowing beforehand some great catastrophe before it actually happened… I don’t want THAT kinda cognitive powers..!!

  14. mark

    Intuition (only) tells me my dreams are pathwAYS I will be familiar with when entering a pure spiritual world (physical death). It is instructional, sometimes warnings, sometimes maps to follow, choices we make to determine our destination in the afterlife. We will not be entering unknown territory…thats my thoughts. If you think they are bullshit, I don’t care. Bless you.

  15. Marlyne

    I dreamed my ex boyfriends mother called me, and he was at a trauma center. But when I saw him in my dream he was lying in a coffin. I remember my sobbing, and when I did wake up I had tears running down my face.


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