Dreams and what they mean

What They Are and What They Mean – Cleveland Clinic

Imagine this. You’re enjoying a deep, restful snooze when suddenly you startle awake. However, it’s not from noise outside, but a vivid dream.

That’s not necessarily out of the ordinary. But you might wonder why your dreams are so realistic. And what does it mean when you dream about someone? What do falling dreams mean? What about recurring dreams?

Psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung developed theories to explain what dreams mean. “Freud thought dreams are repressed content, ideas or themes,” says behavioral sleep medicine expert Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM. “And Jungian theory came out of Freud’s ideas and has this idea of collective unconscious. It’s something that you’re carrying from your ancestors.”

But from a medical perspective, dream interpretation is still a mystery. “There’s no real consistent, scientifically proven theory linking specific content back to what a dream means,” Dr. Drerup notes.

What are dreams?

Dreams themselves are a little less mysterious. “Dreams are mental imagery or activity that occur when you sleep,” explains Dr. Drerup. You can dream at any stage of sleep, but your most vivid dreams typically occur in rapid eye movement sleep, or REM sleep. That’s the period of sleep when your brain is highly active, your eyes move rapidly behind your closed eyes and you have temporary loss of muscle tone. 

“In REM sleep, we have less autonomic stability,” says Dr. Drerup. “Our heart rate increases. We don’t have the kind of steady, calm respiration that we do during other stages of non-REM sleep.”

Researchers find it challenging to analyze dreams because we often don’t remember them. “Even if you’re having a sleep study, it’s not like we can look in your brain and see what’s happening during a dream,” says Dr. Drerup. “That’s part of the reason why they’re still kind of mysterious — they’re difficult to study.”

Why do we dream?

Doctors have several working theories as to why we dream. For starters, Dr. Drerup says you also tend to dream more in REM sleep. Additionally, dreaming during this stage is associated with “consolidation of memories,” she adds.

“That dreaming may represent important cognitive functioning. Brain activity that occurs when we’re dreaming is similar to the memory processing brain activity we experience when we’re awake.”

When you’re experiencing more stress or anxiety, you tend to dream more, too. The types of dreams you have also change. Dr. Drerup says that nightmares or stressful dreams — for example, about being chased or being in a frightening situation — are also common when you’re stressed. “That’s one of the theories of why we dream,” she says. “Our dreams might help us process and manage our emotions.”

Interestingly enough, Dr. Drerup notes that researchers have found that people living in certain places might have similar nighttime visions, although they aren’t quite sure why. “There seems to be some cultural influence on dreams,” she explains. “For example, the same type of dream might be more common in Germany.”

What do dreams mean?

Determining what dreams mean is a big question, one that doctors, researchers and scientists are still trying to answer. But Dr. Drerup stresses that dream interpretation is subjective. “That’s always what I tell people — the meaning that you ascribe to the dream is going to be much more meaningful than anything I ascribe to the dream,” she says. “Because it’s probably something from your life that’s represented in that dream.”

As an example, Dr. Drerup notes that you might have the same dream as someone else, but yours will be more representative of what you’re personally experiencing. “For example, if someone recently lost their job, a certain dream about not being able to find their shoes might mean something very different to them versus someone who recently went through a divorce.”

Dreaming that you’re pregnant — in other words, involved with a new life — is also subjective. This could occur maybe when you’re trying to get pregnant or if you were pregnant and had a miscarriage. Or maybe not. “It’s much more of what this dream means to you. Your dream of pregnancy could be much more about, ‘I’m starting a new career.’ A new life, in a sense. The dream could mean a whole lot of different things.” 

Although experiences you have in a dream might be based on real-life events, that doesn’t mean your dreams are always realistic. “A person might be distorted in the dream, or in a situation or place where they wouldn’t normally be,” notes Dr. Drerup. “What does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine.”

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However, sometimes even the strangest dreams have logical explanations. Dreams about your teeth falling out could be happening because you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep, a condition called bruxism. “This dream is more a sign of psychological stress,” says Dr. Drerup.

What causes nightmares?

Nightmares can be terrifying and have lingering effects even when you’re awake. “With nightmares, especially recurring nightmares, it can feel like you’re playing out a story,” says Dr. Drerup. “People often say it’s like the same movie’s playing.”

Talking about a nightmare like you would a movie you’ve seen can bring about unexpected consequences. “If you have a nightmare, you’ll tell everybody about it because it was so weird, right?” ventures Dr. Drerup. “But rehearsing that nightmare over and over again means your neural pathways are getting reinforced. It’s like you’re developing a memory of that nightmare. Then, it’s more likely the dream will reoccur.”

Dr. Drerup says nightmares are commonly associated with a variety of other conditions and events as well, such as:


For someone living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nightmares are often a component of re-experiencing or re-living their trauma.


Overindulging a bit too much can exacerbate nightmares.


High stress levels can lead to more dreams and nightmares. According to Dr. Drerup, this is likely because the stress is kicking the emotional processing that occurs during dreaming into overdrive.

Psychological disorders

Dr. Drerup says psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety are associated more frequently with nightmares.

Medication withdrawal

Withdrawing from certain medications can also cause more nightmares. “Antidepressants suppress REM sleep, and decrease the amount of REM sleep that we have,” explains Dr. Drerup. “When you go off of an antidepressant, you tend to have REM rebound.”

In other words, you experience more REM sleep, which then makes it more likely that you’re spending time where dreaming happens. “People will often have an increase in dreams or nightmares when they discontinue antidepressants,” she adds.

Addressing untreated sleep apnea

People who get help for untreated sleep apnea often have “a high level of dream recall and potentially nightmares as well,” says Dr. Drerup. “If you have sleep apnea, you’re having fragmented disrupted sleep.” Getting better quality sleep means you’re going into REM sleep — and staying there, “instead of having these brief arousals that are keeping you out of that stage of sleep,” she notes. “You’ll have that REM rebound as well.”

Can sleep disorders affect dreaming?

Sleep disorders can affect all aspects of slumber, including dreaming.

Nightmare disorder

For some people, nightmares are more than just a temporary scare. They have a sleep disorder called nightmare disorder.

“With nightmare disorder, you have these really distressing nightmares that are repetitive,” says Dr. Drerup. “They occur frequently. They wake you from sleep. You can’t get back to sleep afterwards. You have a panicked feeling upon awakening and take a while to reorient.”

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This disorder can be debilitating, as you’re often very tired during the day. But Dr. Drerup says treating nightmare disorder is possible using what’s called imagery rehearsal therapy.

“This treatment has some really significant research backing behind it,” says Dr. Drerup. “You work with your therapist to rewrite the nightmare to contain less disturbing content, and then practice the new dream imagery during the daytime.”

“It’s like guided imagery of that new content to make the dream less distressing,” she continues. “The image you’re practicing can replace or decrease the frequency of that disruptive nightmare, or completely eliminate it altogether.”

REM sleep behavior disorder

A sleep disorder called REM sleep behavior disorder can also cause abnormal dreaming. “During REM sleep, your muscles are typically paralyzed, so you don’t act out dreams,” says Dr. Drerup. “From an evolutionary standpoint, it happened because it was more protective for us to not be able to move when dreaming.”

People living with REM sleep behavior disorder, however, actually aren’t paralyzed — meaning they can move in their sleep while dreaming. Dr. Drerup says it’s not always an issue, but can be in certain situations.

“It’s often not as disruptive to you unless you’re punching someone in your dream, and then punch your spouse or the nightstand and injure yourself,” she says. “There are safety concerns with this.”

REM sleep behavior disorder can also foreshadow bigger health problems. “When someone is diagnosed with REM sleep behavior disorder really early in life, that’s linked to a really high conversion rate of someone eventually developing Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia.”

Is it normal not to dream?

Dr. Drerup says there is a rare condition called Charcot-Wilbrand syndrome where people don’t dream at all. This dream loss occurs following focal brain damage (typically a stroke) that’s specifically characterized by you losing the ability to mentally recall (or “revisualize”) images.

Most people do dream, though — you just don’t recall them. “People will say, ‘I don’t dream at all, because I don’t sleep well.’ And that’s not necessarily the case,” explains Dr. Drerup. “Just because you don’t have dream content doesn’t mean that you’re not dreaming. We usually don’t remember our dreams unless we’re awoken from them.”

At the end of the day, however, dream interpretation is still a big mystery yet to be solved. But if you’re trying to puzzle out what your subconscious is trying to tell you, look to your day-to-day life for clues.

“We can have really good recall of a dream when we wake up, and then it’ll fade away,” says Dr. Drerup. “And then you think back, ‘I know I had a weird dream, but I don’t remember it.’ So, if you want to have more awareness, jot details down as soon as you wake up — what was the dream, identify if there’s patterns.”

“Once again, it’s much more what meaning you ascribe to dreams,” she adds. “That’s key. That’s more relevant than dream interpretation books that list specific interpretations.”

Causes, types, meaning, what they are, and more

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Dreams are stories and images that our minds create while we sleep. They can be entertaining, fun, romantic, disturbing, frightening, and sometimes bizarre.

They are an enduring source of mystery for scientists and psychological doctors. Why do dreams occur? What causes them? Can we control them? What do they mean?

This article will explore the current theories, causes, and applications of dreaming.

Fast facts on dreams

  • We may not remember dreaming, but everyone is thought to dream between 3 and 6 times per night
  • It is thought that each dream lasts between 5 to 20 minutes.
  • Around 95 percent of dreams are forgotten by the time a person gets out of bed.
  • Dreaming can help you learn and develop long-term memories.
  • Blind people dream more with other sensory components compared with sighted people.

Dreams: Do they represent our unconsious desires?

There are several theories about why we dream. Are dreams merely part of the sleep cycle, or do they serve some other purpose?

Possible explanations include:

  • representing unconscious desires and wishes
  • interpreting random signals from the brain and body during sleep
  • consolidating and processing information gathered during the day
  • working as a form of psychotherapy

From evidence and new research methodologies, researchers have speculated that dreaming serves the following functions:

  • offline memory reprocessing, in which the brain consolidates learning and memory tasks and supports and records waking consciousness
  • preparing for possible future threats
  • cognitive simulation of real life experiences, as dreaming is a subsystem of the waking default network, the part of the mind active during daydreaming
  • helping develop cognitive capabilities
  • reflecting unconscious mental function in a psychoanalytic way
  • a unique state of consciousness that incorporates experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future
  • a psychological space where overwhelming, contradictory, or highly complex notions can be brought together by the dreaming ego, notions that would be unsettling while awake, serving the need for psychological balance and equilibrium

Much that remains unknown about dreams. They are by nature difficult to study in a laboratory, but technology and new research techniques may help improve our understanding of dreams.

Phases of sleep

Dreams most likely happen during REM sleep.

There are five phases of sleep in a sleep cycle:

Stage 1: Light sleep, slow eye movement, and reduced muscle activity. This stage forms 4 to 5 percent of total sleep.

Stage 2: Eye movement stops and brain waves become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles. This stage forms 45 to 55 percent of total sleep.

Stage 3: Extremely slow brain waves called delta waves begin to appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves. This accounts for 4 to 6 percent of total sleep.

Stage 4: The brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. It is difficult to wake someone during stages 3 and 4, which together are called “deep sleep.” There is no eye movement or muscle activity. People awakened while in deep sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel disoriented for several minutes after waking up. This forms 12 to 15 percent of total sleep.

Stage 5: This stage is known as rapid eye movement (REM). Breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and males develop penile erections. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales. These are dreams. This stage accounts for 20 to 25 percent of total sleep time.

Neuroscience offers explanations linked to the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep as a likely candidate for the cause of dreaming.

Dreams are a universal human experience that can be described as a state of consciousness characterized by sensory, cognitive and emotional occurrences during sleep.

The dreamer has reduced control over the content, visual images and activation of the memory.

There is no cognitive state that has been as extensively studied and yet as frequently misunderstood as dreaming.

There are significant differences between the neuroscientific and psychoanalytic approaches to dream analysis.

Neuroscientists are interested in the structures involved in dream production, dream organization, and narratability. However, psychoanalysis concentrates on the meaning of dreams and placing them in the context of relationships in the history of the dreamer.

Reports of dreams tend to be full of emotional and vivid experiences that contain themes, concerns, dream figures, and objects that correspond closely to waking life.

These elements create a novel “reality” out of seemingly nothing, producing an experience with a lifelike timeframe and connections.


Nightmares are distressing dreams that cause the dreamer to feel a number of disturbing emotions. Common reactions to a nightmare include fear and anxiety.

They can occur in both adults and children, and causes include:

  • stress
  • fear
  • trauma
  • emotional difficulties
  • illness
  • use of certain medications or drugs

Lucid dreams

Lucid dreaming is the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. They may have some control over their dream.

This measure of control can vary between lucid dreams. They often occur in the middle of a regular dream when the sleeping person realizes suddenly that they are dreaming.

Some people experience lucid dreaming at random, while others have reported being able to increase their capacity to control their dreams.

What goes through our minds just before we fall asleep could affect the content of our dreams.

For example, during exam time, students may dream about course content. People in a relationship may dream of their partner. Web developers may see programming code.

These circumstantial observations suggest that elements from the everyday re-emerge in dream-like imagery during the transition from wakefulness to sleep.


Studies have examined the “characters” that appear in dream reports and how they the dreamer identifies them.

A study of 320 adult dream reports found:

  • Forty-eight percent of characters represented a named person known to the dreamer.
  • Thirty-five percent of characters were identified by their social role (for example, policeman) or relationship to dreamer (such as a friend).
  • Sixteen percent were not recognized

Among named characters:

  • Thirty-two percent were identified by appearance
  • Twenty-one percent were identified by behavior
  • Forty-five percent were identified by face
  • Forty-four percent were identified by “just knowing”

Elements of bizarreness were reported in 14 percent of named and generic characters.

Another study investigated the relationship between dream emotion and dream character identification.

Affection and joy were commonly associated with known characters and were used to identify them even when these emotional attributes were inconsistent with those of the waking state.

The findings suggest that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, associated with short-term memory, is less active in the dreaming brain than during waking life, while the paleocortical and subcortical limbic areas are more active.


The concept of ‘repression’ dates back to Freud. Freud maintained that undesirable memories could become suppressed in the mind. Dreams ease repression by allowing these memories to be reinstated.

A study showed that sleep does not help people forget unwanted memories. Instead, REM sleep might even counteract the voluntary suppression of memories, making them more accessible for retrieval.

Two types of temporal effects characterize the incorporation of memories into dreams:

  • the day-residue effect, involving immediate incorporations of events from the preceding day
  • the dream-lag effect, involving incorporations delayed by about a week

The findings of one study suggest that:

  • processing memories into dream incorporation takes a cycle of around 7 days
  • these processes help further the functions of socio-emotional adaptation and memory consolidation

Dream lag

Dream-lag is when the images, experiences, or people that emerge in dreams are images, experiences, or people you have seen recently, perhaps the previous day or a week before.

The idea is that certain types of experiences take a week to become encoded into long-term memory, and some of the images from the consolidation process will appear in a dream.

Events experienced while awake are said to feature in 1 to 2 percent of dream reports, although 65 percent of dream reports reflect aspects of recent waking life experiences.

The dream-lag effect has been reported in dreams that occur at the REM stage but not those that occur at stage 2.

Memory types and dreaming

Two types of memory can form the basis of a dream.

These are:

  • autobiographical memories, or long-lasting memories about the self
  • episodic memories, which are memories about specific episodes or events

A study exploring different types of memory within dream content among 32 participants found the following:

  • One dream (0.5 percent) contained an episodic memory.
  • Most dreams in the study (80 percent) contained low to moderate incorporations of autobiographical memory features.

Researchers suggest that memories of personal experiences are experienced fragmentarily and selectively during dreaming. The purpose may be to integrate these memories into the long-lasting autobiographical memory.

A hypothesis stating that dreams reflect waking-life experiences is supported by studies investigating the dreams of psychiatric patients and patients with sleep disorders. In short, their daytime symptoms and problems are reflected in their dreams.

In 1900, Freud described a category of dreams known as “biographical dreams.” These reflect the historical experience of being an infant without the typical defensive function. Many authors agree that some traumatic dreams perform a function of recovery.

One paper hypothesizes that the main aspect of traumatic dreams is to communicate an experience that the dreamer has in the dream but does not understand. This can help an individual reconstruct and come to terms with past trauma.


The themes of dreams can be linked to the suppression of unwanted thoughts and, as a result, an increased occurrence of that suppressed thought in dreams.

Fifteen good sleepers were asked to suppress an unwanted thought 5 minutes prior to sleep.

The results demonstrate that there were increased dreams about the unwanted thought and a tendency to have more distressing dreams. They also imply that thought suppression may lead to significantly increased mental disorder symptoms.

Research has indicated that external stimuli presented during sleep can affect the emotional content of dreams.

For example, the positively-toned stimulus of roses in one study yielded more positively themed dreams, whereas the negative stimulus of rotten eggs was followed by more negatively themed dreams.

Typical dreams are defined as dreams similar to those reported by a high percentage of dreamers.

Up to now, the frequencies of typical dream themes have been studied with questionnaires. These have indicated that a rank order of 55 typical dream themes has been stable over different sample populations.

Some themes are familiar to many people, such as flying, falling, and arriving late.

The 55 themes identified are:

  • school, teachers, and studying
  • being chased or pursued
  • sexual experiences
  • falling
  • arriving too late
  • a living person being dead
  • a person now dead being alive
  • flying or soaring through the air
  • failing an examination
  • being on the verge of falling
  • being frozen with fright
  • being physically attacked
  • being nude
  • eating delicious food
  • swimming
  • being locked up
  • insects or spiders
  • being killed
  • losing teeth
  • being tied up, restrained, or unable to move
  • being inappropriately dressed
  • being a child again
  • trying to complete a task successfully
  • being unable to find toilet, or embarrassment about losing one
  • discovering a new room at home
  • having superior knowledge or mental ability
  • losing control of a vehicle
  • fire
  • wild, violent beasts
  • seeing a face very close to you
  • snakes
  • having magical powers
  • vividly sensing, but not necessarily seeing or hearing, a presence in the room
  • finding money
  • floods or tidal waves
  • killing someone
  • seeing yourself as dead
  • being half-awake and paralyzed in bed
  • people behaving in a menacing way
  • seeing yourself in a mirror
  • being a member of the opposite sex
  • being smothered, unable to breathe
  • encountering God in some form
  • seeing a flying object crash
  • earthquakes
  • seeing an angel
  • part animal, part human creatures
  • tornadoes or strong winds
  • being at the movie
  • seeing extra-terrestrials
  • traveling to another planet
  • being an animal
  • seeing a UFO
  • someone having an abortion
  • being an object

Some dream themes appear to change over time.

For example, from 1956 to 2000, there was an increase in the percentage of people who reported flying in dreams. This could reflect the increase in air travel.

What do they mean?

Relationships: Some have hypothesized that one cluster of typical dreams, including being an object in danger, falling, or being chased, is related to interpersonal conflicts.

Sexual concepts: Another cluster that includes flying, sexual experiences, finding money, and eating delicious food is associated with libidinal and sexual motivations.

Fear of embarrassment: A third group, containing dreams that involve being nude, failing an examination, arriving too late, losing teeth, and being inappropriately dressed, is associated with social concerns and a fear of embarrassment.

Brain activity and dream types

In neuroimaging studies of brain activity during REM sleep, scientists found that the distribution of brain activity might also be linked to specific dream features.

Several bizarre features of normal dreams have similarities with well-known neuropsychological syndromes that occur after brain damage, such as delusional misidentifications for faces and places.

Dreams and the senses

Dreams were evaluated in people experiencing different types of headache. Results showed people with migraine had increased frequency of dreams involving taste and smell.

This may suggest that the role of some cerebral structures, such as amygdala and hypothalamus, are involved in migraine mechanisms as well as in the biology of sleep and dreaming.

Music in dreams is rarely studied in scientific literature. However, in a study of 35 professional musicians and 30 non-musicians, the musicians experienced twice as many dreams featuring music, when compared with non-musicians.

Musical dream frequency was related to the age of commencement of musical instruction but not to the daily load of musical activity. Nearly half of the recalled music was non-standard, suggesting that original music can be created in dreams.


It has been shown that realistic, localized painful sensations can be experienced in dreams, either through direct incorporation or from memories of pain. However, the frequency of pain dreams in healthy subjects is low.

In one study, 28 non-ventilated burn victims were interviewed for 5 consecutive mornings during their first week of hospitalization.

Results showed:

  • Thirty-nine percent of people reported pain dreams.
  • Of those experiencing pain dreams, 30 percent of their total dreams were pain-related.
  • Patients with pain dreams showed evidence of reduced sleep, more nightmares, higher intake of anxiolytic medication, and higher scores on the Impact of Event Scale.
  • Patients with pain dreams also had a tendency to report more intense pain during therapeutic procedures.

More than half did not report pain dreams. However, these results could suggest that pain dreams occur at a greater frequency in populations currently experiencing pain than in normal volunteers.


One study has linked frontotemporal gamma EEG activity to conscious awareness in dreams.

The study found that current stimulation in the lower gamma band during REM sleep influences on-going brain activity and induces self-reflective awareness in dreams.

Researchers concluded that higher order consciousness is related to oscillations around 25 and 40 Hz.


Recent research has demonstrated parallels between styles of romantic attachment and general dream content.

Assessment results from 61 student participants in committed dating relationships of six months duration or longer revealed a significant association between relationship-specific attachment security and the degree to which dreams about romantic partners followed.

The findings illuminate our understanding of mental representations with regards to specific attachment figures.

Death in dreams

Researchers compared the dream content of different groups of people in a psychiatric facility. Participants in one group had been admitted after attempting to take their own lives.

Their dreams of this group were compared with those of three control groups in the facility who had experienced:

  • depression and thoughts about suicide
  • depression without thinking about suicide
  • carrying out a violent act without suicide

Those who had considered or attempted suicide or carried out violence had were more likely to have dreams with content relating to death and destructive violence. One factor affecting this was the severity of an individual’s depression.

Left and right side of the brain

The right and left hemispheres of the brain seem to contribute in different ways to a dream formation.

Researchers of one study concluded that the left hemisphere seems to provide dream origin while the right hemisphere provides dream vividness, figurativeness and affective activation level.

A study of adolescents aged 10 to 17 years found that those who were left-handed were more likely to experience lucid dreams and to remember dreams within other dreams.

Studies of brain activity suggest that most people over the age of 10 years dream between 4 and 6 times each night, but some people rarely remember dreaming.

It is often said that 5 minutes after a dream, people have forgotten 50 percent of its content, increasing to 90 percent another 5 minutes later.

Most dreams are entirely forgotten by the time someone wakes up, but it is not known precisely why dreams are so hard to remember.

Steps that may help improve dream recall, include:

  • waking up naturally and not with an alarm
  • focusing on the dream as much as possible upon waking
  • writing down as much about the dream as possible upon waking
  • making recording dreams a routine

Who remembers their dreams?

There are factors that can potentially influence who remembers their dreams, how much of the dream remains intact, and how vivid it is.

Age: Over time, a person is likely to experience changes in sleep timing, structure, and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity.

Evidence suggests that dream recall progressively decreases from the beginning of adulthood, but not in older age. Dream also become less intense. This evolution occurs faster in men than women, with gender differences in the content of dreams.

Gender: A study of dreams experienced by 108 males and 110 females found no differences between the amount of aggression, friendliness, sexuality, male characters, weapons, or clothes that feature in the content.

However, the dreams of females featured a higher number of family members, babies, children, and indoor settings than those of males.

Sleep disorders: Dream recall is heightened in patients with insomnia, and their dreams reflect the stress associated with their condition. The dreams of people with narcolepsy may a more bizarre and negative tone.

Dream recall and well-being

One study looked at whether dream recall and dream content would reflect the social relationships of the person who is dreaming.

College student volunteers were assessed on measures of attachment, dream recall, dream content, and other psychological measures.

Participants who were classified as “high” on an “insecure attachment” scale were significantly more likely to:

  • report a dream
  • dream frequently
  • experience intense images that contextualize strong emotions in their dreams

Older volunteers whose attachment style was classed as “preoccupied” were significantly more likely to:

  • report a dream
  • report dreams with a higher mean number of words

Dream recall was lowest for the “avoidant” subjects and highest for the “preoccupied” subjects.

Everyone dreams, although we may not remember our dreams. At different times of life or during different experiencs, our dreams might change.

Children’s dreams

A study investigating anxiety dreams in 103 children aged 9 to 11 years observed the following:

  • Females more often had dreams containing anxiety than males, although they could not remember their dreams as often.
  • Girls dreamt more often than boys about the loss of another person, falling, socially disturbing situations, small or aggressive animals, family members, and other female people they may or may not recognize.


Studies comparing the dreams of pregnant and non-pregnant women showed that:

  • Infant and child representations were less specific in women who were not pregnant. Among those who were pregnant, these images were more likely in the late third trimester than in the early third trimester.
  • During pregnancy, dreams were more likely to include the themes of pregnancy, childbirth, and fetuses.
  • Childbirth content was higher in the late third trimester than early in the trimester.
  • The group who were pregnant had more morbid elements in their dreams than those who were not.


Those that give care to family or people who have long-term illnesses often have dreams related to that individual.

A study following the dreams of adults that worked for at least a year with individuals at United States hospice centers noted:

  • Patients tended to be clearly present in the dreams of caregivers, and the dreams were typically realistic.
  • In the dream, the caregiver typically interacted with the patient in their usual capacity but was also typically frustrated by the inability to help as fully as desired.


It is widely believed that oppressive dreams are frequent in people going through a time of bereavement.

A study analyzing dream quality, as well as the linking of oppressive dreams in bereavement, discovered that oppressive dreams:

  • were more frequent in the first year of bereavement
  • were more likely in those experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression

In another study of 278 people experiencing bereavement:

  • Fifty-eight percent reported dreams of their deceased loved ones, with varying levels of frequency.
  • Most participants had dreams that were either pleasant or both pleasant and disturbing, and few reported purely disturbing dreams
  • Prevalent themes included pleasant past memories or experiences, the deceased being free of illness, memories of the deceased’s illness or time of death, the deceased in the afterlife appearing comfortable and at peace, and the deceased person communicating a message.
  • Sixty percent felt that their dreams impacted upon their bereavement process.

Does everyone dream in color?

Younger people are more likely to dream in color.

Researchers discovered in a study that:

  • About 80 percent of participants younger than 30 years old dreamed in color.
  • At 60 years old, 20 percent said they dreamed in color.

The number of people aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s dreaming in color increased through 1993 to 2009. Researchers speculated that color television might play a role in the generational difference.

Another study using questionnaires and dream diaries also found older adults had more black and white dreams than the younger participants.

Older people reported that both their color dreams and black and white dreams were equally vivid. However, younger participants said that their black and white dreams were of poorer quality.

Can dreams predict the future?

Some dreams may seem to predict future events.

Some researchers claim to have evidence that this is possible, but there is not enough evidence to prove it.

Most often, this seems to be due to coincidence, a false memory, or the unconscious mind connecting together known information.

Dreams may help people learn more about their feelings, beliefs, and values. Images and symbols that appear in dreams will have meanings and connections that are specific to each person.

People looking to make sense of their dreams should think about what each part of the dreams mean to them as an individual.

Books or guides that give specific, universal meanings to images and symbols may not be useful.

However, for those who are interested in such books, there is a selection available for purchase online.

Drug withdrawal

One study followed the dream content of people who regularly use crack cocaine in Trinidad and Tobago during a period of abstinence:

  • Almost 90 percent of individuals reported drug-related dreams during the first month, mainly of using the drug.
  • Almost 61 percent had drug-related dreams after 6 months, mainly of using or refusing the drug.

People with complete vision loss have fewer visual dream impressions compared with sighted participants.

People who have been unable to see from birth report more auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory dream components, compared with sighted participants.

The ability to see does not appear to affect emotional and thematic dream content.

Those with other abilities

One small study explored the dream diaries of 14 people with impairments.

Four were born with paraplegia, and 10 were born unable to hear or speak.

Deafness: When compared with 36 able-bodied individuals, findings showed that around 80 percent of the dream reports of participants with deafness gave no indication of their impairment.

Many spoke in their dreams, while others could hear and understand spoken language.

Paraplegia: Similarly, the dream reports of those with paraplegia showed that the participants often walked, ran, or swam in their dreams, none of which they had ever done in their waking lives.

A second study looked at the dream reports of 15 people who were either born with paraplegia or acquired it later in life, due to a spinal-cord injury.

Their reports revealed that 14 participants with paraplegia had dreams in which they were physically active, and they dreamed about walking as often as the 15 control participants who did not have paraplegia.

Other research has suggested that the brain has the genetically determined ability to generate experiences that mimic life, including fully functioning limbs and senses.

People who are born without hearing or unable to move are likely tapping into these parts of the brain as they dream about tasks they cannot perform while awake.

Read the article in Spanish.

Why dreams are dreamed and what they mean

Sleeping girl: Pexels

Sleep is so significant for humanity that a holiday was established for it - World Sleep Day. In a dream, the German chemist August Kekule saw the formula of benzene, Mendeleev saw the periodic table, Salvador Dali and Nicholas Roerich drew the plots of paintings from dreams. Why do people have dreams and what do these visions mean? Esotericism and oneirology (the science of sleep) have answers.

Why dreams are dreamed

Dreams can be attributed to the mystical abilities of a person, considered part of life or mind games. Science studies the nature of sleep, psychology looks for manifestations of soul disease in them, and magic and esotericism recommend listening to the prompts of dreams. nine0005

The nature of sleep from the point of view of science

The human psyche uses information received from the conscious and subconscious. The conscious part of the mind gives a person the ability to perceive the world and analyze it. The subconscious is a hidden part of the psyche, which manifests itself in experiences, behavior, sensations, etc.

Dreams are images and insights (insights). When a person falls into the arms of Morpheus, unconscious images float to the surface, penetrating into dreams, and the subconscious mind opens. nine0005

Night pictures help to see what is inaccessible to the human eye, but is felt at the level of reflexes, since they are closely related to intuition. It is important not to ignore these stories, but to try to unravel them, study them, and discuss them with a psychologist.

The subconscious mind draws images in a dream: Pixabay

The subconscious mind uses images, therefore whole plots are played out in dreams. Often they seem meaningless and contradictory, but the sleeper can take a dream book and find out the interpretation of this or that image, action, event. nine0005

Moreover, sleep can be "ordered" in advance. Psychophysiologist Steven LaBerge has done a number of studies, developed a technique for lucid dreaming, and written a number of books about it, proving that you can see what you want in a dream.

Causes of nightmares and disturbing dreams

The brightest events in life are the most traumatic. The death of a close relative, an accident, illness, divorce, theft of property cause the body to produce such an amount of stress hormones that all this is “recorded” in the subcortex in order to emerge in memory again. Nightmares in a dream are inevitable if this negativity accumulates for a long time. nine0005

While awake, a person can drive destructive thoughts, be distracted by something, but in a dream, fears completely take over him. This is how nightmares come into our sleep. They are accompanied by a feeling of anxiety, even after the person wakes up. It is important to understand the signals of the subconscious so as not to bring unnecessary troubles into life.

Everyone dreams of seeing colored dreams, and most people can afford them. These are good, pleasant images, like dreams in blue and green shades. Night dreams with a different color indicate problems in the body:

  • Red shades of dreams indicate an increase in body temperature and the presence of an infection in the body.
  • Brown and yellow - signal problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Gray and black - report depression, nervous breakdowns and mental illness.

The French scientist Alfred Maury in 1867 conducted experiments with dreams and came to the conclusion that if a sleeping person is influenced by sound, light, smell, then he will see pictures associated with these effects in a dream. The sound of scissors near the ear created the ringing of bells in a dream, the candle prompted to see a fire. The scientist suggested that the subconscious mind weaves stimuli into the plot of a dream so that a person does not wake up because of them. nine0005

Amazing facts about dreams

"Dreamcatcher" helps restful sleep: Pixabay

Many scientists study the nature of sleep. Thanks to research, we now know more about this mysterious phenomenon:

  1. Startle while falling asleep is a normal reflex called the hypnotic jerk.
  2. Calm and even breathing will ensure healthy sleep, and playing wind instruments improves it, as it strengthens the respiratory muscles.
  3. To restore creativity, it is recommended to take a nap between 14:00 and 16:00. nine0032
  4. Most people need at least eight hours of sleep a night.
  5. Sleep allows the brain to organize all impressions, and the psyche to cope with negative situations.

Unfortunately, the science of dreams is quite recent, although people began to think about night visions at the same time as they found the gift of speech. Psychology, esotericism and the occult sciences have studied sleep for thousands of years, many ancient dream books have survived to this day.

Classification of dreams and their meanings

In the book “The Language of Dreams. Bridge to the Unknown, author Rita Lev describes her many years of research on dreams, techniques and methods of working with them. The author recommends preparing for sleep analysis in advance.

How to understand your dream

A dream is such a shaky picture that often after waking up a person cannot remember the details of even the brightest plot. To exclude this and be able to interpret your dreams, you need to use the following rules:

  1. Please note that a person always dreams about himself, and all the people from it must be correctly associated with the personality of the sleeping person.
  2. Place a pen and paper at the head of the bed before going to bed.
  3. Tune in advance to memorize the plot, fall asleep with this thought.
  4. When you wake up in the morning, write down everything you remember, even if fragments of thoughts seem incomprehensible and absurd. Try to colorfully describe and name everything that you dreamed about at night.
  5. Identify the most vivid images and feelings that come to mind. Write them down. nine0032

Now it's time to figure out what the subconscious "whispered" under the cover of night.

Types of dreams, their interpretation and management of dreams

Dream images can be very abstract: Pixabay

To find out what a dream was about, use interpretations of dream books (for example, “Old Jewish dream book. Interpretation of dreams based on the Bible, Kabbalah and Talmud” Peter Lukimson) and tips from psychologists. Here are some examples of popular interpretations:

  • Falling in a dream - to a strong love or to the fact that the situation in life is getting out of control. nine0032
  • Loss of voice is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis, which affects 7% of people on the planet, every person has experienced this condition at least once in a lifetime.
  • To be naked - to get into an awkward situation or to want recognition.
  • A tooth fell out - difficulties in communication, loss of control over life.
  • Running away in a panic - the need to solve urgent problems.
  • Flying in a dream is a transition to a new stage in life.
  • Seeing yourself dead is a desire to finish one thing and start another. nine0032

Galina Vrublevskaya, author of educational books on psychology, offers to bring good dreams to life and avert the misfortune that bad dreams portend. She writes in detail about this technique in the book How to Work Your Dream to Control Reality, as well as in a number of self-taught books on the interpretation of dreams. You can apply the author's methods or use folk methods, saying:

  • “Where the night is, there is a dream” or “Rise a good dream, crack a bad dream” - for bad dreams. nine0032
  • "Dream in hand!" - for the good ones.

In addition to good and bad, there are also prophetic dreams. Experts classify them as follows:

  • Coincidence dreams.
  • Dreams like inferences, which are detailed predictions of events.
  • Predictions that are destined to come true - a person adjusts real life to a picture from a dream.
  • Pseudo-anomalous dreams, when a person consciously fabricates a prophetic dream.
  • Abnormal dreams - beyond the understanding of the human mind. nine0032
  • Dreams about future illnesses (when a lung disease is dreamed of as drowning, and heart disease is like a shot at him).

It is worth mentioning the déjà vu effect, when it seems that you have already encountered the situation in which you are currently. Perhaps it happened in a dream.

Be attentive to your dreams, do not ignore the signals of the subconscious. Use the dream book and introspection to understand the plot. Remember: what you believe in will come true. Choose for yourself what is worth believing in and say: “Sleep in your hand!” nine0005

Original article: https://www. nur.kz/esoterics/dream-books/1663591-pochemu-snyatsya-sny-chto-oni-znachat/

What dreams mean and where they come from

If you dream that you are suffocating, this may be a sign of lung disease. If in a dream you were covered with earth, perhaps not everything is in order with your heart. You can learn to control your sleep - however, experienced oneironauts say that it's boring. About how scientists are trying to understand what a sleeping person sees and where prophetic dreams come from - in an excerpt from a new book by somnologist Mikhail Poluektov. nine0011

Riddles of sleep. From insomnia to lethargy
Mikhail Poluektov
Alpina non-fiction. 2019

[…] A systematic study of the influence of external stimuli on the content of dreams was carried out by Alfred Maury back in 1867. Here is what he tells about his experiments:

“The first observation. I was sequentially tickled with a feather on my lips and the tip of my nose. And I saw in a dream that I was subjected to terrible torture, that they put a resin mask on my face and then quickly tore it off, along with the skin of my lips, nose and face. nine0146

Second observation. At some distance from my ear, steel scissors were driven over metal tweezers. And I saw in a dream that I heard the ringing of bells, then this sound turned into an alarm - and it seemed to me that it was during the July days of 1848 ...

Ninth observation. A candle covered with red paper was passed before my eyes several times. And now I see a thunderstorm, lightning - and the memory of the terrible storm that I endured in the English Channel on the way from Mordle to Le Havre becomes the plot of my dream "*. nine0146

It's all Mori's fantasy! Can they be trusted? — Approx. scientific ed.

According to modern ideas, sensory sensation partially breaks through the "thalamic block" that occurs in the state of sleep and invades the fabric of the dream, modifying it. During much of REM sleep (the so-called tonic phase), from which it is quite easy to get out, the inclusion of a stimulus in the dream plot seems to prevent the sleeper from awakening. […]

It has been regularly found in dream content analysis since [sleep researcher] William Dement's early experiments that the number of words in which subjects describe their dream increases as the sleep period lengthens. More words - the dream lasts longer. The authors of these studies conclude that the duration of a dream reflects the natural flow of time. However, in a later study, it was shown that for long enough periods of sleep, after which a dream report was obtained, the number of words describing the dream changes along a sinusoid: at first their number increases, but after 45 minutes it begins to decrease. That is

dream time flows in accordance with astronomical time for half the sleep cycle, and then it begins to shrink more and more.

Based on the results of this work, carried out in 2001, the researchers suggested the presence in the brain of a dream generator with a 90-minute period. A definite answer to the question whether the flow of time in a dream corresponds to astronomical has not yet been received. Perhaps there are two types of dreams in which time flows differently**. nine0005 You can also refer to the work of Danilin and Latash, published at the time in Nature: New Biology. This whole story is built on a misunderstanding: there is no clear and generally accepted definition of a dream! Therefore, different researchers mean different things by this term: Fulkes, for example, finds dreams everywhere, even in wakefulness ... In fact, mental activity changes during sleep, but does not disappear completely, unlike anesthesia, coma, etc. In stage 1, these are hypnogagic hallucinations, in stages 2 and 3 - "thought-like" activity, gradually weakening with the deepening of non-REM sleep, and only in the REM phase - "true" dreams. The features of reports from REM sleep are well known to somnologists; their main characteristic, which differs from all other types of mental activity in sleep, is high emotionality, which is confirmed by objective data from neuroscanning. It is worth accepting these definitions and studying each type of mental activity in a dream separately - and everything will fall into place! — Approx. scientific ed. nine0002 For example, dreams upon awakening from REM sleep are vivid, emotional, more detailed, the maximum number of words used to describe a dream in REM sleep is four times higher than in non-REM sleep. REM dreams more often have a meaningful plot that unfolds in time (there is a narrative, i.e. narrative, structure), contain a lot of motor activity. This is because dreams in REM sleep are supposed to reflect the processes of consolidation of visual and emotional memory. At the same time, dreams told after waking up from slow-wave sleep are less definite, they are more like “dreams”, abstract reflections, often containing the plot of recent events or works read / seen. It is believed that these features of dreams in non-REM sleep may be a reflection of the process of consolidation of declarative memory (memory for events). […] nine0005

The use of high-resolution EEG (when 256 electrodes are placed on the head and neck area) by Giulio Tononi's group in 2017 made it possible to deepen our understanding of the relationship between dreams and typical EEG patterns. The scientists found that the frequency of dream reports, on the one hand, correlates with a decrease in the power of delta activity in the posterior regions of the brain, and on the other hand, the power of gamma oscillations increases in the same areas of the brain. This confirms the common assumption that

Change in the number of words in dream reports depending on the duration of sleep in a certain phase

During the experience of dreams, the brain areas associated with visual perception (occipital region) and processing of sensory (sensory) information (parietal region) are most active.

At the same time, the activity of the mentioned brain areas is preserved regardless of whether the dreamer sees a dream in a slow sleep or in a fast one. One of the interesting findings of this study was the discovery of differences in brain activity depending on the certainty of the dream report. The subjects, who spoke in detail about dream images, demonstrated an increase in gamma activity in additional areas of the brain, which, according to the authors, are responsible for the concretization of images. In this regard, the discussion of the question resumed: is it possible to understand at all what exactly a person saw in a dream? nine0005

This issue was raised back in 2011 by a group of German scientists from the Max Planck Institute who studied lucid dreams. Lucid (lucid) dreams are those in which a person understands that he is sleeping and can partially control the content of his dream. Maintaining volitional control in a dream can be learned. The pioneer of lucid dream research was the American psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge. In the 1980s at Stanford University, he conducted a series of studies aimed at studying this phenomenon. It has been shown that lucidity is not usually very characteristic of dreams: 20% of people in the general population have such dreams at least once a month, and only 1% - several times a week. It was also found that during lucid dreaming, a person's EEG behaves differently than it should in REM or non-REM sleep. At this time, fast frequencies appear on the EEG - alpha and gamma rhythms, reflecting the presence of directed attention. nine0005

Stephen LaBerge developed techniques for teaching people to have lucid dreams. The key to one of the techniques made famous by Christopher Nolan's Inception is to constantly ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?" To do this, a reality check is carried out - an element of the environment with known physical properties is selected and its behavior is evaluated. In the film, it was a spinning top that could spin indefinitely in a dream, despite the fact that the force of friction in the real world would not allow this. People trained in lucid dreaming are called oneironauts ( oneiros in Greek "dream, dream"). For experimental purposes, they are trained to signal that they have already realized that they are asleep with the help of characteristic left-right eye movements (this story is no longer from a movie, but from real life). With the use of such trained volunteers, the study of the neurophysiological correlates of lucid dreaming is carried out and, in general, the so-called "higher-level consciousness", which is characteristic only of people, is being studied.

Despite the temptation to learn how to control your dream and the real possibility for most people to do this, the technique of lucid dreaming, in general, remains unclaimed. On the one hand, this is due to the large expenditure of time and effort to master it. The situation is exactly the same in real life with auto-training or yoga - everyone knows that this is good and good for health, but only a few manage to go through the entire training cycle. On the other hand, I was recently struck by an opinion expressed at one of the sleep seminars at the Central House of Scientists by a man who had learned to control his dreams. He said that at first he was pleased with the newfound ability, because he was able to make fantastic journeys, meet wonderful women in his dreams. But rather quickly these dreams bored him. He couldn't come up with anything new and lost interest in them. So

From a practical point of view, lucid dreaming is not for everyone. Consciousness researchers and psychotherapists are most interested in using this phenomenon.

Based on the concept of the unconscious, a person who has learned to control a dream can, under the guidance of a psychotherapist, realize the symbolic meaning of his dreams. Even without these "psychoanalytic tricks," lucid dreams have proved useful in dealing with nightmares, enabling the person to actively counter or even befriend the terrifying dream images. nine0005

[In the work of German scientists on the study of motor activity in lucid dreams] six subjects trained to enter the state of lucid dreaming were given the task: after they realized that they were in their dream, they had to give a standard signal with their eyes (look to the right -left), and after that make the established movement with the hand - clench it into a fist. At the same time, they slept "in the tube" of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. Two subjects were able to fully complete the task. Changes in the fMRI pattern, which were observed in the sensorimotor area of ​​the brain of oneironauts during the movement imagined in a dream, turned out to be identical to those that occurred during the control study in wakefulness, when they squeezed the hand or imagined squeezing it. Scientists have suggested that in the future,

having accumulated many “elementary patterns” of movements that appear in a dream, we will be able to decipher its code - to understand what action is presented to a person when he sees a dream.

Additional confirmation of the ability to understand what a sleeping person sees was obtained in 2013 by a group of scientists from Japan while studying patterns of visual perception in the process of dreams. In this experiment, using fMRI, it was determined which area of ​​the brain was activated when viewing various images, and then these indicators were compared with the results of the description by the subjects of what they saw in a dream. It turned out that it was possible to identify specific patterns of activity in the visual cortex corresponding to elementary images that, according to the reports of the subjects, were encountered in a dream, for example, the image of a building, a car, a woman, etc. It is possible that further research will also decode the visual (visual) series dreams, despite the fact that a holistic representation, according to the classical theory, is formed as a result of the interaction of several brain areas, and not the work of just one area of ​​the visual cortex. […] nine0005

The areas of the brain associated with movement and sensation, located in the posterior sections of the frontal and anterior sections of the parietal lobe, despite the fact that they are activated during dreams, do not cause a response visible from the side - movements and sensations in a dream are only "seen" by a person, just as a mentally ill person in a state of hallucinosis sees and hears something, it seems to him that he is actively acting, but none of this is recorded by an external observer. The bizarreness of dream plots is explained by the reactivation of memory traces associated with the perception of information about what the sleeper did or saw, while more recent or more important memory traces for a person are reactivated statistically significantly more often than memories of what happened a long time ago, it just takes less time to excite fresh traces. electrical signal intensity. nine0005

According to the theory of [American psychiatrist] Hobson, the dream state is closer to a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, than to ordinary wakefulness.

Schizophrenia is characterized by excessive activity of the "inner life" (hallucinations) with a paucity of external manifestations (apathy, poverty of emotions). From the point of view of the authors of the theory, to the greatest extent, the "switching" of sensations from external to internal, the change in the processes of memorization and perception is characteristic of REM sleep, but it can also occur in its slow phase, only to a lesser extent. This explains both the lower frequency of dream reports in non-REM sleep and the different nature of dream reports in it (more calm, dreamlike). From Hobson's point of view, during late periods of non-REM sleep (which occur already in the morning), the brain activation processes characteristic of REM sleep are introduced into the phase of non-REM sleep, anticipating the onset of the next period of REM sleep. More aphoristically, Hobson's activation-synthetic theory of dreams can be formulated as "tales that the brain tells itself." […] nine0005

The psychoanalytic concept of dreams created by Freud and his followers put an end to attempts to single out universal dream symbols for interpretation. Carl Gustav Jung wrote: “In a broader sense, it would be a great folly to assume that there is a ready-made systematic interpreter of dreams that you just need to buy and find the appropriate symbol in it. Not a single symbol of sleep can be taken separately from the person who saw this dream, just as there is no single unambiguous interpretation of any dream. Each person differs so much in the way in which his unconscious complements or compensates for consciousness that it is completely impossible to be sure that dreams and their symbolism can be in any way classified. True, there are dreams and individual symbols (I would prefer to call them "motives") that are quite typical and often encountered. Among such motives, the most frequent are falling, flying, being pursued by predatory animals or enemies, appearing in public places in a naked or half-naked form or in ridiculous clothes, a state of haste or loss in an unorganized crowd, fighting unarmed or with unusable weapons, exhausting running away to nowhere. ... But it should be emphasized that these motifs must be considered in the context of the entire dream, and not as self-explanatory ciphers. nine0005

What about dreams, which can show the future not in the form of some kind of ciphers, but in an explicit form? The most complete and detailed classification of the so-called prophetic dreams was proposed by the American psychologists Stanley Kripner and Joseph Dillard in 2001 in the book Dreams and Creative Problem Solving. Here we present this classification with the addition of "dreams about illness" made by Professor E.A. Korabelnikova.

  1. Coincidence dreams. nine0005

  2. Dreams-inferences, in which the dreamer intuitively compares information, often perceived outside the knowledge of the waking consciousness, which is then transformed in a dream into a correct assessment of future events. So, Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov once saw in a dream his father, who died after a shipwreck, on a deserted island. His friend describes these events in this way: “On the way back by sea to the fatherland (from Germany, where he studied), he once dreamed that he saw his father, thrown out after a shipwreck, on an uninhabited island in the Arctic Sea, to which he had visited in his youth once brought with him by a storm ... I found my brother there (in Moscow. - Approx. Aut.) and heard from him that their father of the same year, after the first opening of the waters, went, as usual, to the sea for fishing; that four months have already passed, and neither he, nor anyone else from his artel who traveled with him, has yet returned . .. In the same autumn, the body of Vasily Lomonosov was truly found exactly on that empty island and buried, laying a large stone on the grave. In this case, Mikhailo Lomonosov, who was born and brought up in a family of Pomors, was aware of the danger they were exposed to when going fishing, and, apparently, represented the sailing routes of fishermen. This information, against the background of parting with the family and worry about relatives, at some point formed a forecast that had a high probability of coming true. nine0005

  3. Self-fulfilling predictions, that is, those cases when a person who has seen a dream begins to unconsciously behave in such a way that the dream comes true. Such a case is described by K.G. Jung: “Another typical case happened to a lady who was overly moral. During the day she was haughty and arrogant, but at night she had dreams filled with a wide variety of obscenities. When I suspected their presence, the lady indignantly refused to admit it. But the dreams, meanwhile, continued, and their content became more threatening and reminiscent of the walks that this woman used to take in the forest, during which she indulged in her fantasies. I saw danger in this, but she did not heed my warnings. Soon, a sexual maniac attacked her in the forest, and only the intervention of people who heard cries for help saved her from imminent murder. nine0005

  4. Pseudo-anomalous dreams, about the content of which a person either consciously lies, unconsciously fabricates or distorts the facts. So, for example, the dream of Scipio mentioned at the beginning of the chapter was invented by Cicero to enhance the instructive effect of his work.

  5. Abnormal dreams in which the incoming information may be beyond anything known to the science of space, time or energy.

  6. Dreams about illness. Soviet researcher Vasily Nikolaevich Kasatkin at 19In 83 he published a unique monograph "The Theory of Dreams", which became a generalization of 47,000 observations of dreams made by him. In it, he described in detail the features of the dreams of people suffering from various diseases. Often these unusual dreams were harbingers of the development of the disease. According to the observations of V.N. Kasatkina,

dreams of people with lung diseases are characterized by plots of drowning, squeezing through a narrow hole, strangulation. In case of heart disease, a person in a dream can see that he was covered with earth or he was hit by a stone, wounded in the region of the heart, while he wakes up with a feeling of fear. nine0005

E.A. Korabelnikova also showed that in people with neurosis, dreams are more common, they are more vivid, emotional. The features of perception in the dreams of patients with neurotic disorders also included: a large proportion of the novelty factor (appearance of strangers, surroundings), symptoms of direct and reverse "age transference" (perception of oneself older or younger than one's age). While the events in the dreams of healthy people predominantly occurred in the present, patients with neuroses more often experienced events of the past and future.

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