The 10 types of dreams (and their characteristics)
A classification of the types of dreams that exist and how we experience them when sleeping.
We spend a good part of our life sleeping and, while we sleep, we are presented with all kinds of visions, images, and scenes, in other words, we dream.
Dreams are very diverse. We can dream about practically anything, situation, person … There are those who claim to have dreamed the same thing as an acquaintance of theirs, others who have had premonitions or that a relative who went to the afterlife has shown him in his dream world to ask him to finish his Wills.
We could make a practically infinite list of different kinds of dreams according to what is shown to us in them; however, we have chosen to create a classification of dreams based on their nature. Let’s find out what types of dreams exist.
What are dreams and how can they be classified?
We spend about 25 years of our lives sleeping. Of all that time we sleep, it is inevitable that at some point we dream, being the estimate that we spend about 8 years of our lives immersed in our dream world. What we dream varies from person to person and of course, as they say, “dreams are dreams.”
But what do we understand by a dream? The most precise and scientific definition is that they are projections of images that our brain generates and that we “see” while we are sleeping, at which time our mind seems to rest but, at the same time, we remain in a state of consciousness, although disconnected from what happens around us.
Although we sleep to rest, this does not mean that we turn off our brains. Our brain never stops (it would be very worrying if it did) and, in fact, it has been seen that during the night our mind can be very active.
Our sleep is divided into two phases: the REM and the non-REM phase. The REM phase (“rapid eyes movements”) is one in which rapid eye movements occur. This phase represents about 25% of the sleep cycle, entering it about 4 or 5 times each night, doing it for the first time about 90 minutes after falling asleep. In contrast, the non-REM phase accounts for about 75% of sleep cycles and is the phase without rapid eye movements.
It is during the REM phase that memory is consolidated, being the moment in which what will become part of long-term memory is selected. In other words, while we are in the REM phase we forget or retain information that has been captured during wakefulness, information with which we can dream.
Everyone is free to attribute meaning to their dreams. Regardless of what they may mean, it is a fact that dreams are fascinating because, despite being so every day, they are also sources of mystery and big questions, something that has been what has motivated some people to try to interpret them. , while science is not very optimistic about whether they really have real meaning.
The diversity of dreams that we can have is immense since based on our imagination, we can dream of anything, with any situation and with anyone. We can be both protagonists of our dreams and make it another person, real or invented, who takes center stage. Whatever we dream of, the truth is that dreams can be classified according to how they are presented and their nature. We can talk about different types of dreams, which are the ones we will see below.
The types of dreams (explained)
Now that we have understood what dreams are, let’s talk about what types exist. The categories that we will see below do not make up an official classification, but rather a grouping of the different groups in which we can encompass those visions that are presented to us while we sleep.
1. Conventional dreams
Conventional dreams are those most common, those that deal with issues of our daily life or that interest us. People, experiences, and things that are part of our day-to-day take center stage, despite the fact that when we get up, we generally forget their content.
We may dream of our family, of going on a trip to a new place, flying, being chased, taking an ESO math test … anything and any situation can appear in them, but they have in common that they are more or fewer situations conventional, typical.
2. Recurring dreams
Recurring dreams are those that are repeated several times, both on the same night and on different nights.
These are curious daydreams that are experienced more or less exactly the same over and over again, repeating the same actions, being the same people, and having the same situations each time. They are not always exact copies of each other, but the degree of alteration is usually minuscule.
Nightmares are unpleasant dreams in which situations of danger, panic, and discomfort can appear. Therefore, they constitute one of the most popular types of dreams.
We do not like having these types of dreams, something evidenced in the strongly negative emotional response they generate, especially in the form of fear, sadness, and anxiety. They are dreams that induce us to have terror …
What causes them is very varied, but among the main causes we have experienced traumatic events, being sick, having eaten a large dinner, having bad eating habits, sleeping little, being under medication, or suffering from a sleep disorder. They can also appear without apparent cause and, if we have nightmares very from time to time, we should not worry because everyone has them at times.
4. Lucid dreams
Lucid dreams are daydreams in which we are fully aware that we are dreaming. As a general rule, we wake up the moment we realize that we are dreaming, although this is not always the case, and, surprising as it may seem, we can train and practice the ability to turn our dreams into lucid ones.
It is striking to know that there are people who have such lucid dreams that it is not that they are simply aware that they are dreaming, but that they can also control the dream, what it is about, and what they do while they are dreaming it. During lucid dreams, we can control our body, thoughts, and events within the dream.
5. Precognitive dreams
Some call them precognitive dreams, but by proxy, we can call them prophetic dreams or dream premonitions. They are those daydreams in which we see something that, after a while, since we had the dream, what we dream about seems to have become reality.
They are dreams that one could well say mystical, paranormal, visions that predict the future, although science is more in favor of considering that it is simply a coincidence, that we have dreamed of something and, later, it has happened as it could not have done.
There are those who say that more than being prophecies, what actually happens is that our subconscious prepares for something that is probably going to happen, without our realizing it. Our subconscious “speaks” to us in dreams making us dream about it and, after a while, what we had foreseen would most likely happen happens.
But precognitive dreams aren’t the only seemingly paranormal dreams said to exist. There are many people who report having mystical experiences while they slept, claiming that they had tuned into other people’s minds or had been visited by ghosts from the other world. Among these we have:
- Telepathic dreams: dreaming that they communicate with us, be it a person or something.
- Shared dreams: that two or more people dream of the same thing at the same time.
- Visitation dreams: dreaming that a loved one who has died visits us while we sleep, in a very lucid way, to convey his will to us before leaving for the afterlife.
6. False awakenings
Sometimes it happens that we dream of life itself. We wake up, check the time on our cell phone, make some tea, take a shower, and bang! we discover that we are still in bed and all that has not happened.
This is called false awakening, a type of dream in which we see, with total lucidity, how we wake up and start the day like every morning and then realize that it has actually been our subconscious that has played a trick on us. . They are dreams in which we dream that we wake up. Curious, right?
The “daydreams” (“daydreams” in English) involve dreaming while we are awake. There are those who say that they are dreams, while others consider that they are not because the person is awake. Whatever they are, what is clear is that they are related to dreams and we can consider them as a special type within them.
We say that a person has a “daydream” when he perceives immediate reality in a diluted way as if he were having a very lucid dream despite being awake. It is as if she were in a kind of hypnotic trance, receiving visual stimuli but capturing them in an unreal way as if they were hallucinations or something alien to her.
8. Healing dreams
Healing dreams are those in which we are immersed in a situation in which we have the gift of being able to heal other people, either through telepathy, telekinesis or the magical gift. They are dreams that express our desire to be able to help others, to cure life-threatening illnesses or to want to solve a problem, disorder, or illness that we are suffering from.
9. Metaphorical dreams
Metaphorical dreams, also called symbolic dreams, are those daydreams that represent something of our life in the form of a situation that represents it, but not directly. For example, let’s say a person is going through a very difficult time, in which everything is uphill. When you sleep, you may dream that you are climbing a mountain, a landform that represents the difficulties of your day-to-day life.
Metaphorical dreams are preferred by psychological and parapsychological currents who consider that dreams can be interpreted. In fact, practitioners of dream interpretation consider almost anything we dream about as metaphorical dreams. Everyone is free to believe if what we dream really has some symbolism or is nothing more than simple images and random scenes …
10. Creative and inspiring dreams
There are some dreams that are very inspiring and, in addition, they bring with them creative ideas or the answer to problems of our day to day for which we have not been able to find a solution while we were awake. They are dreams that, when waking up, are lived as if they had been revelations.
A famous case of this type of dream was that experienced by Paul McCartney, who claims that one day he dreamed of a melody that, with a few adjustments, would become the famous song “Yesterday” by the Beatles. Another example is what happened to James Watson, who dreamed of two snakes coiling between them, a revelation that would become his model of the DNA for which he would win the Nobel Prize.
The 10 types of dreams (and their characteristics)