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Types of dreams and their explanation

Updated on February 20, 2013


We all dream at night. Maybe you will remember your dreams once you wake up, or maybe not. You actually have about 4 to 5 dreams per night. The one(s) you might remember are most often the ones you dream right before you wake up. What you might not know is that there are different types of dreams and they all have a different meaning.

Dream types

According to dream researchers a daydream is not a real dream, and therefore does not belong to the dream species. Daydreaming does have an effect on your drams at night, though, it makes them more intensive. With daydreaming you fantasize about anything and everything and you can relive your memories (good or bad). When daydreaming you use the right-side of your brain, which shapes your creative mind. Creative people therefore tend to be daydreamers. It also means that daydreamers tend to have more lucid dreams (see below).

Lucid dreaming
Lucid dreams where you realize that you are dreaming, and you can affect the outcome of your dreams in varying degrees. The rarer form of lucid dreaming is when you dream about something dangerous or frightening, but you are not afraid and you can influence the situation and bring it to a better ending. This is what professionals use to help people overcome certain fears they have in real life. The more often you have lucid dreams, the better you will become in influencing what happens in your dreams.

False awakening dreams
To simply explain this type of dream, it is the dream type where you dream that you wake up and it feels real but in fact you are still sleeping. These type of dreams can often be very frightening. For example, you “wake up” and you want to turn on the lights, but they don’t work and you see something coming at you in your own room, after which you really wake up with a scare. These dreams seem very real and that is also why you quite often remember these type of dreams for a long time.

Predictive dreams
Predictive dreams are the type of dreams in which part of what you dream actually truly happens in real life, therefore predicting what will happen. These type of dreams are rare and it is also not clear whether they are really considered as “visions”. Often predictive dreams are related to accidents or disasters. There are several explanations for having predictive dreams:

  • Your subconscious seeks certain bits and pieces together to make things more understandable to your brain
  • When your dreaming the bits and pieces that you overlook during the daytime are put together when you dream at night.
  • It could also mean that you are looking for some sort of guidance in your life and your dreams then provide you with some sort of reassurance.

Epic dreams
Epic dreams are quite rare. In your dreams you come across a completely different world, where everything seems complete and time passes, like in real life. These types of dreams are meant to see the world with a different view. Because these types of dreams are so different from your regular dreams you will remember the dream quite easily and for a long time.

Recurring dreams
Every dream has a meaning and it is a way of your brain to process everything that happens in daily life, such as emotions, conversations and actions that you take. The message of a recurring dream can be so powerful that its content tends to linger in your mind. The dream often comes back so you remember it and therefore pay more attention to it. Recurring dreams are often caused by a conflict or situation in your life that has not been resolved (yet). Your subconscious tries to tell you in this way that this situation or conflict needs to be resolved, and you will notice that when it is solved, the dream will not appear anymore.

Nightmares are the most feared dreams. Everyone knows what nightmares are and the underlying message of a nightmare is to confront you with the fears that you have (subconsciously). Often talking to someone about your fears or your nightmares already helps to reduce them or take them away.


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i just had dreams yesterday. With your hub, i will be able to know what my dreams are all about. Thanks. Voted useful