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downtide's avatar

Does anyone else share this dream experience?

Asked by downtide (23330 points ) May 1st, 2012

This isn’t one of those “what does this dream mean” questions. I’m more interested to know if anyone else experiences the same thing I do.

When I have dreams about flying (which is quite a large proportion of the dreams I remember), whether I’m in some sort of aircraft or flying under my own power, I am never able to fly higher than tree-top height. Even if there are no trees around, there is a sort of invisible “ceiling” beyond which I cannot fly.

Does this happen to anyone else? If not, are there any other similar quirks to your dreams?

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22 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I have never had that experience.

ucme's avatar

I sometimes dream of flying, under my own steam, when I say steam, I mean more like my arms wildly flapping about the place.
So much so when I wake up, pillows are scattered to the four corners of the bedroom.
I fly really high, it frightens me to the point I need to go wee-wee.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The reoccurring dreams about being able to fly without wings or a vehicle stopped sometime in my teens. In recalling those that I remember, yes, the height was never higher than level to or just over treetops. Interesting….I never thought about it before.

This may have no relevance, so take it for what it’s worth. In college, I took a course called, “Death and Dying”. There were several books assigned as required reading. One was about cases of people who were declared clinically dead and were brought back to life. They resided all over the world. Some had different religious beliefs and several were non-religious.

Almost all described an out-of-body experience where they could see their own body from above and a medical team working to revive them.. One went as far as to say that they felt a floating sensation that lifted them up out of the building and across terrain, but not too far high up. Years later, the person visited a town that ze had never been to before. There was a sudden sensation of Déjà vu. At some point, the person recalled that it was a memory from their medical incident. This town wasn’t easy to get to by vehicle, but after looking at a map, it was clear that it was a far shorter journey as the crow flies.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t usually have flying dreams anymore, but when I did, I’m pretty sure I was higher than tree tops. I seem to remember looking down on skyscrapers, so, I’m guessing I was pretty high. Probably what woke me up… I’m afraid of heights!

digitalimpression's avatar

I’ve never had a flying dream so I can’t help you out. I have had a dream where I was climbing to progressively higher and higher platforms. For this dream there was no height limit.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have had such a dream but not for many years. Psychoanalytic interpretations about such dreams exist but have no value to me.

Symbeline's avatar

Nope…I denno why, but I have a lot of dreams about tornadoes. Now it isn’t really flying, but in some of the dreams I get taken by wind, and it takes me frighteningly high, and in every which way. I once had this dream that I was stuck on the wing of a Boeing, and it was all up in the clouds and everything. As far as my ’‘flying’’ dreams go, there doesn’t seem to be any limit to how high I can get. (although the ’‘flying’’ is always involuntarily done, which I find interesting in relation to you willingly flying, but being set to certain height limits)

ETpro's avatar

No, when I have flying dreams it’s always under my own power and I can go as high as I wish. I love the feeling, but have the experience rarely. So I’d gladly exchange unlimited altitude with you in return for unlimited flights if only we could pull that off.

YoBob's avatar

Hmm… interesting question. I too seem to have a maximum height in flight dreams. However, there is a secondary component as well. It is rather hard to describe, but in my flight dreams the flight is powered by energy pulse that I can only describe as “Chi” that emanates from just below my solar plexus. I seem to run out of energy (will?) before being able to achieve any significant height too far above treetop level.

Kardamom's avatar

I have a horrific fear of flying on planes. Most of the dreams about flying (of my own volition) have been about very low flying, almost as if I’m just barely floating above the ground. Those dreams have been kind of nifty.

The other nightmarish dream that I have that happens often in times of stress is that somehow I’ve been transported to another continent, usually England (one of my favorite places) or maybe Hawaii for a visit. I have no idea how I came to be there, but now it’s time to go home and a FLIGHT has been scheduled to take me back home to California. Sometimes I refuse to go and end up staying somewhere that is not my home and I’m miserable. Othertimes I agree to get on the plane, but then have a panic attack during the dream flight and wake up screaming and shaking. Sometimes I literally think that I am going to die in my sleep.

Some people tell me that I should go to one of those “fear of flying classes” to get over my fear (which is partially irrational, and partially based 100% upon likely realities like real terrorism, meaning that most checked baggage is not screened, and simply the idea that you can drop 10,000 feet or more out of the sky, unlike when you take a bus or a train) But unfortunately, all of them involve actually getting on a plane and flying. OH PLEASE! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That’s like telling a rape victim that she needs to have sex with her rapist to get over her fear of rape. Well, not exactly the same thing, but I think you know what I’m saying.

ETpro's avatar

The variations of the flying dream are truly fascinating. So many of us experience them, but in such different ways. I wonder what it all means.

When I can fly in my dreams, the feeling is one of pure joy—ecstasy, I would say. Sometimes I spread my arms to fly. Sometimes I just fist up from the ground and soar effortlessly, going wherever I desire qat whatever speed I wish. That kind of flying is the best.

Elm1969's avatar

When I am flying in a dream I can see the curve of the earth some times and at other times I am just above the action.

I have the ability to control my dreams. I have dreams that have ‘markers’ in them. I can choose certain aspects, like flying high or low.

ETpro's avatar

@Elm1969 Did you go through some process to gain lucid dreaming ability?

Elm1969's avatar

@ETpro Not conciously. I just used to have such vivid dreams that would scare me when I was younger. I would wake up anxious and would tell myself that it was only a dream and would try and get back into the same dream as soon as possible to face my fear.

I found that I could do this, and started to exploit my dreams, shaping them if I became scared.

I sometimes feel that, at times I can tell myself what I am going to dream about before I do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Never had a problem with a ceiling. The higher I go the easier it is to fly. I went to outer space once, when I was in college. I had to fly through the ceiling of my room first, which was kind of scary, because I know that if I quit believing I could do that, I’d get stuck in the ceiling.

@ETpro Well, as you’re drifting off tell yourself that you are going to remember your dream. Try doing that every night, and I bet eventually it will happen.

The thing about lucid dreaming is…you suddenly realize you’re dreaming so you think “I can do any weird thing I want!” Then you pause and go, “Well, I just thought of something REALLY weird to do, and I really HOPE I’m really dreaming or I’m gonna be damned embarassed!” :)

ETpro's avatar

@Elm1969 Very cool. Consider it a blessing.

@Dutchess_III I’ll try that. Thanks. Given your interest, you might enjoy this question inspired by our discussions here.

Elm1969's avatar

@Dutchess_III The thing about lucid dreaming is…you suddenly realize you’re dreaming so you think “I can do any weird thing I want!” Then you pause and go, “Well, I just thought of something REALLY weird to do, and I really HOPE I’m really dreaming or I’m gonna be damned embarassed!” :)

That’s similar with me too. I love your description above.

downtide's avatar

I’ve only once had a lucid dream, it wasn’t about flying though.

ETpro's avatar

@downtide Next time realize that a lucid dream can be “about” anything your heart desires. Pleasant dreams.

downtide's avatar

@ETpro well, this one dream I had was a nightmare to begin with, and it turned lucid part-way through. At which point I was aware it was a dream therefore I was in control of everything that happened. I have never been able to make a dream go lucid on purpose.

ETpro's avatar

@downtide There are techniques you can learn and practice to deliberately establish lucid dreaming. Of course, it is work, and may or may not be worth the effort.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember being trapped in a corner once, in danger. Suddenly something kicked in and I said, “Hell! I’m dreaming! I’ll just fly on out of here!” And I did. Flew all over town and had a blast!

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