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dee1313's avatar

Has anyone else ever had colorful and colorless dreams?

Asked by dee1313 (948 points ) July 28th, 2009

When I was younger, I had colorless dreams. The best way to describe them is black and white, but when I dream those colors are there, there is just no color. Usually there is no defining shapes for what I am dreaming about, either, almost like what I would imagine having terrible vision is like. Although the shapes are vague, I still clearly know what it/he/she is.

I’ve also had very colorful dreams that vary in how vivid they are, but everything is very clear, no wishy washy stuff. They are usually kind of bright, and busy.

I feel that dreams are just reflections on how we feel or what is on our minds (or what we’re recently encountered during our waking/sleeping hours). Though, I have no idea whether having a dream in color or if it is colorless has any significance. Oftentimes my colorful dreams are crazy so I have difficultly understanding why I would dream them. The only one I can remember is the first, which mashed Willy Wonka and Resident Evil into my dream.

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17 Answers

Allie's avatar

I don’t think I’ve had a colorless dream, but I’ve had a sepia one. I’m not kidding either. It looked like an old photograph.

Reubend's avatar

I had a dream that was cell animated.
EDIT: With animated colors.

eponymoushipster's avatar

my dreams are like indie-movie colored. you know, a weird blueish tone to them.

what’s odd is that i can actually read in my dreams. thus making my dreams the most boring dreams ever.

dee1313's avatar

@eponymoushipster Wow, that sucks. My dreams are always fascinating (at least at the time, I have difficulty explaining/ remembering then so they sound boring). I’ve always said that I have no reason to take drugs, I already get awesome experiences in my sleep.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@dee1313 i wish i could take some books with me. get some reading done on my off-time. ;)

Grisaille's avatar

I’m being a cheater and coping a previous answer on this thread (in its entirety, because I’m too lazy a bastard to cut out the irrelevant parts).

“Great question. I’m a bit busy, but I’ll share an experience with you all, might give you some insight.

“Lucid Dreaming (this is the elementary explanation – stay with me, oneironauts!) is the act of fully controlling your dreams. There are many ways to achieve this, and with practice, you can pretty much turn full control on and off.

“Well, one night I was experimenting with what I can do. Somewhat bored with flying around like Superman (yes, it’s what everyone does first – it’s quite difficult to reach the point where you can do this without losing control of your lucid state), I decided to try a bit of a test.

“We perceive the world in three primary colors – red, blue and green. Every color in this world is some combination of the three. I wanted to see if I could have my subconscious create a fourth primary color. Our brains are written to know these “natural” colors; what happens when you force it to imagine another color?

“Well, I did just that. I created the scenario where I was standing in a field alone (quite a common scene for me, I generally use this as my starting point when creating a world). I stared up at the sky, and saw it was a deep blue, with no moon, sun or stars. I shifted that to red, then to green. I started to mix colors and came up with yellow, browns, purples… any color combination I could think of. Eventually, I told myself, “Now, a fourth primary color.”

“And I did so.

“To this day, I still cannot describe the color, as the only way I can is by using other colors as examples (I sometimes try to describe it other items and still fail). As @YARNLADY has said, I know that my subconscious mind was creating the color based off of something, I just don’t know what. It’s a mystery to me, one I’ve been trying to solve.

“So, to connect this to your question, maybe a blind person “sees” things we cannot, as their minds are using reference points that we can’t understand. They’re other senses are heightened and trained to make up for their failed vision. Therefore, I can only assume they “see” in a very different way, and imagine something like “primary colors” (something that can only be described to them, something they cannot witness) in the way I “saw” that fourth primary color.

“A chair might look very different to them – they have felt it, know the outline, but cannot encompass it from afar. They know of their dog, yet cannot “visualize” it they way we do, and probably “see” it very differently in their mind’s eye.

“Difficult, I hope someone can give us a better answer.”

dee1313's avatar

@eponymoushipster Haha that’d certainly help a lot with school!

oscarpiggy's avatar

i always die in my dreams. I have dreams where the main thing i look at is colourful and everything else is black and white.

marinelife's avatar

having dreams with color and without (or without the perception of color) is pretty common.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

my dreams consist of two things, sometimes they’re nothing but random colours and shapes accompanied by random sounds, there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it.
The other ones are always very detailed and pretty out there, but the biggest feature about them is all the colours are mixed and matched, the sky will be orange, grass will be purple, etc etc. all in all they’re always pretty emotionally intense whether it be fear, anger, sadness, joy, arousal, there’s never an even Kiele, always extreme.

MacBean's avatar

I read somewhere that people who grew up with black and white TV tend to dream in black and white, and people who grew up with color TV tend to dream in color. I questioned the validity of that when I first heard it, because I sometimes dream one way and sometimes dream the other. But I did watch a lot of old black and white TV when I was a kid, so I don’t know.

Garebo's avatar

The most vivid, real and intense dreams came from taking the prescription Chantrix, while taking B6 with it-not on purpose. It was like why wake up this is reality enough.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Lots of people will tell you that it is impossible to dream in color because of how color is processed through the eyes bla bla bla bla… I disagree with them .. my dreams are all in color.. whether or not its my eyes or my brain telling me what the colors are is irrelevant.

My dreams are a mish mash of random tidbits .. things I’ve encountered.. my hopes, fears, and dreams in life.. all rolled up into a 30 second dream that I rarely remember. Good job brain for messin with me again.

niigerian's avatar

I generally dream in color, often vividly, but have on occasion dreamed in black and white.

dreambob's avatar

European researchers have shown that during the past 60 years, more people now claim to dream in color. It may be because of the advent of color television. What do you think?

dee1313's avatar

@dreambob I’m a gamer, and I often have vivid and colorful dreams after playing for a long time or right before bed. Sounds entirely possible to me!

It’s also possible that no one reported it before because of the fear of being crazy? I don’t know, I’ve heard a weird old wives tale that the insane dream in color. Thoughts?

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