General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Do you ever live an entire life in a dream?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21483points) December 22nd, 2008

The other dream questions tonight prompted this one.

Every once in a while, I dream that I live an entire life. I once dreamt that I met a man, married him, had a daughter, and then when she was five years old, I had to rescue her from his tyrant parents. People have a hard time believing me when I tell them this and most other people have not experienced this.

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21 Answers

aanuszek1's avatar

Never. Dreams are very short. I don’t think I can stay in REM sleep that long.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

No, I haven’t. I’ve had dreams that were snipets of what could be an entire life, but never an entire life in one dream.

That’s not to say that it isn’t impossible, of course. Dreams often seem to be a lot longer than they really are.

aanuszek1's avatar

I read somewhere that the average dream lasts three seconds, have you ever heard that, or am I crazy?

KatawaGrey's avatar

I don’t mean literally being asleep for that long, but the dream time always runs differently in these dreams.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@aan: I’ve never heard that, but I’m pretty sure that my dreams don’t last three seconds. Actually, I know that for a fact because I often fall asleep dreaming something and wake up dreaming the same dream, at a different part of the story, of course. And half of the sentences in my dreams take longer than three seconds to say, so that wouldn’t make much sense.

asmonet's avatar

Yes. Pretty frequently actually. Then again, I dream almost every night.

They’re almost never happy, more dark, sinister, even in the happier ones there’s an element of danger. Sometimes, I dream in different ‘formats’, sometimes like life, sometimes viewing from above or to the side, or as if it was filmed in a movie. They’re always the movie ones, with me playing a part. Usually, I’m in someone else, acting with them but distinctly separate, male or female, old or young, all sorts. Like in Being John Malkovich. I usually die or disappear at the end not necessarily violently, sometimes it spans an entire natural life, sometimes much shorter.

On the other hand, I have a recurring dream where the world is made of candy. Skittle rain, licorice terriers, gumdrop pavement and candy cane streetlights. So…yeah. That’s normal.

This response makes me sound like a serial killer.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@as: That sounds very interesting actually. I don’t think you’re a serial killer. I’m just glad I’m not a complete freak. :)

I lurved you even though we can’t increase each other’s lurve anymore.

asmonet's avatar

@kat: Lurve you too, baby.

Yeah, heh, let’s just say some of the more dark themes would make a psych major cream their pants.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Yeah, well, psych majors are psych majors because they’re completely insane themselves. :)

asmonet's avatar

Well, then when I’m committed I’ll be in good company. :D

krose1223's avatar

I have had dreams like this before, maybe not quite so long. I’ve found out I was pregnant and dreamt about the full pregnancy and a few years into the childs life.

augustlan's avatar

Not an entire life, but years and years of a life.

arnbev959's avatar

I’ve had dreams that last days, but not lifetimes.

XCNuse's avatar

I wish, that would be crazy! (aka think of hte movie Click holy crap!)

As for dreams lasting 3 seconds, at first I had a thought similar to flyawayxxballoon’s, but… one thing, a dream isn’t made up from thin air, it’s our memory sensors going off in random sequences setting up a plot, so as far as i can imagine.. maybe they really ar e3 seconds long?

Personally I always thought that they were a very long time, but after thinking about it in that way… it could be that they are very short.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i imagine you can do that, since dreams don’t usually occur in like realtime or anything.
and i imagine i definitely can since i’ve been known to sleep through an entire day haha.

@aanuszek, i don’t think dreams only last 3 seconds. i could have missed that part in class though.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Just a note, a number of dreams actually don’t last very long. I don’t know if it’s 3 seconds, but I don’t think that would be too far off the mark. People just don’t remember these dreams. Point of interest, everybody dreams too, so when people say they don’t dream, it’s not true. They just don’t remember what they dream.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Only in the Matrix.

Nimis's avatar

Dreams don’t seem to correspond to real time for most people. Often dreams that last mere seconds may span years. Besides the more obvious benefits of dreaming (ie. sorting information gleaned during waking hours), I think it allows us to extend our lifetimes (so to speak).

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Some of my dreams have spanned a couple of weeks or months. Most of them at least span several days. Your “lifetime” dream is very interesting, and very rare! I get bored with my dream and “change channels” before it can last that long.

Nimis's avatar

I love even the most seemingly mundane moments in my dreams.
Everything is so amplified, soft and brilliant…hauntingly significant somehow.

antje's avatar

maybe you died and came back? (life streams in front of your eyes sort of thing….)

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