dream types

When we fall asleep, some of us dream while others do not (or at least don’t remember it). But here’s the thing about dreams – there’s not just one singular type of dream.

In fact, there are several types of dreams – and you can experience all of them, just some of them, or none of them. If  you’re looking for ways to better understand what’s going on in your head while you sleep, then learning about the different types of dreams you have is a great place to start.

From the mundane to absolutely terrifying, below is a look at the types of dreams you can have while you’re sleeping.

1. Standard, Normal Dream

This right here is just your average everyday run of the mill dream. With a normal dream, you’re not aware that you’re dreaming while it’s happening and you only realize it upon waking up.

Normal dreams come from REM sleep and pretty much everyone is having standard dreams when they sleep, even if they do not remember them. In fact, scientists think that an estimated 95% of dreams are forgotten when we wake up.

A standard dream can be in color, or it can be in black and white.

A standard, normal dream is the type of dream that doesn’t really fit the characteristics of the other dream types.

2. Visitation Dreams

This type of dream is very common and in it you are talking with someone who is deceased. Often, this is a dead relative or friend, but it can also be a dead pet.

We often think that the dead person is trying to communicate with us, or send us a message, in a visitation dream. And that very well may be true.

In my experience, visitation dreams feel very real and they are quite vivid. In fact, it often feels like the dead person is alive again, which may seem unsettling upon waking up from the dream.

You don’t often hear people talk about dreaming of people who have passed away, but it is actually quite common.

3. Lucid Dreams

This is one that you’ve probably heard of, but might not be quite certain of what it means. Lucid dreams are really interesting because you’re fully aware that you’re dreaming during them, and you are in complete control of the dream.

Of course, it’s not easy to experience this type of dream and people spend time learning how to lucid dream so that they can experience the sensation whenever they like. Lucid dreaming is a great way to center yourself and get to know yourself.

It is estimated that 55% of dreamers experience lucid dreaming at least once in their lifetime.

4. Release Dreams

When people are surveyed, release dreams are often found to be the most common type of dream that people have. You see, release dreams are the dreams we have when we are trying to work out the solution to a problem.

So basically, during our waking life we have accumulated experience and knowledge (and likely lots of questions) that we cannot make sense of during the day. So, when we fall asleep our subconscious sets to work on making sense of all that date and sensory input.

The result is a release dream.

Sometimes the symbolism in release dreams can leave you feeling confused upon waking as you try to interpret it.

5. Message Dreams

Have you ever woken up from a dream feeling like it was trying to tell you something important? That’s a message dream.

Message dreams are often recurring dreams, which means that you end up feeling like the universe is trying to tell you the same message over and over.

And that message can be about anything – from your job to your relationship. So, try to be open the message and see if it helps you in your waking life.

6. Wish Dreams

I like to think of these as manifestation dreams because you’re basically just dreaming about the various things that you wish or desire. So, it could be anything from your dream job to your dream home.

What’s great about wish dreams is that they often leave you waking up feeling happy and hopeful.

You can classify sexual dreams as a wish dream.

7. Psychic Dreams (Pre-Cognitive Dreams)

Often just called psychic dreams, pre-cognitive dreams are when you dream about something before it happens. You can also have one of these dreams while something is happening, such as a death or birth.

Pre-cognitive dreams are similar to message dreams, and can sometimes be similar to wish dreams, but they are different in the distinction that the dream is about something that actually happens – typically before it happens. Having a prophetic dream

Unfortunately, not everyone has psychic dreams, but they can be pretty cool when you experience one.

8. Healing Dreams

This is an interesting dream type because of the way it makes you feel afterwards. People who have experienced healing dreams wake up feeling centered with an overwhelming positivity about them.

Healing dreams can give you closure, give you a sense of connection, give you a sense of purpose, and bring a sense of meaning to your life.

They can bring you inner harmony, peace, joy, or even a sense of reconciliation.

9. False Awakening Dreams

If you’ve ever experienced one of these types of dreams, then you know how utterly odd they are. And they can actually be a bit unsettling.

With a false awakening dream, you are dreaming that you have woken up from a dream…yet you are not actually awake because you are dreaming up the whole thing.

When I was a child, I dreamed that I woke up because I had to pee and that I went to the bathroom to pee….then I finally woke up for real when I peed the bed! All because I had a false awakening dream.

False awakening dreams are most commonly associated with lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis.

10. Recurring Dreams

As the name implies, recurring dreams are those that repeat in your mind while you’re sleeping. Often, recurring dreams are nightmares, but not always.

When I was younger I had a recurring dream that I think was a past life experience. It was always the same thing and eventually I just stopped having it.

It is important to note that sometimes recurring dreams are the result of prescription medication, substance abuse, or other medical condition.

11. Nightmares

Hands down the worst type of dream to experience, nightmares can be scary and disturbing. They often happen when you’re under a lot of stress or if you’ve watched or seen something scary.

For most people, nightmares have one (or more) of the following themes:

  • death (usually of someone you care about deeply) or yourself dying
  • being hunted or chased
  • physical violence or other threat to yourself

If you have experienced a traumatic event in your waking life, then you can have nightmares of that as well. Nightmares can be recurring, and often are for some people.

12. Daydreams

You might be surprised to see this one on the list since you don’t have to be asleep in your bed to be daydreaming. That’s right, daydreams tend to happen during the day while you’re completely awake but your mind is wandering and thinking about other things.

People often call it zoning out or maybe fantasizing, but people all over the world regularly experience daydreams.

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One Comment

  1. Having dreams that continue after being woke for some reason, like a loud noise that causes me to get out of bed and investigate. This continuation is not mentioned in the article.

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