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I need to know about your dreams
Illuminati
andrewducker
Poll #1970390
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 100

Dreams - Generally....

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I remember mine in great detail
18 (18.2%)
I remember mine in some detail, but chunks of them are blurry
38 (38.4%)
I remember a tiny bit of detail, but most of it is very vague
20 (20.2%)
they are all a blur
1 (1.0%)
I remember nothing
14 (14.1%)
SEIWEIC
8 (8.1%)

Plot

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My dreams have plots, and events, and characters and themes tying them all together
63 (63.0%)
My dreams are a bunch of random things that don't tie to each other at all
21 (21.0%)
Nope, still don't remember anything about them
9 (9.0%)
SEIWEIC
7 (7.0%)

In my dreams I can fly

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Yes! Wheeeeee!
27 (27.3%)
Well, I can glide. Or float a bit. My feet aren't attached to the ground all the time.
26 (26.3%)
There's nothing that coherent
18 (18.2%)
No idea, I don't remember them
8 (8.1%)
SEIWEIC
20 (20.2%)

Awareness

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I am aware I am dreaming, and have control over my dreams
16 (16.2%)
I am aware I am dreaming, but have no control
23 (23.2%)
I am not aware I am dreaming
35 (35.4%)
No idea, anything could be happening in there, I don't recall.
7 (7.1%)
SEIWEIC
18 (18.2%)


By request of bracknellexile, in the context of today's XKCD.

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My dreams are totally incoherent. Imagine that you had a big bank of memories, and triggered them at random. You could build something out of them in retrospect, but only in the same way that you can make faces out of electrical sockets or elephants out of drifting clouds.

Exception: anything involving spiders, exams, or school means I'm stressed.

Oh, and I generally remember very little, if anything, of dreams. Most days I have no memory of even if I did dream.

I do remember dreams quite often, but in the past I have been on medication that, as a side effect, made dreams *incredibly* vivid.

I'm not sure how much of the plots and characters actually occur and how much of that is my waking mind attempting to structure random junk retrospectively into a semblance sense.

Never dreamed I could fly. Sometimes aware I'm dreaming, sometimes not.


I've given a few concrete answers, but the answer to all of the above is "It varies". The level of plot, vividness and level of control all vary enormously. I can normally fly in my dreams, but I don't normally remember to.

Edited at 2014-06-02 01:51 pm (UTC)

Last two quesions, with answers that seem to have been missed.

1. To the best of my recollection, I don't have flying dreams.

2. Sometimes I have lucid dreams, sometimes I do not. I may realise I am dreaming lucidly, but do not try to change anything, or I might force myself to wake up.

Is everyone else getting to fly in their dreams? Unfair, no flying for me. I used to often dream of apocalypse, or post apocalypse, although less so recently, and I frequently have different dreams that occur in the same locations

Oh and once I dreamt an entire Bond film, that was pretty awesome

(Deleted comment)
Those I do remember tend to have some kind of narrative structure from moment to moment, but it falls apart in retrospect.

Same here... they all seem extremely logical at the time, but looking back I can't understand how the details are all supposed to work out.

I am not usually aware that I am dreaming, but I have managed to train my brain such that if I am desperate to pee and all the toilets are boarded up or broken or missing or full or just empty cubicles with no porcelain, I realise I am dreaming and should wake up and go use the bathroom.

Heh, my subconscious has very similar ways of alerting me to the fact that I need the loo while I'm dreaming. Usually for me, the toilets are there, but there is no privacy - either they're not in cubicles at all, but in some kind of open-plan set-up (no thanks!) or there are no doors or inadequate doors on the stalls.

To nuance my answers a little:

My dreams usually feel like they have plots at the time, and even in retrospect parts of them do look even to my conscious mind as though they were following a linear development. But there's a lot of randomness in there too.

I'm sometimes (quite rarely) aware that I'm dreaming, and even more rarely can control things for a few seconds, but that's usually then followed by emerging into full wakefulness.

I usually don't remember anything, but once or twice I've had a floating dream or a lucid dream.

My dreams feel like a plot made up as they go along, maybe?

Decades ago now I got in to lucid dreaming. Gave it up cold turkey.

I realised it was having a pretty bad effect on my waking life. I wasn't getting enough restful sleep, despite spending a lot of time in bed. And it turns out that it wasn't actually very good to spend my waking hours staggering around in a sleep-deprived haze, obsessively checking the fabric of reality to see if I was dreaming or not, and wishing I could conjure up all the cool stuff I could make happen in dreams.

So now I deliberately choose not to remember my dreams so far as possible. From the ones I catch anyway they've not changed substantially.

My 'natural' dreams don't have plots, but while dreaming I'm convinced they do and am great at confabulating a coherent story to it. Having spent a fair amount of effort logging dreams (part of getting in to lucid dreaming), I can say with some confidence that mine certainly didn't make good coherent sense to an alert, wakeful brain. They were very much a bunch of random impressions and scenarios tuned to the sort of stuff I knew about or had experienced.

Years later I read one of Daniel Dennett's books about consciousness (possibly Consciousness Explained) and his theory of dreams seemed utterly and entirely compelling to my personal experience. I can't rememeber to do it enough justice, but he posits consciousness as the interaction between a narrative/sense-building process linked to memory and sense-data process. When you're asleep you don't have the sense-data coming in so your sense-making process just gets random answers.

Plus one. Constantly having to check what's real or not can lead to madness, and if you are already on shaky ground as it is.....no thanks.

I dislike lucid dreaming.

I picked the most common occurrences for each, but it varies.

Sometimes I have some control, sometimes I'm not aware I'm dreaming.

Most often there is no flying at all, but I have a relatively common recurring dream-element where I lift my feet off the ground by bending my knees while continuing to stand up, sometimes also being able to float along (sometimes only by pushing the air) and then spend some time wandering around trying to convince people I can do this / that it's interesting and/or weird. And sometimes I can fly superhero-style,or float off indefinitely with this power, but that's much rarer.

I also remember in vastly different detail levels - quite often these days I can only remember the scene just before waking, or more frustratingly that I _was_ doing something interesting just a moment ago but now it's been totally overwritten by my current train of thought.

And I have very different coherency levels - from 'essentially that was an entire coherent novel' through 'this is an entirely different concept-space to reality, the normal rules of coherence don't actually apply' to 'here have a series of blatant obvious metaphors for the thing you were just worrying about'. Most common is 'set of vignettes which each have their own internal consistency but don't actually continue to make sense over transitions'.



Edited at 2014-06-02 02:19 pm (UTC)

Currently I rarely wake up and remember a dream.

When I do I have very good recall and if I write down what happened straight away I can remember them. The act of writing them down helps crystalise them.

Occassionally I have recurring, or more accurately episodic dreams where I have very good recall even without writing them down. I haven’t experienced one for a while.

I have in the past been aware that I was dreaming and been able to take control of the dream and that’s been great. Tends to be if I have a nap in the day time with the curtains open.

My answers should be treated as having an implicit "sometimes" attached. Sometimes I'm aware I'm dreaming and can influence or control them; sometimes not. Sometimes they have roughly-coherent plots, sometimes not.

That being said, I've never flown in a dream though a few times I've been in free-fall. Those weren't always the pleasant ones...

-- Steve still remembers the dream of being ejected from a jetliner over Lake Ontario, and waking within the dream in a body cast. *shudder*

Never remembered a dream in which I could fly, but I don't remember that many dreams anyway. I usually don't get enough or too many hours of sleep in to wake up during a dream state. The dreams I do remember follow a coherent, narrative structure and make sense in that regard. Why the things that are happening in them are happening is an entirely different matter.

I had a lucid dream in which I realized I was talking to my own sub conscience. (Stupid iPad formatting) and apparently my subs conscience decided to dress like Macklemore. Like, in my dream I thought "this is me talking to myself. To a part of my own brain."

And my brain is a jerk. http://quirkytizzy.livejournal.com/753761.html

I can usually remember my dreams when I wake up. But if I don't explicitly make a mental note of them then, the memory fades. I'm pretty sure I dream every night though.
I find antidepressants make my dreams more vivid. When I was very depressed and on a high (for me) dose of Prozac, I had many very vivid dreams, often frightening and so exhausting I'd wake up from them tired. Thankfully, the worst effects faded as my depression lifted/I reduced my dosage.
These days my dreams are mostly just odd and entertaining, with the occasional anxiety dream. For instance, I'm dreaming a lot about giving birth at the moment. My baby's not due til August, but clearly it's weighing on my mind. Mostly not scary dreams, more my brain processing the idea, I think.

FFS. If you are going to have a "in my dreams I can fly" question and a yes and a bunch of meta answers, you ought at least to have a "no" as well.

Yeah, I didn't realise until 15 minutes later, and you can't edit polls, annoyingly!

I generally remember my dream (singular; the last one) fairly well... for a few minutes. Then it fades. I can sometimes remember about the dream, if not the dream itself. I don't recall ever flying. Frequently, a dream will be a continuation (or variant) of a previous dream. I've had several of these story arcs over the years. I can't say how many dreams are part of a sequence; probably less than half.

If I'm dreaming and almost awake, I have control over the dream. At least a little. Then I wake up.

I don't often remember my dreams, but when I do, they're generally the really long, crazy, jumping ones.

I think our dreams begin as collections of images, scenes, triggers, characters etc that dont necessarily follow a chronological ordering. I think we start to sort them and impose an order on them when we recall them with our conscious minds.

As such, keeping a dream journal tends to impose order on your dreams (which is why I choose not to). Also, becoming aware that I am dreaming imposes an order on the dream too. I'm yet to be able to allow the dream to follow a chaotic structure while being aware.

So, usually, I dont try to become aware, I just let the dreams happen as they will, and i try to remember them with their own structure.. thinking of scenes, triggers, cast etc.. rather than allowing my mind to impose a script.

I disagree - I distinctly recall plenty of times when I've dreamed something that made perfect narrative sense at the time, and then when I've thought about it after waking up I realise that no, it doesn't make sense that me and my brother would be living in a warehouse and I'd give birth to a kitten and then we'd go race cars on the moon. (And I'm definitely not aware of dreaming when I am, it's only after the fact that I start to go "Waitaminute... what?")

I can very, very occasionally control my dreams. It happened a couple of weeks ago - I was lost in a house and couldn't find my way out, and I thought "Well, Angie, this is a dream. Just make a door to the outside appear."
And it did.
I've never dreamed I can fly, though.
Last night I dreamed I was making out with a friend. That was nice.

argh. i think last night i dreamed telling si about the dream i had the night before. meta.

normally i'm not even aware of having dreamed, but if i'm well rested enough i occasionally remember a little bit. often because i'll dream as i'm waking up, and i gradually add more critical thinking into the scenario, and it slides into conscious imagination, until i fully wake up.

all i remember dreaming last night is that someone had used up all the mayonnaise and put the empty jar back in the fridge, and that when we went to sainsburys si wandered off with the trolley while i was getting yogurt. god my subconscious is boring.

I usually remember little or nothing about my dreams, but if I do remember, there's some sort of story line.

I'm more likely to remember a dream if I'm awakened when it's going on, but being awakened during a dream makes me cranky. I think this is something physiological rather than being irritated at missing the rest of the dream.

The memories fade very fast, but occasionally, I'm reminded of a dream by something that happens the day after.

I used to have have flying dreams, and there's some sensation of making the choice/effort to fly that was consistent from one dream to another, but of course, I can't remember it in enough detail to try it when awake. Of course, it's possible that I still have flying dreams, but don't remember them.

Yes, dreams of unavailable bathrooms means I will wake up and head for the real bathroom.

I've had lucid dreams once or twice when I was thinking about wanting lucid dreams, but generally speaking my dreams aren't lucid.

Sometimes I can control my dreams, sometimes not. Control isn't the ability to manage action in detail, but enter a dream (for instance, if I have woken up and want to continue a dream) and possibly sway the action.

BTW "flying" in my dreams is usually swimming through the air, or occasionally directed falling. It happens rarely, though.

Flying in dreams is the famous image that's supposed to represent sexual intercourse.

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