How Long Are Dreams?


Question:

How long are dreams? How long do dreams last for?

Answer:

The majority of our dreams occur in REM sleep, the cycle of sleep where there is recorded Rapid Eye Movement, thus the name REM sleep cycle. Studies suggest that it is when our eyes are moving rapidly that we are dreaming.

Generally speaking then, when subjects are woken during REM cycles, and asked to recall their dreams, the telling of the dream takes just abut the same amount of time that the Rapid Eye Movement was recorded for.

This seems to indicate that dreams last as long as you remember them lasting.

However, due to the subjective nature of time perception within dreams, this is a difficult question to answer fully.

Reports of perceived time within dreams suggests that there is great inconsistency in this aspect of dreaming.

Some people report dreams lasting only a few seconds while others report dreams lasting hours.

Reported perceptions presumably depend at least in part on how much of the dream is remembered, and possibly even on the process by which people recall their dreams.

Thus, when people report, "there was a lot more that I can't remember," it is unclear how this affects the perceived length of the dream.



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