How Long Do Dreams Last?


How much do you know about dreams? What are its meanings? And how long do dreams last? If you are interested to learn more about dreams, this post is made for you.

In this post, we want to educate you more. It’s not just to feed your curiosity but to also understand an activity that happens when you sleep. We know you are excited to know more, so keep on reading.

What Are Dreams?

When we talk about dreams, this refers to the sensations, emotions, and ideas that happen involuntarily in our mind. If you must know, there is a study of dreams which is called oneirology.

In most cases, dreams happen during the REM (rapid-eye movement) stage of sleep. This is the stage when the brain activity is high, and it seems that you are awake. When you are at the REM stage, your eyes begin to move rapidly.

Take note that dreams can also occur during the other stages of sleep. However, these could be less vivid.

The first recorded dreams can be traced back 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. These dreams were documented on clay tablets.

Facts About Dreams

Here are a few interesting things about dreams which you probably don’t know yet.

  • Your body is paralyzed when dreaming
  • Your brain has the power to choose what to forget in your dreams
  • Other dreams are in black and white

How Long Do Dreams Last

How Long Do Dreams Last?

Our dreams can vary. It can last for a few seconds or could be as long as 30 minutes. If you are awakened during the REM phase, you are likely to remember your dream.

It is also possible to have multiple dreams per night. On average, a person could have three to five dreams, and in other cases, it could reach seven.

Around 95% of our dreams are forgotten shortly after waking up. Experts believe that the changes in our brain which happen during sleep cannot support the information storage and processing for memory formation.

Overview on Nightmares

According to studies, around 50 – 85% of adults experience nightmares. Most of the time, this occurs during the last third of the night. It is reported that women are likely to have bad dreams compared to men. The reasons vary, and this includes your stress level and even medications.

Nightmare disorders are extremely rare, but this doesn’t eliminate the fact that we could have it. To date, 4% of adults experience this. The common treatments for this conditio are cognitive behavioral therapy and image rehearsal therapy.  

The Unconscious Mind and Dreams

Some people believe that dreams can be associated with our unconscious mind. You can dream about a variety of things, including something bizarre or even surreal. Let’s just say there’s no limit when you dream. It could be exciting, magical, whimsical, and even sensual. What is fascinating about dreams is that sometimes, creative thoughts are manifested. This could serve one’s inspiration.

You cannot control your dreams except in the cases of lucid dreams. When we say lucid dreams, the dreamer is self-aware.

The Meaning of Dreams

There are several opinions and theories about the meaning of dreams. According to Freudian theory, your dreams could reveal your hidden emotions and desires. It can also be related to obsessions and even repressed childhood memories. Others believe that it is just a product of random brain activation.

During the Greek and Roman periods, they believed that dreams are messages from deities or from people who have passed away.

Bad Dreams are More Common

If you experienced dreaming about something bad, this is pretty common. Apart from the stress and anxiety, the smell can also influence your dream. Speaking of which, you might want to use essential oils and diffusers to improve the atmosphere in your room. Here are a few of our recommendations.

Lagunamoon Essential Oils

How Long Do Dreams Last? - Tip Top Sleep

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One of our favorite oils is from Lagunamoon. And we bet it will be yours too. You can even get gift sets and use different scents every night. Using a diffuser, you can use 8 – 10 droplets of these essential oils. In addition, these can be used when you are taking a bath or cleaning. Those who have used these oils noticed immediate changes in their lives – and they loved it!

Sierra Modern Home Smart WiFi Diffuser

How Long Do Dreams Last? - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.  

As for the diffuser, this has got to be your choice. It’s ‘smart’ and can be accessed using an app. At least you can place it far away from your bed, and at the same time, control it. It could even last for 12 hours. That means, you get to use it hours before you go to sleep. That’s a great way to condition your body.

Take note that this isn’t small, so you can’t exactly bring it anywhere. However, with all its features and benefits, that’s not going to stop us from recommending this product.

Dream Incubation

In other cultures, dream incubation is practiced. This is a thought technique wherein the objective is to have a specific dream happen. To put this simply, you are tasked to focus or give attention to a particular issue or topic before going to bed.

Women vs Men, Differences on Their Dreams

According to research, women tend to dream differently from men. Here’s a quick rundown of what they dream about.

For Women

  • clothing
  • rejection
  • exclusion
  • conversation
  • multiple characters
  • both sexes

For Men

  • weapons
  • aggressive content
  • physical activity
  • other men

Meanwhile, we found this video about the dreams that you shouldn’t ignore. Check it out.

Can Animals Dream?

This is possible, but nothing is certain. However, research has it that animals also go through different sleeping stages, including REM and non-REM. If this is the case, there is a possibility that our pets and other animals could dream too.


Dreams are just extremely fascinating. And we bet that there is so much to learn about it. While some dreams can be exciting to recall, others can be alarming, such as having constant nightmares. If your dreams are already stopping you from having a normal day, we encourage you to see a professional and check if there is an underlying health condition.

As we all know, quality sleep is beneficial for your health. If you keep on waking up because of a bad dream, that could affect your emotional, mental and physical state. Don’t let that happen.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.