Vivid dreams are dreams that feel real. This means, instead of vague dreamscapes, you can remember details, sounds, topics of conversation and even smells.

Dreams that feel real can leave a lasting impression upon you when you wake. They can even terrify you at times. When I dream, I usually have vivid experiences like this. While these dreams used to scare me as a child, I have become accustomed to the influence. Now, I concentrate on discovering why they happen.

Possible meanings of dreams that feel real

Because I am a spiritual person, I can tell you many reasons behind dreams that seem real. On the other hand, because I find science interesting, I have to include scientific reasons as well.

The truth is, no one knows for sure where vivid dreams come from and why they come at all. We just have to take a look at a few theories to help us sleep better at night. Hmm…Let me start with scientific answers.

1. REM Cycles

To understand a bit more about dreams, you should study REM cycles and how they pertain to the overall vividness of dreams. There are several cycles of sleep, with REM being the most active cycle. The brain is engaged almost as if you are awake, except you are not. Instead of seeing images from life, you see images from your dreams. Your heart races and your breathing does as well.

This alert state in sleep could be the reason why dreams are so detailed. If you are awakened during one of the REM cycles, you will be better able to remember these dreams that feel real.

2. REM Rebound

The strange thing about REM sleep is that when it’s deprived, it can rebound on the next sleep cycle, and with a greater intensity. This thing called “REM rebound” has the ability to create dreams that feel real, and dreams that haunt us for days.

There are a few ways that REM rebound would occur. For instance, substances, such as alcohol or drugs will suppress REM sleep. When a person comes down from the effects of the substances and then sleeps again, REM cycles will be much longer and more intense. It’s really as if the REM cycles are making up for lost activity during sleep.

Another way you can experience REM rebound is due to sleep deprivation. The simple loss of sleep means loss of REM cycle time, thus creating a rebound during the next opportunity. Since cycles are more intense, then dreams can become almost lifelike in clarity, although still sometimes quite illogical.

3. Mental Disorders

As you may have guessed already, mental disorders can affect our sleep creating horribly lucid dreaming. Disorders such as bipolar, alone, or this condition coexisting with other disorders, can have a long list of reasons for vivid dreaming. For instance, if you suffer from bipolar disorder, your manic symptoms can cause sleep deprivation, and you already know where that leads with REM rebound.

You can also suffer from coexisting sleep apnea, which affects around 30% of those with bipolar disorder. With sleep apnea, cessation of breathing disrupts sleep patterns, thus causing more vivid dreams when REM sleep does happen. Too much sleep, due to depression or depressive episodes can also cause nightmares or vivid dreams.

In a nutshell, mental illness will never be a friend to the sleep cycles, and dreams that seem real will often happen to victims of these illnesses.

4. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, dreams that feel real are more common than before pregnancy, and there are three basic reasons why. First of all, hormones change during pregnancy and this affects waking and sleeping time equally.

Pregnancy also causes women to sleep more and the more you sleep, you more you dream. This creates more time for cycles which govern vivid dreams and their occurrence.

Finally, pregnancy means waking more during the night because of the increased need for urination (due to fetus pressing against the bladder, in case you didn’t know). The more you wake during dream episodes, the better you will be able to remember what you dreamed.

5. Messages

I hate to tell you this, but science doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes dreams are more than just hormones and cycles. Sometimes, especially when vivid dreams are repetitive, there is something or someone trying to send a message.

Yes, dreams can be used to send important information to someone who cannot hear these things while awake. The reason why I tell you this is because I have tested dreams with confirmation of their messages.

On many occasions, I experienced dreams that feel real and remembered their content. Upon waking, I paid attention and watched for the confirmation. More times than not, I have discovered a great message that was dire to my given situation in life, or sometimes to warn me of an impending event or death. While creepy, paying attention to these vivid messages could be beneficial to your own situation.

6. Color associations

I remember a dream that I had almost 20 years ago. It was so vivid and interesting that I can remember the words spoken, the images and the color scheme to this very day. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The dream was set in black and white and it appeared as if you were watching on an old movie reel, you know, grainy quality and all. In the scene, a woman ran through a cemetery with a bundle clutched closely to her chest. A voiceover spoke. “She brought the souls from the cemetery”.

This was my dream, and I have been searching for these past two decades for an answer. Do I believe it’s hormones? No, I do not. But I did learn a bit about color connotation connected with dream meanings. Here’s what I’ve discovered about black and white, as my scenery had not other colors:

  • Black denotes loss, which can mean death. It also relates to evil, your subconscious feelings, and mystery. The white tone represents spiritual growth, passion, or even can mean devotion. For now, I am still unsure of the meaning of my dream. I encourage you to pay attention to the colors, however, as they have a large influence on the substance and meaning.

7. Enlightenment/awakening

Dreams can also come as elements of your awakening. Yes, your dreams could be making you face the things that you need to understand in order to reach enlightenment. Your third eye could be pushing and trying to open to the things around you.

Spiritual beings, angels, ancestors – they could all be trying to help you encounter the uncharted territory of your mind. Listen carefully to the messages, however illogical as they may seem, and keep a journal to help you on your journey.

Dreams that feel real can remain mysteries

Even though your dreams are the substance of sleep and its conditions, they can also be governed by something much bigger than we are. In fact, some mysteries aren’t meant to be torn apart, and maybe this is one of them.

Dreams are real, so why should we wonder at why they seem so intricate and detailed. The mind, the universe is so vast and mysterious, that the wonders of our dreams can only be counted among all the other spectacles that surround us.

If you’re interested in learning more about your dreams and their meaning, by all means, keep learning!



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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Gary Hynous

    Here’s something I read recently. Our various states of mind are: waking state, dream state, dreamless sleep and finally a state of mind we can’t access unless we are, perhaps, an accomplished yogi in deep meditation. This last state of mind is where our soul (Christian) or our self (Hindu) really exists. This is what remains and is reborn when we shed our body like an old suit of clothes.

    1. Sherrie

      Yes, Gary, I believe this to be true. Have you ever considered that our dream world may have clues to help us access our One state? It’s as if there are pathways there if utilized correctly during sleep can lead to visions we need to help us understand our true soul. It was just something I Pondered on one day.

  2. Forvsj Mason

    I keep on having dreams where I do some stupid and get in major trouble and it feels too real that when I wake up I’m filled with relief.

  3. Bae

    Hi my name is bae and my husband has been having this dream for a few days now it’s hard to explain but he said its of a women who screams at him to wake up he said that she is a beautiful women but all of a sudden she turns dark and she has blood and scars with ragged clothes and her hair is all matted and she screams for him to wake up and to find her he said that normally she would disappear but this time he held onto to her and he yelled that he wasn’t going to leave her and he hung onto her and he said that he felt these arms wrap around him and she says softly “a cowbell on a door a door” and then she is gone he says that he doesn’t feel scared towards her but for her what does this mean and what should we do

    1. Veronica

      Hey bae nice to meet you.i read your story about your husband’s dream and the woman.well I have thee same dream about the same woman you’ve described and something about a cowbell.this is very strange .can you give me more information on what she says and does or tells your husband in his dreams me at [email protected]

  4. Andres

    I just had a dream that seem so real and very detailed about a place that I never been in real life, but I also had memories of being there a couple of times before.

  5. Rose

    Hey so i wanted to ask about my dream.
    I had a dream i was in a beautiful zoo animal were free to run everywhere there were kids n adults a huge snake came up to me in a friedly manor and i was carring it and strockin it then it bit me lightly i knew it was feed time i told the zoo keeper i let it go then lots of kids run into this room n one sat on tht snake he had the pray by his mouth but was makin a face to go for the kid so i aproached them n was tryin to distract the snake the dream was nice n then the kid snapped its neck like it was platic with such great emotion like anger and delibolical eyes n i started to be sick wht was strange i was throwin up the snake i woke up feelin sick n tastin somwthin strange. The dream really not freaked me out but im interested what is this all about is there an answer for this even 🤔

  6. Adhithya

    I know someone as a friend and we never met in Real and i just have seen his photos !we speak rarely, he once said me he had a dream of me, i felt good!and after somedays i had dream of meeting him like holding fingers and lying on his shoulders and i still remember his black t-shirt and a winter scarf!and again one day i again had a dream of him like he came to meet me to my home and we wer holding hands and hugging each other i still can feel his chest and he was wearing white tees!and i felt he became thin in this dreams !!am over thinking i need an answer should i let this go or what does it mean!!????

  7. Connor

    Hello peoplz i am going to talk about my dream because it really freaked me out. I hade it just before i woke up.

    It starts with me coming pretty much out of no were. i think i came out of the front gate on the left hand side of my house but when i got through the white – grayiesh light i wish i had never come through i ended up in my front yard then there was these to people they looked like demons there face was all messed up they had long black hair, when they faced me one of them said ‘they will now be orphans, nowhere to go, only ever alone thats all they will be‘ then they started torun off down the road. When i turned my head I let sick at what i saw. I one man on the floor dead blood rushing from his neck were a massive whole was he had a very fat body, he had no tishirt on but had jeans on. But when i turned my head again to here were moaning was coming from i cried my dad had a knife in his lower jaw. I ran to him I felt his blood all over his hands face pretty much everything and every were but it had looked like the loss of blood had not killed him yet then he out of no where said ‘I dont know how much longer i can hold on’ as he let out a gasp But then i sank to my knees When i looked over my dads shoulders i ran towards my mum who was near the bins, facing up bleary breathing blood was coming out out of here chest, here tishirt was soaked in blood she was about to say something but gasped for air instead then i woke up all sweaty and in the most weird position ever.
    You many not find this dream scary but if you put your Sef in my shoes then i might be different
    The thinks i find interesting and weird in this dream are as follows
    – just appearing out from the gate unless there wa more of the dream that was cut of some how but that would employ that i saw my mum and dad die but I would never let that happen even if i do die in the process
    – secondly the demons or what ever that are ,i acuallly never saw there full body, why were they there and why only my mum, dad and other guy i have never seen in my life Why not me as well why not pick me and my brother off instead
    – also the dream took place in my front yard but everything was the exact same as my the real front of my house
    – another thing is It was like i was in my body i was in first Pearson view and in most of my dreams i am In third Pearson view
    They reason why i am talking about this is because i would like to know what it means and how that really affects me but what it also relates to in real life. I am fourteen so this dream was really scary but the other thing is that it was even more sad.

  8. Connor

    Oh and one more thing the lighting of the dream was the exact same as the lighting of the real world at least i did / I should have also said the dream took place at morning.

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