Types of Dreams
In the world of dreams, different elements can combine to form more than a billion different dream combinations. Through the years, however, similarities in the elements of certain dreams have given rise to the classification of dreams into certain types. Among the different types that have been identified are lucid dreams, progressive dreams, universal dreams, and repetitive dreams.
Lucid dreams are dreams wherein the dreamer is conscious of his dreaming state. During a lucid dream, the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and in some instances, may effectively control certain elements in his dream. Lucid dreams are commonly of the natural variety, wherein the dreamer realizes that he is dreaming while he is already in the dreaming state. This is called the dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD). A rarer variety is the wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) wherein the person actually enters into the dream from a normal waking state and is able to sustain his consciousness as he lapses from the waking state to the dreaming state.
Progressive dreams are those dreams that seem to continue through several nights or sleep periods. One dream may continue where a previous dream left off, though the two dreams occur in separate nights. Continuous or progressive dreams do not necessarily occur in succeeding nights, but the essential element in this type of dreams is the continuity or connection between the two dreams. They are not limited to groups of two as there are many documented cases of several continuous dreams following the same story over a long period of time.
Universal dreams are dreams whose main elements occur universally across cultures and ages. A favorite example of this type of dreams is the dream of falling. Almost all individuals have dreamed of themselves falling on at least one occasion during their lifetime. There are variations to the dream of falling but all of them are accompanied by marked feelings of helplessness and panic. The universal dream of flying has been noted to be a common dream as well with very young infants, and the occurrence of this dream among infants is often characterized by flaying and terror attacks. Another universal dream is the dream of flying and some theorists believe that this dream is closely associated with the universal dream of falling. In contrast to the terror that usually accompanies the universal dream of falling, however, the universal dream of flying is often accompanied by feelings of exuberance and discovery.
Repetitive dreams, as the name suggests, are dreams that occur repetitively. It is distinguished from progressive or continuous dreams in that the dream plot in repetitive dreams does not progress. One night’s dream may share the same elements as the previous night’s dream such that we may say that the dream has repeated itself. A repetitive dream commonly repeats itself within a concentrated period in one’s life, although there have been documented cases of repetitive dreams with intervals that span several years. Traumatic experiences are often associated with repetitive dreams. When confronted with repetitive dreams, the most recommended advice to is take note of the common elements that repeat themselves in these dreams and try to take note of any pattern with respect to when these repetitive or recurring dreams usually manifest themselves. In many instances, recurring dreams are manifestations of long-drawn internal conflicts that need to be resolved. Recurring dreams may go away once these conflicts are addressed and resolved.
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