Dreams in detail

Have you ever, upon waking – and if you actually remember – tried to write down what happened in your dreams?

I have, several times, but only because the dream was so vivid, or so strange that I wanted to write it down so I could share or retell it. The first time I tried, what seemed to be just a short few minutes of dreaming turned out to span four pages of explicit detail.

I don’t think everyone is like this. I’ve had people ask me how I can remember such detail from just a dream. I don’t remember all my dreams. Sometimes I have moments during the morning when I remember something random and realise I have remembered a very small fragment of a dream. Other times, I just remember it vaguely upon waking up, but then it’s gone.

The detail of feelings and perception

One thing that I can always particularly remember is feelings. I remember, in the dream context, how I felt when I made a certain decision. Sometimes we can control our dreams if we are in the right stage of sleep – and that’s usually when we nearly wake up – but otherwise, everything just happens. Personally, it seems like I am making decisions I wouldn’t normally make, and I cannot seem to stop or control myself. But above all, I remember if I have felt wrong, weird, upset, or frustrated with decisions I have made in the dream.

I also seem to remember exactly what I am thinking in the dream. Along with making decisions I wouldn’t normally make, I also remember why I do certain things in the dream, even if its as simple as walking in a certain direction, turning around or interacting with someone. I somehow feel like I’m a bit separated from myself in the context of the dream.

The retelling

Dreams go really fast in our heads. I have heard that they go very speedily. I can’t remember the first time I did it, but upon waking up from a dream, if Nick is with me, the one-sided conversation usually goes like this.

‘Oh man, I had a dream.’
‘What about?’
‘Well, I don’t know. But I was walking with this guy from work. I think we were supposed to be in a group but we wandered off. He was telling me about his family and his children. Then he showed me some photos of them.’

Five minutes later…

‘And then there were these inflatable jumping castles, and for some reason they were arranged like the entrance to a Disneyland theme park. One of them was like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and there were some kids on it and for some reason I don’t know, that part of it started like, deflating? And I think we were going to go through that way but the thing just looked so weird deflated? And the kids were like wondering what the heck was going on. Then I saw a family and the mother was facing her daughter, holding her daughter’s face in her hands and just walking around like that. And to everyone it looked like they were having an argument, everyone watching looked kind of concerned but I went up to her to ask…’

Five minutes later…

‘And then I was back at the table I was sitting at at the sort of beginning of my dream, with some girls I knew, who I was just hanging out with. Then I started telling them how I talked to that guy from work and all of a sudden he laughed from behind me and said, “Yeah you mean me?” and I laughed back and said, “Damn you”, then I think what happened next is that I was going out of the place and down these stairs, kinda like the gift shop… like you know when you are going through a tourist attraction and the gift shop is at the end, yeah like that…’

Some time later…

‘I’ve never met anyone who could tell their dreams in such detail.’ Nick said.

I don’t know how or why it is that I can remember my dreams that way, but sometimes I realise I have been retelling for five minutes when in actuality, the happenings in my dream surely didn’t take much more than twenty seconds. If I was having lunch with someone and they asked how my morning had been – and I went through it in as much detail as possible from waking up to being on my way to our lunch – I doubt I would talk for as long as I do when I recall my dreams.

The dream that went backwards

I had a dream a couple of years ago that really stuck with me, because it was in events towards the end of the dream that suggested that I was experiencing the events in the dream in reverse chronological order. It was pretty cool, actually.

But I’m not going to share it because writing it out turned out to be longer than this post… 😅 I might share it another time if I feel like it, but it’s strange. I started a dream journal when I was younger but the fact that it sat by my nightlight every night was almost a curse in itself; I could never remember my dreams for the duration it was there. Or, I didn’t have any.

Do you keep a dream journal? Just how much detail do you recall from your dreams, if any?

Dream details in this post are small snippets of a dream I had this morning just before I woke up.

Comments on this post

I used to have a dream journal, but now, I don’t because usually my dreams are very long winded and just weird. Very weird. And most are inappropriate too, so I can’t say more than that. But it’s interesting to have dreams and predict stuff. I did that before with my ex. I dreamed he would get in an accident with his car and he did the next day. Wow.

What a weird dream.

:o I experience premonition sometimes, too!

I have had a couple of inappropriate ones too, which I found quite shocking really. It’s kind of scary that your dreams seem to predict things. Nick doesn’t really dream, but he always tells me how he usually thinks or wonders about certain people or events, and sometimes that day, the next day, or within a week, what he was thinking about was correct. :O

I can usually recall mine if they’re extremely horrifying in great detail, but for many others, I can’t remember past a few sentences. I also can’t always paint the exact picture, even if I have it in my head—I don’t think about detail, like what is on a counter, by default, though.

My dreams are usually really weird. I have a recurring dream I’ve actually been able to track back to old Cherokee Indian culture, which…eh, it was scarier as a kid and before I knew, and now it’s slightly comforting, because I learned the ritual I was a part of wasn’t to inflict harm, but to protect me? It’s odd that, as a Native American, I’d have dreams about old rituals to a T, though.

I’ve considered keeping—and wanted to keep—a dream journal, but when I purposely try to track my dreams, I don’t remember them that much.

I feel like I am just good at describing, and I find my dreams to be quite vivid, so describing them in great detail is easy for me. As for recurring dreams, I used to have one where I was watching a cartoon on television of a leopard chasing after a man. The view was a side view, and the characters didn’t move across the screen, but the ground did, and that was how the movement was conveyed. Every now and then, the ground – which took up a good lot of the vertical space of the screen and looked an earthy-red colour – would have a break in it, like a cliff. The man and the leopard would both jump the gap. And I just sat there watching this thing on loop. And I had that dream many times. How bizarre.

I loved this post!!! I used to keep a dream journal years ago. Most of my dreams were far too complicated to explain, so I tried keeping things short. But boy, they were weird… Your dream sounded weird and hilarious!

I dream almost every night and can remember parts of my dreams for a while after I’ve woken, depending on what happened in said dream. I dream a lot about love but also some REALLY really weird shit lol. And nightmarish stuff, too. The other week I dreamt that a plane was flying really low over my house (I live under a flight path but they aren’t THAT close). Then suddenly the plane crashed nose first into the ground about 1km away. It caused an earthquake that split the road and my house nearly fell into the crack.
Why would I dream something like that?! Go figure.

Dreams are always hard for me to explain. Sometimes in a dream, I’m not -myself-, but in the POV of someone else, and I’m conscious of that fact? Or, I’m in my house, but it’s actually not my house at all but some other random place, but in the dream it’s my house hahaa!
“I somehow feel like I’m a bit separated from myself in the context of the dream.” –> YES I definitely relate to that feeling!!!

I am pretty sure I’ve lucid dreamed before, where I’ve taken control of my dream and made decisions and made it go a certain way. It’s pretty cool actually. But doesn’t happen often. :)

Yes! Sometimes I have been myself in a dream, but at the same time I am fully aware that I am a past or future version of myself. A lot of the time, in dreams, I also feel like I can tell the future, but only in the context of the dream. In one dream I had, I was walking through a park which was decked with shopping shelves (err, yes), and I thought, ‘I’m going to see my ex here, he will be here any moment.’ I turned around after walking a few metres and he was behind me. Very strange. Other times, I feel like I can read the minds of the other people in my dream because I know what they will do next, though I figure that may be part of the lucid dreaming. Apparently that can happen when you’re about to wake up, too – that you become conscious that you’re dreaming.

Haha I loved hearing about that random dream!! Weird that you were prophetic in the dream, however I guess it makes sense… because it’s your subconscious, and things like that always seem to happen. I’m sure it’s happened to me in a dream before too.
It definitely must be part of lucid dreaming. And I have definitely been conscious of dreaming before. And I’ve even half-woken and then gone back to sleep and dreamt the exact same dream because I wanted to finish it haha!

I have very vivid and just plain weird dreams. I kept a dream journal for maybe half a year back in middle school, just so I could remember the details because I usually wake up in the middle of the night from them, but by morning I have completely forgotten them. I’m very similar to you in that I remember my feelings. It’s not uncommon for me to carry these feelings over when I wake up. There have been several times I’ve woken up crying or just absolutely petrified and Andrew is so confused because he has no idea what was wrong. And then I have to spend five minutes telling him, haha.

I have been having a lot of recurring dreams about me getting pregnant, which is terrifying! Haha – one day yes, but I think it’s because now that I’m married, people keep teasing me about it so it’s just subconsciously on my mind.

Dreams can be so weird and interesting. Loved this post!

Wah! I can totally relate to that and I forgot about those terrifying feelings until you mentioned it just now. On occasion I have also woken up from a bad dream, or been half asleep, clinging onto Nick because I’m scared that someone was after me or because of something terrifying that happened in my dream. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else. I remember once having a nightmare when I was five years old and woke up crying to my parents, but I realised that about two times in the past year I’ve woken with the same experience.

I find that if something is on my mind a lot (even if it’s unpleasant!) I will have a weird dream about it.