How Long Do Dreams Last

Dreams – one of the most entertaining, mysterious, or bizarre incidents to explain. Let’s understand what a dream is in sleeping, its types, and how long dreams actually last from the following discussion. Also, we’ll share some interesting facts about dreams you never know.

Let’s get started.

What are Dreams?

We are all familiar with the term dream. It’s a common phenomenon and an inseparable part of our life, which has a direct connection with our sleep. This can happen at any moment of the time.

So, what is meant by this dream?

They are basically a cluster of vivid pictures, sounds, emotions, and even smells that may happen in your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage. Although you may not remember everything, you dream of it in full.

According to National Sleep Foundation, a human dreams around 4 to 6 times a night on average.

With every dream, a human being cycles through roughly six stages of REM sleep every night.

What’s more surprising is that the human brain is the most active while you have a vivid dream in your sleeping state. Here, dreams are like washing your brainpower by removing all the mess and retuning your mind and body for a fresh new day ahead.

2 Types of Dreams That Exist!

There are 2 forms of dreams which people tend to experience while remaining in their sleeping state. They are:

Lucid dreams

When you are fully conscious of your dreaming time and can even feel like you are communicating with your dream environment, then this is referred to as lucid dreaming.

This comes with a certain kind of boost of activity from different parts of the brain, which usually stays at the resting period while sleeping.

In other words, it is a state of the brain in between the REM sleep and awakening state.

Some lucid dreamers have the ability to influence their dream and change the track of their stories. In fact, anyone can ideally learn about the tricks of how to lucid dream and have control over every aspect of the dreamscape.

But according to the expert’s opinion, it is better to allow your dreams to flow naturally instead of trying to control or change them. After all, dreams are dreams – a part of your imaginary world.


Nightmares are the bad and horrific dreams that make you either frightened, nervous, or upset. Here, in many cases, you can wake up from your sleep while feeling super scared or crying.

These can usually happen for the following reasons:

  • Stress
  • Conflicts
  • Fear
  • Any traumatic incident
  • Medication
  • Sickness

However, if you have a certain kind of nightmare over and over again, then it may point to something. In such cases, you can consult with a physiatrist or a mental health provider. They may help you to figure out the leading reason behind all these nightmares and give you some tips to calm your mind.

Remember, it’s just a bad dream, and there is no connection with it in your real life. So, no matter how much terrifying a nightmare is, it is not real and thus cannot harm you anyway.

Why Do We Dream?

There are several theories and hypotheses put in front of us regarding why we dream. But there is still no specific answer regarding this topic.

According to some experts, dreams have no ultimate goal or meaning, while some say we dream about various things for our mental, emotional and physical health.

Such as, when we go to bed with a troubling thought in our mind, the chances are high that we will wake up either with a solution to it or, if not, will at least feel much better compared to the previous scenario.

So, there is no definite and exact answer to why do we dream. Researchers are still conducting several types of research in an attempt to get the final answer.

How Long Do Dreams Last?

On an average, human being tends to cycle through 6 dream cycles a night, as depicted by the researchers. This may make you feel that you have been dreaming throughout the entire night.

For instance, if a person sleeps within 6-8 hours, it will mean that s/he has to spend around 2/3 hours of their time in dreaming things.

How long do lucid dreams last?

Lucid dreams may feel never-ending. While, in reality, it tends to last for about 10 minutes to 1 hour.

How long do nightmares last?

The average length of a nightmare usually varies from 10-20 minutes, while bouts of night horrors can range up to 45-50 minutes in duration.

Some Interesting Facts About Dreams

A dream is an extremely mysterious thing where the logical ground of various scientists tends to cease. And no one has a correct answer to it. After all, they are a fairytale, which has no logical explanation, no matter what people say.

Check out some of the mind-blowing facts associated with dreams:

  • Everybody has dreams, starting from the infants to elderly people
  • Around 95-97% of dreams are quickly forgotten by people
  • Most of the dreams tend to appear in black and white color
  • One can control and change the track of their dream, i.e., Lucid dreams
  • Sometimes, dreams may solve puzzles by linking the known information residing in the subconscious mind
  • Dreams are universal
  • Animals even dream!

Can Dreams Predict the Future?

Sometimes, we hear people saying about how their dream came true! Well, this may happen to any person at any moment in their life. But, there is no strong evidence to believe that dreams can forecast the future.

It only tends to happen for the following 3 reasons:

  • Totally coincidental.
  • Have a bad memory regarding the incident
  • An unconscious linking of known facts that lead to it

Besides, sometimes our dreams can inspire us to behave in a different way, eventually helping indirectly to change the future.

Some Useful Dream Recalling Tips

  • Maintain a healthy sleeping routine. If needed, try to relax your body and mind before going to bed by meditating or by listening to calming and soothing music. These two things are quite effective in helping the brain to relax.
  • Instead of using a loud alarming clock, the best practice is to wake up naturally with the help of the sun.
  • Don’t wake up from your sleep directly; instead, wait for a few seconds to open your eyes, even though your brain is awakened
  • Put a brain journal right on your nightstand for writing down about your dreams instantly upon waking up. Otherwise, with each passage of time, you will start forgetting about the dream. The sooner, the better!
  • Give yourself some time to reflect and understand the dream after waking up from sleep.

Wrapping Up

Whether you remember your dreams or not, every person dreams at various phases of their sleeping cycle. So, don’t be under the misconception. Just because you didn’t remember anything doesn’t really mean you don’t have any dreams while sleeping.

It is a natural thing, where the brain is supposed to be in the most active stage trying to work out certain ongoing objectives. Although mysterious and fascinating, our dreams can definitely help us heal, shape, solve problems, and show us who we really are, such as lucid dreams.

Hopefully, now you have a firm understanding of dreams and know how long do dreams last.


How many dreams do we have per night?

In most cases, you may wake up from your dream in the morning with no memory of your dreams. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t dream anything.

Instead, it will indicate that the dream was too vivid for your brain to recall anything. It is found that human being tends to have at least 4-6 dreams per night.

Why are dreams so hard to remember?

Dreams are hard to remember. Whenever you get distracted super quickly, ultimately, your brain doesn’t get any extra time to get a hold of them.

Hence, if you want to make your dream easier to remember, try to use a dream journal instead of relying on your loud alarm clock. As the gently you wake up from your sleep, the easier it will be for your brain to remember.

Can you be trapped in a dream?

Yes, you may feel like that. This incident is referred to as sleep paralysis –a harmless glitch that mostly happens in our sleep cycle. The people who are suffering from insomnia, nervousness, and depression are the ones who have a higher risk of experiencing sleep paralysis.

Do dreams really mean anything?

There are many controversies among several researchers regarding this. Many say dreams don’t mean anything. Instead, our mind makes it up all.

While some strongly believe all of the dreams human beings tend to see are extremely meaningful. As they help to deal with the personal and emotional struggles that maximum people experience almost on a daily basis.