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The perception of time in dreams

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posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 04:15 PM
I can't think of a better place to get opinions on this without looking like a complete looney tune, so here goes...

Ok, I'm well aware from personal experience that the perception of time is distorted in a dream state but not sure whether or not it's possible that it doesn't exist to begin with.

For example, I may take a power nap for 5 mins (real-world time), but my perception of the time in the dream itself may seem to be hours, or even days... I'm sure most, if not all of you, have experienced this before.

So, in a dream state, is it possible that we can perceive real-world time? In other words, is it possible we can perceive both dream-world time and real-world time simultaneously, while dreaming?...

What I'm trying to get at is understanding death or afterlife with my own logic. To me, it seems plausible that a millisecond of real-world time in a dream state (whether you in a comma, unconscious, etc) can produce a dream lasting for an eternity...

posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:20 PM
I see what your trying to say, and I'm sure many others see it as well.
The human brain is really something. The way it perceives things. In a way, what your saying is kind of like "time flies when your having fun"
right? This kind of subject can lead you into meditation. I'll be back.

posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 06:00 PM
absolutely, I have had several occasions when i drifted to sleep for only a few minutes and had some sort of dream that felt like hours or longer, since dream are a mixture of thought memory and fantasy, its possible we tap compressed lengthy memories and experience them almost instantly.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 04:11 AM

Originally posted by Trams
In a way, what your saying is kind of like "time flies when your having fun"

Not specifically.. The phrase "time flies when you're having fun" basically meaning "At times when you aren't thinking about time, your perception of time wouldn't exist or is distorted" which explains why people would say something like "Jeez, where has the time gone!?!?"...

Basically, in a dream state, our perception of real-world time doesn't exist, or is distorted, and a dream which may be a split second of real-world time may actually be an eternity spent in a dream state.

Maybe this has something to do with heaven and hell, in a sense.
Heaven being a good dream, and hell being a bad dream.

But how could that make sense?... Notice how your dreams are often effected by how you feel at the time before going into a dream state? When I say feel I mean emotions, how you're looking at life, etc, etc. I notice at times I'm feeling "good", in general, that I have good dreams.Though at times when I'm feeling bad, I have bad dreams.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:41 AM
That's strange I usually get the opposite thing happening to me. I'll dream for what feels like five seconds and I will wake up like three hours later. It is really scary because it feels like I just roll over and time has passed so fast.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:01 AM
How about this...

You wake up cause you heard some noise be it your phone or doorbell or even alarm clock. But the sound in your dream was manifested as something else and when you remember your dream you realize the sound initiated it or became somehow the basis of the dream itself. And you feel like it was very long and drawn out throughout your entire night's sleep. That freaks me out every time because it had to have happened in mere seconds what felt like many hours. Time in dreamstate is weird wacky stuff.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:52 AM

Originally posted by dtice
How about this...

Indeed it is.

It may be of no interest to anyone but listening to the Ambient channel on really gives me some crazy and vivid dreams--when the music volume is just right it'll keep you partially conscious of what's going around you yet you're still in la-la land--in turn you're dreams begin evolving around the music. Ambient is very spacey so it works excellent for this.

I've been doing this each night for the past month and I have dreams each night.. luckily, no nightmares yet.

[edit on 3/30/2009 by BeyondPerception]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:15 PM
Time isn't really a... well, an existing thing?
I mean sure, its helpfull if you have to get to your job interview in an hour, But if there were no clocks, we would have no idea this Time thing exists.
And time is only really usefull when you are keeping yourself busy with the world. In your dream it serves no use! You aren't experiencing things Linearaly anymore, but more like a cloud of thoughts and emotions that pervade and intrude upon each other!
Sorry if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I'm a little dreamy right now...

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 04:08 PM
I've had dreams with both experiences: Time slowing down, and time speeding up.

I've had dreams that feel like they last a few minutes, when I've been sleeping for 6 hours. Or dreams where I've laid down to nap for half an hour, and woke up from a dream that was incredibly long and intense. I think, that dreams are primarily composed of events in the subconscious - although I don't know that for certain. I only have my own dreams to go off of, and sometimes I dream about things I've seen in the day, or things I have thought about.

I don't see why a correlation to dream length, dream content, and real-life events couldn't be possible... On days full of events, it could be possible that one might experience a dreamful night with numerous dream themes. And on a mediocre day, a shorter dream that only lasts a few minutes might be possible.... maybe?

I won't go so far as to say that while dreaming we don't have a "concept" of time, because on occasion I have woken up knowing that I'm running out of time to get where I need to be. I've laid down for a nap and woken up an hour later panicking that I'm running late or that I have slept in.

- Carrot

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:36 PM
I'm with Shrugger here: I've never, ever had a dream that lasted 'days'. I've probably never had a dream that lasted hours (in my dream) either. It is usually the opposite. Very short amounts of time in the dream with long hours in real life. Sometimes I wake up mid-dream, check the time and notice that hours have passed, go back to sleep, return to the dream and then wake up again after a few hours, while the dream only seemed to last a couple of minutes.

I sometimes go to sleep listening to music, so I've have lots of weird dreams involving that. Well...technically, all my dreams seem to be very weird and absurd, the music just adds another dimension to it.

posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 01:21 AM
According to Steven LaBerge in his book "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming" he found that the time passing in dreams is virtually the same as in real life.

We approached the problem of dream time by asking subjects to make an eye movement signal in their lucid dreams, estimate a ten-second interval (by counting one thousand and one, one thousand and two, etc. ), and then make another eye movement signal. In all cases, we found time estimates made in lucid dreams were within a few seconds of estimates made in the wak­ing state and likewise quite close to the actual time be­tween signals. From this we have concluded that in lucid dreams, estimated dream time is very nearly equal to clock time; that is, it takes just as long to do something in a dream as it does to actually do it.

Hard to measure, but his logic seems good

posted on Oct, 17 2011 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by BeyondPerception

I know I'm a bit late to this thread but I searched for something along these lines after having a dream the other day. I had been at work for a few days doing quite long hours and having to get up early for other reasons, so at the time I was a lot more tired than usual. I didn't have time to sleep before going to work again that evening and so before I left I put my head down on the table on my arms. I quickly must have just totally dropped off, although thinking back on it I was still aware of where I was and what was happening around me, but I started to dream, I think I remember there being people around me, certainly people talking and things happening (in the dream). I felt like this went on for at least half an hour. I 'woke' when someone banged a door in the house. I checked my phone and only three minutes had passed.
I know this is nothing too strange, there are a lot of theories and experiences of how time works in a dream. But I could have sworn I had been deeply asleep for half an hour, when in fact it was three minutes.
I was just interested to see how other people have experienced time in dreams.

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