What Are the Different Types of Dreams and Dream States?

Dreams are one of the most complicated things we experience. Most of us were unable to remember our dreams while some only remember a few details from the dreams they’ve experienced while fast asleep. It’s quite impossible for a person to remember exactly how his dream happened, and that’s all down to the altered brain state we are in when we are dreaming away. But according to some scientists, our dreams are important because they firmly believe that understanding our dreams is a way to understand human consciousness.

Before we can truly understand our dreams, we need to know first the different types of dreams a human being can have. To further learn about our dreams, here are the different dream states humans typically experience.



Based on studies, an average person daydreams for 70-120 minutes of their waking day. That is quite a huge proportion of our time spent daydreaming! When you’re daydreaming, you are semi-awake. You’re not asleep, but not fully checked-in with reality either.

We start to separate ourselves from what’s going on around us when we daydream. Most of us often daydream because of boredom which is brought by sensory deprivation. Our daydreams often begin with a powerful thought like something we’d like to happen or a recall a memory from our past. And from that powerful thought, our minds begin to wander into a world of semi-consciousness. The longer a daydream goes on, the more intense it becomes.

Normal Dreams

Normal Dreams

Normal dreams are the types of dreams we typically enjoy while in a deep sleep. These are the standard dreams we experience where we do not have any idea that we’re dreaming until we wake up. We are unable to control these dreams; we can only watch the events of the dreams unfold before our eyes.

Everybody experiences normal dreams every night and most of these dreams arise mostly out of REM sleep and are essential to our survival. If we do not dream, we would eventually die. A typical human being experiences about one hundred minutes of dreams every night and more vivid dreams occur at the end of sleep.

REM Sleep when Dreaming

Lucid Dreams

Lucid dreaming can be the most exciting phenomenon when we fall asleep. Because through lucid dreaming, a human being can be awake and alert while still dreaming enabling us to control the dream. It will allow us to live out the dream we want to.

When we lucid dream, we can live out our wildest fantasies such as flying like a bird or going through dangerous activities. This is definitely the best type of dream a person can experience, however it takes time to learn about it.

Different state of dreaming

False Awakenings

This is not a typical dream experience but a lot of people have experienced this type of dream maybe several times in their lives. A false awakening is when you find yourself fast asleep, then you wake up and start going through your usual day to day routines, and then suddenly, you’ll realize that you’re still asleep! In fact, you’re asleep the entire time.

One of the strange things about false awakenings is that your brain replicates the room or the place you happen to fall asleep in. When false awakenings occur, we have absolutely no way of knowing that the dream we’re experiencing isn’t real life.

False awakenings are quite linked to lucid dreams. If you realize that you’re experiencing false awakenings, try to do some reality checks while dreaming and you might find yourself slipping into a lucid dream where you can take charge of the situation.

False Awakenings


Nightmares are the types of dreams which often causes us to wake up in a state of panic, with hearts racing, and sometimes in cold sweats as well. It gives us the feeling of not wanting to go back to sleep because the dream appears to be too real. Some people experience nightmares regularly and they become disturbed because of it.

When we’re having a nightmare, we usually find ourselves in a dream with a very frightening twist. There are times we’re aware that we are experiencing a nightmare but we are unable to stop it or wake ourselves up. Nightmares have no apparent cause, but they can sometimes be brought about by certain things such as drugs, alcohol, illness, or stress.

Now that you know the different types of dream states, the next time you experience a dream, you’ll be able to tell what type of dream that is.