Real Time and Dream Time -or- The Persistence of Time

Nat, 35

I was hoping you could answer a question for me as its puzzled me for some time. I am amazed by the dream phenomenon and am interested in dedicating more time into studying it. Something that has bothered me for some time though is the numerous comments i read that dreaming doesn't start until rem sleep which is generally 30-90 minutes into your sleep period. This is far from the truth with myself. I often dose off for a brief few seconds or minutes and often awake with a vague recollection of part of a dream i've had. Recently i fell asleep on a bus and kept going in and out of sleep and in and out of the same dream, about five times. I could remember quite a lot of the dream but was shocked to find the bus had only travelled about 250 metres with no stops in between! no more than a period of about 2 minutes yet there was a lot that had happened within the dream.

Is it a simple explanation that I fall into REM sleep very quickly?

Mr Hagen's Response: Real Time and Dream Time

Falling directly into a REM state is known as a hypnagogic dream. The International Institute for Dream Research has discussed such types of dreaming in a different interpretation Hypnopompic and Hypnagogic Dreams. As for the matter of time dilation in your dream, where alot apparently can happen in 2 minutes. This phenomena already had received an explanation from Sigmund Freud in Interpretation of Dreams. Freud understood that the dreaming mind was in a hypermnestic state. The film Inception provides an excellant understanding of the differential between real time and dream time. The classical Cartesian concepts of space, time and movement no longer apply. The surrealist art work "The Persistence of Time" of Salvidor Dali found in the theatre above underscores this dramatic idea. 

Hope that provides some insight.


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