Popular keywords

Sleep calculator

Discover how much sleep you really need

How Long Do Dreams Last?

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 30, 2023
3 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
How Long Do Dreams Last

Did you know? According to the writings from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago, post-dream behaviour was influenced by dreams that occurred. However, it was reduced in the later millennia. 

Dreams have always been incredibly fascinating. We often ponder what a specific dream could mean and sometimes wish to experience the same dream again. But have you ever wondered how long dreams last? Can you have vivid dreams throughout your sleep cycle? Well, we bring you all the riveting information right ahead. 

What is a Dream?

Dreams are nothing but a sequence of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations we experience during certain stages of our sleep. It is like a movie that plays in our minds while sleeping. A dream’s functionality and contents have been a topic of scientific and philosophical discussion for ages. And they also play a significant role in psychotherapy. Now, coming to why we dream. Unfortunately, there is still no clear answer because scientists don’t know for sure.

How Long Do Dreams Last

On average, dreams may last anywhere from a few seconds to around 20 minutes. But we dream during the REM sleep stage. REM lasts a few minutes as you first fall asleep, and later in the night, it can last for 30 minutes or more. And that’s how long do your dreams last.

How Many Dreams Do We Have a Night

The average person dreams three to six times every night. Calculating the number of dreams you have in a single night is almost impossible to determine. It is also because even if you experience plenty of dreams when you wake up, there are chances that you have any memory of them. However, as per older research, a connection between REM sleep and the time spent dreaming was discovered. 

Does Everyone Dream?

A 2012 study with more than 28,000 people found that men tend to forget dreams faster than women. And in another study, it was found that sleepers who didn’t recall their dreams showed dreamlike behaviour and speeches in real time. In fact, as we grow older, the ability to remember our dreams go down. But rest assured, even if you don’t remember any of your dreams, you likely dream every night.

And if you are someone who is practising lucid dreaming and are wondering how long do lucid dreams last? Well, it lasts for about 10 minutes during each REM stage.

Why Is It Hard to Remember Dreams?

Dreams tend to take place when the brain is amidst the process of sorting long and short-term memory. And we don’t remember dreams because we cannot access that particular memory. In a 2016 study, researchers say that people forget their dreams because of the fluctuating levels of acetylcholine and norepinephrine during sleep. And in another study, researchers tried to establish the brain’s structure and how it can impact dream recall.

How Can I Remember My Dreams?

Some of the steps that can help you remember your dreams include;

  • Have a consistent sleep schedule as per your chronotype. It is the body’s inclination to sleep at a particular time. 
  • You can always meditate or opt for deep breathing before falling asleep, which helps you relax. 
  • You can drink a big glass of water before you go to bed. This will cause you to wake up after your REM sleep to urinate, as that’s when you remember dreams. 
  • Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up, as this will help you remember your dreams.


Remember that dreams are different for everyone. While you may not remember them daily, it doesn’t mean you don’t dream. You dream during the REM cycle.


How long do dreams last on average? 

On average, dreams last for 20-30 minutes. The exact length of a dream can be difficult to measure accurately since our perception of time can be distorted during dreaming

How long is 1 second in a dream? 

There is no exact time as to how long 1 second in a dream is in real time. However, a dreamer may perceive the dream to be much longer.

Why does a dream feel so long? 

Dreams tend to feel longer because brain activity is slower in REM.

How long is the longest dream?

The longest recorded REM period is 3 hours and 8 minutes by David Powell (USA) at the Puget Sound Sleep Disorder Center, Seattle, Washington, the USA on 29 April 1994.


people like this article


Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

Read More About Dreaming
Hypnopompic Hallucinations
Update: May 25, 2023

  • 5 min read

What Do Dreams Mean
Update: May 25, 2023

  • 7 min read

Sleep Paralysis
Update: May 25, 2023

  • 6 min read

Teeth Falling Out Dream
Update: April 27, 2023

  • 4 min read

What Do Sexual Dreams Mean
Update: April 27, 2023

  • 4 min read

Dangers Of Lucid Dreaming
Update: April 27, 2023

  • 3 min read