Myths: Dispelling myths, suspending your disbelief

Every great dream begins with the dreamer. Always remember, you have
within you the strength, passion, and patience to reach for the stars and change the world. ~Harriet Tubman

Science tells us we all dream three to nine dreams every night. But unfortunately, most people think…

  • They don’t dream
  • Dreams aren’t valuable
  • Its too hard to remember dreams
  • There are bad dreams
  • They don’t have time to record, share, and/or work with their dreams
  • They’ve lost touch with their ability to remember their dreams

But the truth is…

  • We all dream 7-10 dreams every night
  • We can re-learn to re-member our dreams
  • Our dreams (even the unpleasant ones) can become our greatest ally
  • We cannot afford not to pay attention to our dreams, if we want to thrive while being alive

During the late 1940s, Calvin S. Hall, a researcher at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, compiled over 1,000 dreams and analyzed their content. Out of those dreams he found anxiety to be the most common emotion, with negative emotions reported more frequently than positive ones.

Most dreams, it would seem, are bad dreams. Which, we could say, is a contributing factor to why most people don’t go out of their way to remember their dreams.


“Anything that’s challenging your self-image or presents emotional difficulties to you is probably going to occur in your dreams,” said Dr. Dennis L. Merritt, psychologist at the Integral Psychology Center.


Certain nightmares seem to be more common than others. According to Dr. Patricia Garfield of Montréal, Canada, dream expert and author of “Creative Dreaming,” dreams of being chased are experienced by 80 percent of the population, while over 60 percent dream of falling. Other common nightmares concern being naked in public or late for a test.


Laurel Schmidt, a UW-Madison sophomore, regularly has dreams of being chased. “Most of my dreams involve being chased by strangers. I’m often in places that I know, but they’re not completely familiar,” Schmidt said. “Sometimes I’ll be in Madison, but it doesn’t quite look like Madison. In the end, I always get cornered and caught. While undoubtedly unpleasant, these nightmares are not necessarily a bad thing,according to Ann Veilleux, a therapist at Harmónia Madison Center for Psychotherapy.



All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.
~Elias Canetti

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