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Are Women's Dreams Identical To Men?

April 08, 2021

Humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping. About one-quarter of a night’s sleep is spent in what is called REM sleep, during which dreams occur.

What exactly makes human to dream?

There is no specific explanation as to why humans dream. Some researchers say that they have a symbolic meaning, while others believe that they are related to walking life.

But what is believed is that everyone dreams every time they sleep and those dreams can be anything from fascinating to terrifying or exciting or simply weird. To put it simply, dreaming is described as a process wherein a human clarifies and makes sense of the varied experiences experienced during wakeful hours.

Now coming to the question: Who dreams more – men or women? Are women’s dreams identical to men?

Research says that women dream more and their dreams are often longer – an average 8% longer than men’s. Further, women

  • Can recall them much better.
  • Can recollect their dream’s storyline even when awakened during sleep.
  • Dream twice more than men. Their dreams often center on more characters and both sexes equally. On the other hand, men dream twice about other men than about women.
  • Dream about people, male or female, they are familiar with; the settings usually being familiar indoor one’s (often home or workplace, with family or friends). On the other hand, men often dream more about strangers, who are often unfamiliar male characters in settings that are usually outdoors.
  • Dream about harmonious relationships with individuals of both sexes. On the other hand, men’s dreams are more hostile ones centered on competition with other men, often aggressively. Further, women often dream more of verbal aggression, while men dream of bodily aggression.
  • Dream about references to clothing more often than men, while men dream significantly more about weapons.
  • Dream more about rejection and exclusion as well as conversation. On the other hand, men dream more about aggressive themes and physical activity.

Another interesting tidbit is of a research survey by the University of the West of England in Bristol, which revealed that women experienced more nightmares in their sleep than men. The study spanning over 5 years involved volunteers who were queried whether they had experienced nightmares during their sleep; 19% men confirmed that they experienced nightmares as against 34% women.

Women are more Sensitive and Compassionate

Generally, women are more sensitive and compassionate by nature. Patricia Garfield, author of “Women’s bodies, Women’s Dreams (Simon & Schuster)”, supplements this theory with her own explanation, Women are, in general, more concerned about their emotional relationships to both sexes, whereas men are more occupied with succeeding or failing in reference to other men. Overall, women have more people in their dreams.

Different in every respect, biologically, emotionally and psychologically, women’s dreams are also completely different from men. In women’s case, dreams also have a link with hormones; the amount of dream oscillates with menstrual cycles. Further, the older a woman gets (though dreaming declines across the gender barrier), she tends to dream more than men. Simply put, dreaming is an integral part of a woman’s persona.

Overall, one should not generalize too much about dreaming nor should one form gender-oriented assumptions about dreaming. Similarly, the dreams can be either the same or different for every human, male or female.

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