• Question: Do children dream more often than adults and if yes why?

    Asked by 09woode to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 25 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      I think it’s true that children – especially small babies – dream a lot more than adults. I seem to remember that this is related to the role that dreaming plays in learning – it’s one way the brain can ‘process information’ and store things more permanently (and babies have a lot to take in!)

      I’m not sure how long this goes on for though!

      Personally, I hardly ever dream, which is no fun at all. A friend of mine is a lucid dreamer and describes taking part in a Hollywood movie every time they go to sleep. Totally unfair!

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 26 Jun 2012:

      I wrote this about dream to somebody else’s question:

      The reasons for why we dream are still not entirely understood. Most dreams occur during the so called REM (rapid eye movement) phase of your sleep which is when you’re only lightly asleep and brain activity is high and almost similar to when you’re awake.

      Some theories suggest that dreaming is a link to our subconscious (there is experimental evidence that suggests that you solve many problems subconsciously, much faster than you would with conscious thought) and allows us to solve problems during our sleep. But more work still needs to be done, I suppose…

      I guess children learn a lot more so maybe they need to dream more to sort out their learning in the sleep? Or I could be totallky off the mark and children just remember their dreams more often?

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 28 Jun 2012:

      I think in part children may have more dreams because they get more sleep than adults do (at least little children do – they sleep during the day as well as at night). I think I remember reading they also do more of the REM sleep that Blanka was talking about.

      Perhaps, as Mike and Blanka said, it’s because children are learning more than adults?

      Do you remember a lot of your dreams?