Seeing yourself in dreams

I saw myself in a dream last night. Susan had moved in with us for a bit and was staying in one of our guest rooms, which of course looks nothing like the guest rooms in our home. This one had cobalt walls and white wainscoting and black furniture. Most importantly, it had a full-length mirror (our house currently doesn’t have one: don’t ask.) I was so excited she had moved in and brought her full-length mirror, and I went to check out my outfit before a night on the town.

That’s when I saw myself. In the mirror.

I don’t typically see myself in dreams, as I normally dream seeing things through my eyes, as I do in life. I don’t recall it being odd to have seen myself in the mirror – it wasn’t a particularly clear image of myself either; more of a blur as I don’t think I really focused on myself … I believe I was paying more attention to Susan actually.

I’ll let her analyze this one if she wants (she has always been great at telling me what my dreams mean) but the reason I bring this up is I spoke to Chris this morning about my dream and he mentioned how odd dreams are, seeing as how he sees himself from the third person.

Interesting – I told him, I see myself from the first person. This dream specifically made me realize this, as I recall seeing myself in a mirror and thinking it unusual. Chris said he always sees the back of his head in his dreams, as if he is watching himself.

He did some digging and found some research backing up that people see themselves in dreams both in first and third person, and he wrote about it earlier today.

How do you dream? First person, third person, or another way? And on that note, how often? I remember mine almost nightly; Chris remembers his rarely. How frequently do you remember yours?

21 creative and well informed people commented on “ Seeing yourself in dreams ”

  1. Chris says:

    I think it’s neat that you saw yourself in the mirror. Did you look the same?

  2. Melissa says:

    I saw a blurred version of myself, but I seemed to look the same. Except I had red hair (my natural color) instead of blonde. Funny! I was even wearing the new dress I bought in Greenwich Village this summer.

  3. Chris says:

    Hmm… interesting.

  4. John says:

    I dream in full color and in first person. I used to remember my dreams a LOT more, but I get less sleep now so it’s probably a deeper sleep.

    Freud made a good point about YOU being everyone in your dreams…other people are your projections of them, stereotypes usually of that persons behavior.

    A psych teacher had us attempt lucid dreaming by drinking about BIG glass of water before bed. When the pressure rises in your bladder it’ll bring you OUT of deep sleep and into the lighter REM sleep. From there you try to take active parts in your dreams.

  5. Chris says:

    John: Interesting. Did you ever manage a lucid dream?

  6. Amy says:

    I always dream in first person in color.

  7. Amy says:

    I wasn’t even clear on what a lucid dream was but I think have those somewhat often in the morning.
    Also, I can clearly remember my dreams most of the time. However, if I don’t write it down or tell someone right away, I forget by mid-day. I really should study dreams more to see what they mean.

  8. John says:

    I’m a subscriber to the theory that dreams are just the random firings of neurons set off by while the brain is doing some house cleaning / re-ordering. Dreams are the stories our semi-asleep brains make out of the random firings..images, smells, sequences, etc.
    Having said that, I do believe I’ve had deja-vu before. But..deja-vu usually involves friends/frequent-acquaintances in familiar it’s likely that a stereotypical projection of a friend would commit a known behavior in a familiar place. Which makes it possible for a dream to include scenes that can/would occur in real life. I’ve had deja-vu multiple times…and I believe it most likely involved a friend in a familiar place. What am I saying? I don’t know..the feeling you get when you have deja-vu is weird, out-of-bodyish almost.
    Lucid dreaming? I’ve never experienced a fully lucid dream..but I’ve had long runs of control in my dreams before. I don’t think I have ever realized full control in any dream. I’ve had those dreams where you know you’re dreaming but you just roll with it..and I’ve had dreams where I’ve made active choices and changed my entire environment. The problem with using the glass-o-water method is that you have to wake up at the most lucid point because you have to pee URGENTLY. Getting enough sleep is important too..I only get about 6 hours/night nowadays, so I sleep way to hard to get any good/memorable dreaming in.
    Amy – I guess it makes sense that you have them in the morning considering that is when you’re in the lightest levels of sleep.
    Have any of you ever had nightmares? I’ve had dark dreams. I have a recurring one (maybe every 2 or 3 years) where I’m in a haunted house. There are ghosts and stuff..but I’m not really scared. I’ve had other “scary” dreams..but I’ve never really felt scared…it was more like I was the protagonist in a movie, I knew I’d be ok.

  9. Melissa says:

    I have nightmares frequently … the same night I dreamed the dream I mentioned above, I also dreamed I was being attacked by some kind of wolf and Kishin (my dog) had to jump through the window to save me … I also have a recurring nightmare in which my teeth are falling out. This one feels so real that I panic when I wake up. My nightmares do scare me, quite a bit sometimes …

    Ever had a dream that someone does something bad to you, and you wake up and realize it’s a dream but you’re still mad at them? John, I had one of these about you not too long ago … still mad at you 😉

  10. Amy says:

    not sure if I have been able to control what I call my lucid dreams. I do know that I am awake enough to know I am dreaming and want to continue the dream if you know what I mean ;);)
    I don’t have nightmares but I do have this awful recurring dream about being college, forgetting about a class I have and then remembering just before the final exam and failing.

  11. Chris says:

    Very informative, thanks.

    I feel though that dreams are more than just defragmentation and I find it hard to believe our minds even need that degragmentation. I get déjà-vu quite frequently and the real-life experience always comes after the dream, which I find rather interesting. Unfortunately I don’t realize it’s déjà-vu until it’s “too late” – no predictions I mean, but I think the time between the dream and the event is just too great and I forget.

    I dunno, I think dreams are pretty important, not in the “necessary cleansing” realm but the emotional and psychological realm. I had this dream recently that lasted all night. I woke up several times and each time I fell back asleep the dream resumed right where it left off, which has never really happened before. I’m just waiting for this scenario to play out now… weird.

    I’ve also never been able to change the environment, nor are my dreams really fantastic. They are usually fairly realistic with people I know… only they usually take place somewhere unfamiliar. I had this dream when I was in 3rd grade (really) and I got shot in the back by this kid I didn’t like in my class. I woke up struggling to breathe, like it had punctured my lung or something.

    And what of the superstition that if one dies in their dreams do they die in real life? I’ve never died in my dreams, but I’ve come close – the gunshot for instance. I wonder if it’s one of those things that’s just “too much” for the brain to handle.

  12. Jeffrey says:

    Grabbing my Nalgene bottle, and on my way to bed.

  13. Jeffrey says:

    On dreaming all night, I have had many instances where I have had a very long dream, what seemed like hours. Upon waking, I found that I had been asleep for only a few minutes. In the military, I would sometimes catch a quick ‘combat nap’ and I would often have this experience, minutes of rest but seemingly hours of dreaming.

    So, last night I remember a guy passing me in a store (like a Sears) and saying to me, “Cool tattoo.” I was wearing a Social distortion t-shirt and jeans. Nothing else.

  14. Amy says:

    Darn it. The only thing I can remember about my dream last night is going through my wallet and finding money I didn’t know about. Let’s hope I have deja vu soon!

    I don’t think I’ve ever had very long dreams.

  15. John says:

    Dreams are weird. That’s freaky, Chris, that you had a dream about being shot and then woke up still having the sensations. I’ve had an experience like Melissa, where someone pissed me off and I woke up still angry at them. I’ve had recurring dreams, but I don’t think I’ve ever woken up from a dream, then go back to sleep and have it pick back up. I’ve had short conversations with my wife while she was asleep..she’d talk back a little before going silent.

  16. Melissa says:

    I’ve woken up laughing from a dream before … in fact, just did that a few weeks ago. I think Jeff was ready to stick me in the loony bin. I also have been known to talk in my sleep. Good thing I don’t have (many) deep, dark secrets …

    On dreaming for what seems like hours: I have fainted twice in my life, and both times I have had dreams that went on for hours. But when I woke and asked how long I had been out, it was just seconds. How in the few seconds I was out was I was able to remember hours of dreams? So strange …

  17. Chris says:

    Oh yeah John… it was the scariest dream I’ve ever had and I think it was the worst because it felt so real… or what I assume real feel like. I really thought I was dying. But what if that is how it feels to be shot in the lung? How crazy would that be?

    That’s funny about your wife having conversations; reminds me of my brother who’d talk in his sleep asking for apples.

  18. Jeffrey says:

    OK, I have come to the realization that I have my own world that I go to when i dream…always the same houses, streets, etc., but different people and dreams.

    Oh, and last night I dreamt I owned a handgun with a silencer. Not sure why.

  19. Chris says:

    Bond. Jeff Bond?

    Could be your old military poking through? Though, I’m not sure the Marines use silencers.

  20. GERRY LLOYD says:


  21. Crystal says:

    this post was very cool! I know I’m two years behind, but it almost made my headache go away. I usually remember my dreams, and I agree that dreams are your brain trying to file away stuff. If you analyze the things that happen in your dreams you can usually connect to different events in the past day or so. Such as, wonder why I dreamed about them? Maybe you passed their car that morning. Your brain is organizing while you sleep. I never see myself, it’s always in color. All of these comments are super cool!!! oh and yes I have woke up terrified, happy, nervous, furious, the emotions carry though for sure!

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