Dreaming at Night and Day Dreaming


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Most people dream while sleeping; sometimes the dreams are pleasant, occasionally they can be frightening and may lead the dreamer to suddenly wake up and try to forget the bad dream; he feels  that everything is fine — not troubling as the bad dream seemed to suggest.

The person may feel that a pleasant and happy dream is the real dream — the bad one only seems to reflect the recent unpleasant experiences of the person in his home or with some people in the society.

If a person has had an argument with someone during daytime, the experience may result in  the person having an unpleasant dream. Of course, there is no certainty that if one has had a nice interaction with someone during the day, the dream will be a pleasant one. In fact there is no way one can be certain that he will have a nice, happy dream or a bad, noxious one or no dream at all.

Apart from dreaming at night while one is sleeping, there are people who are prone to day dreaming. Usually, when a person is alone and pensive about his life and the direction his life is taking, he often ponders over his current state of life that does not meet his aspirations. He begins to think of an alternate life style that is better and attractive which day dreaming may promote. For such a person, a day dream shows him the true nature of himself and society and is not burdened by negative feelings.

In a school  classroom, when the teacher is teaching a difficult chapter of a subject — History or Science or Arithmetic, etc, most students are attentive and comprehend what the teacher is teaching. However one or two students may not be fully understanding the topic and become pensive and start thinking about some other matter. If the teacher looks at them and asks a question, the students may appear lost. The teacher often reprimands students by asking, ‘What are you thinking about? Are you day dreaming?’

As suggested in the above lines, it appears that day dreams are a means adopted by a person to avoid negative thoughts and remain calm and contented even in difficult times. Occasionally this is true. But often a person day dreams since this is his basic inclination — it is not always to avoid negative thoughts. Day dreaming often is a reflection of the individual — not necessarily linked to pleasant or unpleasant thoughts.

There are some spiritually inclined persons who believe that a person who is truly happy and contented does not dream. In other words, dreams are a reflection of the disturbed nature of the individual in society. Many of us may not agree with this assertion.

Most adults dream while sleeping and usually are also prone to day dreaming. Whether dreams provide happiness or sorrow, we have to accept them ; however, we must not lose our balance in life. Rather we must accept them for what they are and remain calm and undisturbed.

After all, we must realise that a dream is only a dream that helps us to understand the complexity of life.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Apr 2023.

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