I am having somebody else’s dreams

I’m going to be away from home for a while. Not a vacation though – I’m going to go and stay with a family member who has recently had surgery. For those of you who know me, do not panic! I’m just there to do the domestic tasks, walk the dog, answer the phone, keep the patient company etc. A qualified nurse and physiotherapist will be coming by to do the medical and rehab (i.e. the really serious) stuff. Which is really good to know. Not sure I can cope with a post-operative patient all by myself.

I’m currently packing my box of “toys” and books, to entertain me during any downtime I may have. What I’ve discovered is that there are going to be a lot of chargers going along. For my phone, my iPod, the camera, the computer . . . As I’m not as organized as Willie is when it comes to planning a trip, I do hope I don’t forget anything.

I will have Internet access, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time or energy to write posts while I’m away. One thing I do want to do during that time is some “research”. There are some topics I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, but feel I want to get a better understanding of before I do so.

The first of these is about dreams. I dream a lot. Every night I have this constant movie playing in my head. Most of it fairly realistic. So no weird Freudian take on “repressed longing”. Just fairly ordinary, mundane (but at the same time very vivid and complex!) stuff. The alarming thing about it is that I mostly dream about people I don’t know, and situations I’m hardly likely to ever find myself in. Sometimes I’m not even me – I’m somebody else who looks different and leads a completely different life to myself. In today’s world though. I don’t dream about living in a different era, so I don’t think this is me remembering a “past life”! 😉 Which has got me to thinking that maybe I’m dreaming somebody else’s (or, more accurately, several “somebodies”) dreams. It’s exhausting. I wake up every morning feeling like I haven’t slept at all. And it has got to stop! So I thought if I found out more about dreams, I may figure out how to dream less.

If you’re reading this and you know a lot about dreams (a scientific/psychological take on this would be good), or just want to share your experience of dreaming, leave a comment or email me.

Dreaming under a Kalahari moon ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

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I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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70 Comments on “I am having somebody else’s dreams”

  1. October 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    I’m no dream expert, but maybe you are trying out alternative lives in your dreams. Or maybe you really are dreaming some else’s dreams. Great picture. Very Halloweenish.

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Ha, that’s a possibility! The photo: It was actually a “mistake” shot. I forgot to switch off the flash. But the effect is quite interesting with the thorn tree branches in the foreground lit up.

  2. Lu
    October 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Oh. My. Word…!!! – I do the exact same thing!
    I actually believe I am having something like an out of body experience – that my mind (or mind’s molecules) migrate(s) to someone else’s brain whilst my physical self is resting.. It’s so bizarre! Definite places that I know I’ve never visited, people who I definitely do not know…
    I’d be interested to hear what you find out on this… Glad I’m not alone!
    Keep well in the meantime

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      Wow, that is interesting! Have never come across somebody like me before. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to dream as much. I don’t feel rested in the morning if my mind has been very active during the night. You’ll definitely hear what I turn up in my research. Already found several articles to read and podcasts to listen to on the subject.

  3. Lisa Wields Words
    October 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    I am fascinated by dreams myself, so I look forward to where your research leads. Perhaps you are dreaming a message for somebody else. I know that some people claim to be able to see what’s coming in their dreams. Maybe your latent psychic ability is coming through. Stranger things have happened.

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:10 am #

      I have had three premonition-type dreams – one was about myself, one about the father of a close friend, the third about a house I’d until after the dream never seen – which came true. When I woke up from those, I had this incredibly strong feeling about those situations. But that was years ago, and since then I’ve not experienced the same thing again. As to dreaming a message for somebody else. They don’t really seem like message-type dreams, and if they were how could I let a person I’ve never know about it?!

  4. October 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    It sounds to me as though you are beginning to be aware of all the other aspects of your soul. Because there are so many dimensions and our soul is so vast, we spend time working in other dimensions as well as this solid-state one. However, when we sleep, the solid-state consciousness is free to unite with any of the other parts of the soul working in the other dimensions and work there for a while. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and at first it is absolutely exhausting. You can’t stop it from happening, but you can spend time increasing your body’s and soul’s frequency and ability to hold a higher light quotient and in time it won’t be so tiring…it’ll be rejuvenating. Blessings! You are awakening!

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment! 🙂

      I’m not really spiritual, so can’t imagine myself having dreams for this reason. Also, I’ve had these dreams since I was a teenager – it’s not a recent thing.I think I just have an overactive imagination.

      • neur0tica93
        February 28, 2018 at 10:48 am #

        I know this is old, but I dream as lucidly as you do. I feel similarly about it not necessarily being a spiritual or supernatural thing so much as having a natural predisposition to vivid and intricate dreams. Mine have become more fascinating in recent years, and more out-of-this-world, but I have only had one week-long burst of dreams that felt as though they were someone else’s. The themes, events, and most of the people in my dreams were completely unusual to me, in a way I can’t even describe. It was such a bizarre feeling. I had been mentally unwell, and my brain was short on “happy” neurotransmitters, so that’s what I’ve always attributed it to. Its neat to hear that someone else has felt that their dreams were not theirs.

      • June 5, 2018 at 6:36 am #

        Hi there! Sorry for this very late response . . . I appreciate you sharing your experiences. I think you may be onto something – I also have low serotonin levels. I’ve described my dreams to my doctor and he also thinks it’s a brain chemistry issue.

        Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  5. October 29, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    i dream a lot too. but i am me in them, and i know everyone, or mostly everyone, in my dreams (at least it’s how i remember it). i don’t analyse my dreams, i just enjoy them (a lot) as if they are my other life…actually, they are my other life, because as we all know, they are quite real. i look forward to them and often think upon retiring (VERY late) ” okay, where are we going, and what are we doing, tonite?” hope all is well with your family member, and sweet dreams. continue…

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:15 am #

      It helps if you’re “you” and you are dreaming about people you know. At least your dreams would make some sense then. Mine don’t, and I sleep really badly because of them. I could do with a break from dreaming so intensely every night!

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you for your good wishes. It’s a couple of weeks post-op, so things are improving already.

  6. jacquelincangro
    October 29, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Maybe you’re having dreams for me! I almost never remember my dreams. They say that people dream whenever they go into REM sleep, so I must be dreaming, but I rarely remember them.
    Wishing your family member a speedy recovery and hope that your visit goes smoothly.

    • October 29, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Nope, never dreamt about you – at least not yet! 😉 Maybe Lu is having your dreams?!

      Thank you, I’m also hoping my visit goes well. The patient is . . . well, not very patient about being a patient!

  7. Lu
    October 29, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    This was highlighted on the local news:

    Now this would be a gadget I’d consider buying!!

    I’m not sure I’m having jacquelincangro’s dreams per se – but I might be “piggy-back-viewing” normal day-to-day life… It would depend on time-zones being slightly different though!

    • October 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      Very interesting article! Just not sure if I’d want anyone else to be able to read my mind . . .

  8. Sarita Botha
    October 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Good luck with the visit! Chat soon.

  9. October 30, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I often jump from one perspective to another in my dreams. I’ll be “me”, then I’ll be another character, then I’ll be someone watching all the action — and it will all seem perfectly normal.

    I hope your family member is doing well.

    • October 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

      Okay, so I’m not the one with strange dreams. That’s comforting . . . I think. How weird are your dreams in terms of what is happening in them? Are you doing ordinary things, or on some adventure?

      Thanks, the patient is doing well, but by her own admission is a “bad patient”.

  10. November 2, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Great photos!

  11. November 2, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I mean photo.

    • November 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks! It was a mistake shot that actually turned out quite interesting.

  12. November 4, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    I saw this blog post in my inbox and the title intrigued me, but I had a hard time getting over here to read it until now. I’m so behind! Anyway, the most strange and vivid dreams I ever had I dreamed while in Africa. It could have been the anti-malarial drugs, but both times I was there I dreamed I was shooting bows and arrows, fighting crime, seeing people I hadn’t thought of in years, all kinds of stuff. Maybe it’s just your continent! I’ve never dreamed I was someone else, though. Very fascinating!

    • November 5, 2011 at 4:51 am #

      Yes, certain anti-malarial drugs can make you dream more.Shooting with bows and arrows? Sounds like you were having some really interesting dreams there!

  13. Melissa
    December 2, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    If anybody has any possible reasons or answers, I would love to hear them…or be pointed to an source that explains it.

    For me, I begun feeling ‘unusual’ about 2 years ago in waking life. Whenever I opened my eyes from sleep, a meditation, or even a long blink, my first thought would be “oh…I’m here” followed by my logical brain kicking in and saying “of course you are here…where else would you be”. Then the thought of being elsewhere and any clarity of it slipped away, and I was back in this reality, but feeling a bit out of sorts.

    Several months ago I began dreaming vividly, but not anything superhuman. Just lives that aren’t mine…also in this time period, but with people I don’t know in this life…but clearly do in my dream. It’s like I was slotting into a life or situation that wasn’t mine and just rolling with the punches. When I wake up from these dreams, I am EXHAUSTED! I used to need only 4 hours of sleep, and I would feel fine. With this dreaming, 8 or even 10 hours still has me feeling more tired when I awake than when I went to bed.

    There is always a lot of action in my dreams – though I don’t recall fear or panic. Just a lot of running, moving quickly, getting things done etc. When I awaken, it’s as though I have actually done all of that…and haven’t been sleeping at all (I should mention, the other weird dream thing which happened from being a child until about age 20. Any injury I had in a dream would manifest upon my waking up in this body. I used to think it was pain/sensation/injury in my physical body here that caused me to create a dream or story around the pain/sensation…but there were several incidents where there is no way that sort of physical manifestation could have occurred while laying in bed).

    However, in the last couple weeks, things have become even more peculiar. I’m no longer just jumping into dreams. I actually have the same feeling/sensation as in real life that things aren’t quite right. I end up in a dream, and I actually think like I do in this life “Oh…..I’m here. This is really peculiar. Then I look at my body, my hands, my face, and try to get familiar with them. I’m not able to recall where I came from….or this life of mine, or even realize that I am dreaming. However, I take it in stride, and try to jump into living that life for the time I am there.

    The main difference between this new version is that throughout my dream, I remain aware that this isn’t my life…but it’s not a lucid dream….and it never crosses my mind that I am dreaming. I take it as reality…but simply as one where I am not in the body or the life I know here.

    The thought of jumping realities or dimensions has occurred to me……and I seem to spend weeks or months in a dream, when in our earth time, only a few minutes or couple hours would have passed.

    I don’t seem to be learning anything major while there, and I don’t recall a lot of detail about any of them. Just glimpses or bits here and there.

    When I was a child, I distinctively recall 2 dreams that were very very useful to me in my life here. I was not the brightest student, and by the age of 7, I still couldn’t read AT ALL. I mean, I couldn’t read Dick and Jane, never mind anything close to age appropriate. I had a “dream” one night, and in that dream, somebody explained it all to me. The next morning, I was able to read at a 5th grade level with no problem.

    The same happened as a child with Math. I couldn’t grasp basic concepts of anything. I had a detailed dream, where somebody taught me how to do the basics…and the next morning, I was doing much more complex mathematics and equations than I had ever been shown at school. Once again, this was a few years ahead of my grade. I had caught up and surpassed my classmates by years…with one night of dreaming.

    However, I am not learning any new skills that I can see, and I really don’t remember any lessons, meanings or purposes to these new dreams. I’m sure they are there…but I don’t see them yet.

    I would love any guidance or thoughts on what is happening, how to better harness or control it, how to learn from it, and hopefully how to wake up feeling rested again.

    I do think that there is more than just ramblings of my subconscious going on…but I don’t know how to define it. Am I becoming aware of parallel lives that I am living? Is my essence or consciousness shared between many bodies? And if so…are other ones coming into this body of mine?

    Sorry about the long ramble. I’m still trying to sort things out in my mind, and would really appreciate any thoughts or feedback.

    With light, love and gratitude,


    • December 2, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for leaving such a detailed and interesting comment. I’m on my way out for the day, but will respond properly later . . .

    • December 4, 2011 at 5:55 am #

      Melissa, your experiences come very close to the kind of dreams I have. I also have these elaborate dreams which seem to have no deep meaning or relevance to my waking life – at least as far as I can tell. One of the things I’ve thought of is that mine may be related to my medical problems. I used to have seizures as a child and now suffer with chronic migraines. I’m figuring that my brain chemistry is completely out of whack and that that is why I have these dreams.

      I have also experienced a “strange feeling” sometimes when I am awake. I almost go into a trance for a couple of minutes. I’m awake and aware of what is going on around me, but I can’t move or speak. And I begin to have this strange dream sequence – which again has no bearing to my real life – but I recognize that I’ve had the same waking dream before.

      I want to ask you a favour. Could I publish your comment as a separate post – or alternative would you write a guest post for my blog about your dreams? I don’t want your very interesting input to get “lost” in the comments and I think you may get a response to your questions if it’s a separate post.

  14. Lu
    December 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Hi Lisa & Hi Melissa – Just a few thoughts based on your dream descriptions above. I also feel like I’m slotting into someone else’s life. Not necessarily learning anything – but certainly experiencing “life” through a different perspective.
    Regarding learning to read and do maths – I wonder if it is a case that even though you didn’t realise it at the time, you were learning to read along with your class mates, yet your brain has a different way of filing the information. Your dreams – the ones that “taught” you to read/count is the brain’s way of clarifying your understanding (re-filing, if you will) of the subject matter and translating the message in a way that enables you to succeed in the task. Your dream is your “Eureka” moment 🙂
    It’s no small wonder, that with the busy lives we lead, our brains are subjected to huge amounts of external stimulants. If we don’t stop during the day to literally unwind, and process our daily experiences – the brain will find a time to play catch up… and thus the long movies during the night.
    Perhaps that is why I enjoy long hot baths… Whilst I’m relaxing, my brain is processing the day’s events and having mini Eurekas 🙂
    Well, that’s what I keep telling myself!

    • December 4, 2011 at 5:57 am #

      Lu, I want to extend the same invitation to you as I did to Melissa. Would you consider writing a guest post for my blog about your dreams? Or alternative write one on Pink Tornadoes and allow me to “re-blog” it? I don’t want your very interesting input to get “lost” in the comments and I think you may get a response to your questions if it’s a separate post.

      • Lu
        December 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

        Of course I would like to contribute!
        BUT I would have to put some thought into how exactly it is that I interpret my dreams! – Some things are just intuitive and finding the right words to explain my self-diagnosis could be the quite the challenge for me! I shall do my best and get back to you. This week might be a bit hectic workwise – but that won’t mean that I won’t be thinking about it and trying to catagorise my thoughts on the matter 
        Thank you for the cool opportunity!

  15. valhalla
    January 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    wow im so glad goggle brought me to your blog.i thought i was the only one. i also dream other peoples lives. in the dreams i am someone else. sometimes im even a man. sometimes im a different ethnicity. the craziest ones are when its in another language! when im these other people i feel like im spectating. i dont get to make thir decisions. i do feel their emotions and understand who the people they’re seeing are. things i dont know untl theyre said by whoever im inside are names. ive never dreamed about the future just current and past. i used to think they were jut dreams but most people dont dream about words they can read, seen the sun or the moon, or their own reflectons in water o mirrors. i did notice aconnction inthem tho. when im in them the events unfoldin are highl emotionl or life changing moments. upon wakingthe feelins would fade thankfully! theyd make me extemely depressed. i was like u EXHAUSTED! i found drinking helps me dream less or at least keep me out of someones life.

    • January 19, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      You’re definitely not the only one who experiences very vivid and strange dreams. Since I wrote this post, a number of people have written to me with similar stories.

      I don’t know if you saw the other posts in my “Dreams Series”. You can find them here: https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com/tag/dream-series/

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  16. Athene
    May 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hello… Last night I dreamt that I was someone else for the first time, and I wanted to see if it was a common thing, so I Googled it and came across this – I have read almost all of the comments on this page and it has been such a privilege to hear all about people’s dreams/experiences!

    I have always been very interested by dreams and have researched them (briefly) and given amateur talks on them (although I know hardly anything), however I definitely don’t have all the answers; the thing is, no one does because they are such a mystical thing… and the theories of what they can be are even more bizarre and fun to explore… I am quite a rational person so have just as much doubt as I do creative solutions, but it is sometimes hard to narrow it down completely to the reality we see in waking life. For example, I find what Melissa said fascinating, about how she learnt skills in a single night through a dream…

    Anyway, back to my dream where I was ‘someone else’ (just in case anyone has any insight or merely wants to read it because I enjoyed reading other people’s so much!): It began in the first person (so I didn’t realise I wasn’t me, although I was doing things that I would never do in waking life) and it was day. Then at some point I came into contact with another person and we began arguing (carmly) and I found that I was looking down on myself but I didn’t recognise me (in fact I was the opposite looks-wise; I am tall and blonde with long hair, and I was a about 5ft with short dark hair!) But I was this person, I was feeling their emotions and making their decisions… It was so strange! However, weirdly, I was aware in my dream that I wasn’t me, but I was still this person… if that makes sense. Then just before I woke up, I went outside and it was midnight. And a detail I remember really clearly was a man walking past, carrying a very large white teapot – I collect teapots so this was some strange reminder of me… The dream however seemed very normal (a man holding a large teapot being the most bizarre it got). I just thought it was puzzling and I hope it is interesting for other’s to read (sorry if this has just turned into me rambling about myself!)

    Also, I used to have dreams that ‘predicted’ things (even though I don’t know how much I believe it myself – or if the dream plants the idea in the mind and manipulates situations to it!?) I would dream about things mundane things, Deja Vu, to people falling over and injuring themselves (which challenges my argument as I couldn’t make them do it just by dreaming it?), to the extreme of dreaming that a close friend had a terminal illness weeks before he found out… I don’t know what to think; how much of it is coincidence, how much is the minds tricks… I don’t know! But that just makes it all the more interesting! I went through a stage when I was about 11 when almost every dream I had held a detail in it that appeared somewhere within the next week. For example, that something had moved in a room and I would notice in my dream (but be sure on waking that it was still in it’s original place and someone would move it the next day or whatever), or someone knocking something off a table etc. I thought then that I was a bit weird and making it up so I just ignored it (especially as at that age you’re quite self-conscious and people think you are attention seeking!) And it doesn’t happen anymore, I don’t remember my dreams as much now either… I also am slightly distrusting of my ability to remember dreams, but then even if that’s not exactly what happened in my dreams, the idea is in my head somehow before the things happened so either way it is somewhere in my mind!? Haha I don’t know! I also had recurring dreams for years – one especially from as young as I can remember dreaming till I was about 10 (it was a nightmare about being chased).

    Anyway, I intended to just say thank you as I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments, but I got a little carried away! I hope this tantalises someone’s imagination as the others did mine and thank you again. Also, if you (Lisa or anyone) have any good websites to recommend me on these topics, I would be very grateful!! Thank you very much all (and sorry I’ve talked about myself non stop!)

    • May 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Hi Athene!

      Sorry to only be replying to you now – I’ve been off-line for a while. It was very interesting reading your comment, and I can identify with a lot of it. Ha, you might have been having my dreams – I’m dark and short! 😉

      I don’t like those premonition dreams at all, but thankfully have had few of them. I rarely dream about people I know. Which is a good thing considering some of the content of my dreams.

      I liked what you said about being a “rational person”. I generally don’t look for any deep meaning in my dreams, but still would like to know why I’m having them. Sometimes it’s connected to something I’ve heard, read, or seen somewhere recently, but so often they seem completely bizarre and unrelated to anything I know in my real life.

      Did you see this guest post on my blog about dreams: https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/befriending-mr-sandman/

      I had intended to write more posts on the subject, but somehow got side-tracked . . . 🙂 – ! If you are interested, I’ll email you the links to anything on the subject I post in future.

      Thanks for reading my post and leaving such an interesting comment! 🙂

  17. Christine Walker
    December 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I have many dreams like this. I had a very bizzare dream last night and im with a friend and I know the dream is ment for her its not the 1st of these dreams either. Ive also dreamt of past on people who I dont know and when they were alive they didnt know me. With messages for other people converstationa etc. Ive also dreamt of things mostly unpleasnt things and theyve come true within the month. Ive also had good news and advice passed on through dreams. Have you had this?

    • December 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Christine!

      Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment 🙂 Thankfully, I’ve only twice dreamt of something bad happening (accidents, rather than things which were inevitable), which then happened. One was about myself, the other about a close friend. These were really scary and bizarre dreams. I’m not psychic though, so think my dreams are caused by an over-active imagination.:)

      I haven’t had time since I wrote this post to do more research about dreams, but I’d still like to know why some people dream more vividly than others.

  18. Melissa
    April 18, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    Thank you for posting this, it is good to know I’m not alone. My dreams are also fairly consistent. Normally my dreams take place in places I’ve been before. For example, I’ll dream I am in a house, the interior layout of the house will be a house I’ve been in before. The decor may be different but I would be able to tell you upon waking that the house I was in was my babysitter’s house from years ago, only in my dream the house did not belong to my babysitter but to someone else. So every dream I have takes plan in a familiar place. Until now that is. I had a dream and when I woke my first thought was who’s dream was that because it certainly did not seem like any of my dreams. I wonder if it is possible to dream another person’s dream?

  19. juardo
    June 11, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    I have the dreams every night. It’s hard to control I fill like I just there for the ride. The only thing I can ever control in these dreams is flashing between. Dreams. But never my dream I’m also and active sleep walker not sure how it plays into the dreams.

  20. Wendy
    August 17, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    I, like others, am glad to know I’m not the only one. I have also learned math through a dream as a child. I’ve had this dream about about 3 weeks ago that I can’t stop thinking about. It feels like it wasn’t a dream at all, but a memory of that night.
    I was at the beach at night with a group of friends that I have never met in my waking life, but I knew them well in my dream. We were having a bonfire at the beach. There was no feeling of anything unusual about what was going on other than I knew I was inside someone elses body. If i were at a bonfire with my real friends, they would have had beer in the cooler instead of the non alcoholic drinks that were in the dream.
    Every night now I hope I’ll get to go back to the bonfire where i get a glimps into someone else’s life.

    • August 20, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Hi Wendy! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. 🙂 I’ve been surprised at how many people have very vivid dreams where they are not themselves in the dream. I have had several “repeat” dreams where I go back to the same situation I’ve dreamed before. As long as it’s not a scary dream, it can be really cool.

  21. Bodie
    October 6, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi Lisa and all those participants that have contributed their stories. I too have been living several other lives in my dreams/ whilst subconscious. The amount of detail/emotion and communication in these dreams is as clear as it is in my waking life. I often return to the same other bodies/minds and recall some familiar feelings although I know none of the people or places that I encounter. All of the people and places have felt foreign (I live in England) and the interactions that happen feel very important. This has been happening for a couple of decades now and I do really enjoy the experience, as if it is a holiday without moving. If anyone has found any other people that this happens too or would like to share any of their recollections or feeling please feel free to get in touch.

    • October 9, 2014 at 5:59 am #

      Hi Bodie!

      Thank you for sharing your dream experiences. It’s been almost comforting to know that I’m not the only one who has such vivid dreams. I’ve wondered if in my case I don’t get “inspired” by things I’ve read or seen somewhere. While I also find it interesting to have vivid dreams I find that I’m often so tired when I wake up in the morning. Like my brain hasn’t had time to rest properly.

      I was reading a book the other day, where one character was talking about having a dream as somebody else, and then wondering whether their dream character is a real person having a dream as them. Like they really had swopped lives in their dreams.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  22. Samantha Deysel
    April 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Hi. I found this blog while trying to explain my own dreams and something caught my eye. I too suffered fro seizures as a child and well into my adulthood. So many years on epilepsy meds just for several Doctors to tell me it wasnt epilepsy. Eventually one just said its Frontal Lobe Seizures but he couldn’t explain what causes them. As a small child I had elaborate dreams and terrifying recurring nightmares. Whats more disturbing is that one particular dream reoccurs even to this day but my age is updated. Out of all my friends and family ive always had the most detailed and odd dreams -including dreaming other people’s dreams often im not even the same gender. Ive had several dreams that have come true and many dreams so intricate and entertaining I wish I could hit record and make millions off the movie deal. My feeling has always been that my seizures and these crazy dreams are connected especially since just before a fit I would feel like I was detaching from the real world and going somewhere else like just before I dream. During my seizures it was always dark though, either black or blood red but I could always hear everything going on, like i was trapped in my body for the duration. I hope to live long enough to see the day science can capture dreams. Sam

    • August 28, 2015 at 8:42 am #

      Hi Sam!

      Sorry I have taken such a long time to reply to your comment. I did read it back in April, but I’ve been struggling with health issues and took a break from blogging. I do appreciate you sharing your dreams story. Found myself identifying with a lot of what you said. As a child I also had terrifying recurring nightmares and also have dreamt that I’m a man. I don’t have full-blown seizures any more, but do sometimes have “blackouts” where I just freeze or go into a trance (don’t have good motor skills) and seem to enter a recurring dream world – I recognise the feelings and thoughts I have during it, but afterwards don’t remember what it is I was thinking/dreaming. I’ve tried writing down my thoughts during an episode, but the lack of co-ordination means I can’t read my handwriting afterwards, and the words don’t make sense when I can.

      I recently listened to two podcasts about dreams and dreaming, but although they were very interesting, they didn’t explain what we’ve experienced. If you’re interested I can send you the links. Have you come across anything re: dreams?

      Take care,

  23. Steve
    November 25, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I’m glad I’m not alone, but I wish there were some answers! This has been happening to me for years, and almost nightly. And like some of the others, I’ve occasionally switched genders, and ethnicity. I feel as though I’ve dropped in on somebody else’s life, just for a few moments. The events aren’t even exciting…just mundane experiences that occur in life: making dinner for a child (that I don’t know, in a kitchen I’ve never seen), or talking with a spouse that I’ve never met.

    But interestingly, I had the rare opportunity to prove that they are REAL. In one of my “dreams”, I was walking down the hallway, with very specific (and sometimes technical) thoughts running through my mind. One of these thoughts was how “I hadn’t gotten my Masters degree only to be stuck in a basement in New Jersey”. When I woke up, I Googled the technical terms that I had learned in my dream, and found only ONE place on Earth doing research in this particular field, and it was in the (basement) lab at Princeton University (in New Jersey).

    So what is this really? Are we sharing the thoughts of others? Are we like radios, able to pick up the frequencies of others?

    • November 30, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Steve! Thanks for sharing your dream experiences. I’ve also wondered if what I’m dreaming are fragments of things I’ve seen (in movies or television) or read, but just don’t remember on a conscious level later. I would honesty prefer to dream less, as dreaming so vividly affects the quality of my sleep. Often wake up feeling tired. Do you experience that too?

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

      • Steve
        November 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

        Yes, I’m constantly tired. It’s exhausting. I think it’s because immediately following these dreams, there is some time to “decipher” the dream, figuring out what just happened. Plus sometimes, they are simply startling. It’s hard to sleep after that.

  24. Tony
    January 26, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    I have dreams where I am someone else, with their memories and emotional responses and baggage, none of which are related in any way to me or my situation. I am aware that I’m not them, and I have all this information about them and the current situation floating about in my mind. I have a hard time retaining details, but last night Iwas working in a bar in an airport in Moscow, spoke Russian and was attacked. The main guy called me Lennie, and I remember being irritated because I hated being called Lennie when my name is Leonard.
    My name is actually Tony, and I’must not russian. This is representative of the dreams I regularly have.

    • February 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Tony! Thanks for visiting my blog and for sharing your dream experiences. Can identify with your story. It’s bad enough having to deal with your own problems without taking on some dream persona’s baggage! I’ve been having some really weird dreams again. Earlier this week I dreamt I was in a broken down city (post-apocalypse) and yet there were pre-historic creatures running around.

  25. Dale
    July 26, 2017 at 4:20 am #

    I live in a house that I dreamt about many times while I was growing up. I came to realize, now that I am older, that I was witnessing or observing someone else’s life. I also believe when we dream, our consciousness, we become one again with the energy, God, spirit, etc… When we dream, one can see an infinite number of things. Past, present, future, our lives, other people’s lives, being a bird, tree, animal, etc.

  26. C
    October 7, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    I hope that there is someone who still reads this thread… I don’t want to go into too much detail just in case there isn’t.

    I do want to say a couple of things though. I have been searching this week for things like: “dreaming other people’s thoughts”, “dreaming other people’s dreams” “picking up on other people’s thoughts in dreams”, etc. (which is what lead me to this thread).

    My partner and I very recently moved into a new apartment (the building itself is actually about 40 years old, but we just moved in less than one month ago).

    Since moving in, both of us have been having some very disconcerting dreams – some of which feel like they are literally out of a horror movie. Sometimes they are quite horrific, sometimes gruesome, sometimes visually/emotionally disgusting, and when these types of dreams happen (I remember mine often, he is less likely to remember his dreams because he sleeps so deeply throughout the night), they are incredibly disturbing.

    Some of the most recent dreams that I have had have woken me up to he point that I cannot and do not want to go back to sleep – because I’m so disturbed by the content of the dreams, AND TRULY FEELING that I have been picking up on someone else’s thoughts.

    Like, is there someone in my building who watches horror films all night long, and really gets into them so much that I am picking up on what they’re watching? Or, is there someone who lives close to me who has these kinds of thoughts on their own without watching horror films, and their disturbing thoughts are so vivid that I’m (we’re) picking up on their mental imagery while we’re sleeping? Or worse, is there someone close by who actually has some horribly disgusting life activities??? I truly hope not!

    My partner and I are considering sageing our new apartment, and also we’ve talked about making prayer a more frequent aspect of our lives because of this.

    Before anyone comments, there are a few things that I would like to mention.
    1). We are both quite content in our relationship, we are in a very good place with each other, we are open, communicative and loving.
    2). There is no major conflict going on in either of our lives – like many people, have the normal life struggles around making ends meet financially… but, we’re doing ok, we’re not in any financial turmoil.
    3). This type of dream imagery is EXTREMELY UNUSUAL for both of us!
    4). We did NOT have these kinds of dreams before moving in here, but now (at least for me – since I remember my dreams more often than he does) I am having some kind of disturbing (sometimes horrifically disturbing) dream imagery – almost nightly!
    5). In these dreams, I am often an outsider viewing what is happening… except that in one of my most recent dreams I ran in to the scene to try to protect a young woman who was in danger.

    I don’t know what to think of these dreams, or how to change/stop them. I don’t know if I really am picking up on someone else’s thoughts/dreams…
    I do know that I want to get out of this pattern, I want to stop having these dreams, if possible.

    Writing this made me think that maybe I should try sleeping in a different room for a little while to see if it still happens.

    I don’t know… I really don’t know.

    I hope that this might either be helpful for someone else, or I might find some understanding of what’s going on, or figure out a way to make this stop.

    Thanks for reading.

    • October 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm #


      Thanks for sharing your story. Your dreams sound horrifying and very frightening. Especially as both of you are having similar dreams since you moved into this apartment. I can imagine you are searching for an answer to get them to stop. I wonder if you would both still have these dreams if you went away from the apartment for a while (e,g, on vacation)?

      Since I wrote this post I’ve also been searching for answers as to why I have such vivid dreams and how to make them stop. Although mine are not as horrific as yours, I never feel rested in the mornings, and am constantly tired during the day. Nothing that I have read or heard since I wrote this post has explained this feeling of having somebody else’s dreams. And yet so many people have contacted me and said they feel the same way.

      I wish you luck in finding some answers.

  27. Elisha
    January 18, 2019 at 6:06 am #

    This happens to me too.

  28. MandyGirl
    July 30, 2019 at 5:35 am #

    I have thought this before as well. I dream more then anyone I know and I often do things I wouldnt normally do and I am someone else alot as well. I have been curious is I was dreaming someone else’s life because there has been words used in my dreams that I dont know what even mean until I look them up. It’s crazy if my mind has really made people that talk smarter then I am. I’ll be following for your results.

    • August 2, 2019 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂 I haven’t been able to find out anything about our crazy dreams yet. Maybe we pick up things from what we see and read and then it becomes a dream later? Will post an update if I do.

  29. Kay
    February 8, 2020 at 11:36 pm #

    Oh my. I am so glad to know that I’m not the only person who dreams someone else’s life! Mine are quite vivid and clear. One was a woman in the 1950’s. The others later. It’s quite freaky really. Different women, different looks, different families, location, etc. The dreams also involve rare and traumatic events. It’s just so strange.

    • February 13, 2020 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Kay!

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s interesting that you go back in time. Mine have always been in current time although I sometimes get the feeling of deja vu – like I’ve been in the location in the past – or had the same dream before. Do you read books set in the past?

      • Kay
        February 23, 2020 at 2:00 am #

        I read a lot, so I read books from all kinds of time periods, although most are in the present or distant past. I don’t think that I’ve read much from that period of time, if any. I can tell you that I’ve not read anything like what I experienced in the dreams. The one in the 40’s or early 50’s was of an extreme and rare traumatic occurrence. Not at all a pleasant one. I’ve actually tried finding her online, but it’s difficult finding anything about specific people from that time. I think what I find most disturbing about these dreams of someone else’s life, is that they are so real. It’s the strangest thing living someone else’s life, feeling their feelings, and thinking their thoughts. If I ever experience it again, I hope that I see or experience something in the dream that gives a clear indication of exactly when, where, and/or who.

  30. P G
    December 28, 2020 at 6:05 pm #

    I have these dreams but they are rare. In each one I am actually in a period of someone else’s life. I feel the air , In one I was shot in the leg and believe me there was no question about it. Last night for the first time I actually knew the person’s first name but it was because I said the name, Brody in identifying myself. Usually there is nothing except the sense I am experiencing a moment. I wish I knew who there people were because each moment is often a moment of intense feeling. And they are all over the place. One seemed to be South America, one Africa. One a small settlement on a river with some cold and snow but there are few identifiers because it is just who I am, .and what I am living that moment. Except when I wake, I know it wasn’t the me of now. . I never have a sense of anything outside what the person is thinking. Can’t even speak to language because it is always known so I don’t identify it as English or other . I probably wont see this site again but my email is p23ag@yahoo.com if you’ve been shot at in a nightclub parking lot in South America and hid under a car, been actually shot in the leg near a river bank. are a woman named Brody trying to bring up two sons whom you are trying to meld a non Christian religion and Santa Claus for right now.

    • Dale
      December 30, 2020 at 11:57 pm #

      I have similar dreams. I know we can experience other people’s life’s. I grew up dreaming about a woman, I love tremendously, being abused. My nightmares were her reality. I dated her for 8 years. Her house, I dreamed about the past owner. He committed suicide. I have seen other people’s life and how they died.
      I also have dreams that I believe are of me. It’s very hard to understand dreams. Sometimes I think they mean one thing and months, days or years later.. I realize the dream meant something totally different

  31. Sadie Finch
    May 8, 2021 at 11:44 pm #

    I never had dreams like this until this year. LIke some of the others that have posted, I feel more exhausted when I wake up, like I haven’t slept at all. I have dreamt the life of a trying to figure out how to end things with his girlfriend, I have dreamt about being an older woman who is afraid that my son (I don’t have a son, by the way) is going to clean out my bank account and pretend to be my caregiver, taking everything I have and letting me die. I dreamt last night that I was a younger woman, a blonde (and I am brunette) who caught my boyfriend cheating on me and I couldn’t stop crying. These dreams are driving me crazy because I feel like I am tapping into someone else’s life and subconscious. I don’t understand why this is happening to me because it isn’t like I’m dreaming at all. It’s very strange. I don’t know these people, but they feel very real and the situations are not like my usual dreams, they are like I’m tapping into someone’s life. I’m so glad I’m not alone because it’s not like you can talk about this with people without sounding crazy 😦

    • May 10, 2021 at 7:25 am #

      Hi Sadie! Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, one does sound (or at least feel) crazy talking about this to other people. It seems though that there are a lot of us who experience this. This is the most popular, most commented on post on my blog, I get a lot of people writing to me privately with their dream experiences.

      I also have a lot of dreams regarding things I have never personally experienced. It’s as you described it, having a dream of a conflict in somebody else’s life. I wish that I knew more about dreams so I could figure things out. I did discuss it with my doctor once and he just said it’s probably because of the medication I’m on. But I had these vivid dreams years before I was put on the medication.

    • Steve
      May 10, 2021 at 11:08 pm #


      You are NOT alone. And yes, we all think we’re crazy at first. And yes, most people we tell about this are only too quick to call us crazy.

      As a middle-aged white guy, it’s weird to be asleep, and suddenly look down at my feet thinking “Oh no! I’m wearing a white and cream high-heeled shoe”, or seeing an angry man walking through the parking lot as I’m playing on the steps and thinking “Daddy’s going to beat mommy again”.

      And it happens all the time. With me, it’s all night, every night. Mostly insignificant glimpses into someone else’s life.

      But I am CONVINCED these are real. I’ve had several occasions to get enough information that I’ve been able to confirm them as true. Once I dreamt I was a scientist working on xxxxx in a lab in New Jersey. I was able to Google the xxxxx, and sure enough, the very rare technology was being developed at Princeton! In New Jersey! And there have been enough other confirmable events that I am convinced they are true.

      Another time I dreamt that I was diagnosed with xxxxx, and when I woke up, I asked my (ex) girlfriend what xxxxx was. (She’s a doctor) Her jaw dropped. It was a very rare condition that only affects Black women, and virtually never in the US. And I was able to describe my symptoms exactly. I had shared my “condition” in the past. Suddenly, she was a true believer.

      I’m no expert on how this happens, but my theory is that thoughts are simply energy waves, and some of us are just better receivers than others.

      Happy dreaming!

  32. Ray
    November 15, 2021 at 9:50 pm #

    I’m 26 years old and I have had a dream of fighting in WW2 but I’m to young to have served so how would I have had these dreams

    • Jennifer
      November 18, 2021 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi Ray, and anyone else who still checks this thread!

      Have you studied WW2 at all? I used to have horrible dreams where I had to torture/kill during WW2 for information and wake up feeling like I really did kill someone. However, I studied trauma and WW2 during that time and no doubt suffered from vicarious trauma via bearing witness.

      Personally, I recently have been waking up exhausted, feeling/knowing I have had someone else’s dream, whether I remember the dream or not. I’m under immense stress constantly and have attributed my waking and dreaming states to that, but I cannot shake the feeling that something is about to happen – good or bad or neutral. I also suffer from short-term memory loss that occurs in small fragments. I’m fully aware that I’m doing/saying something in the moment, but soon after I will not be able to recall what was said/done. It’s like I’m on autopilot all the time, but aware of it.

      My partner said it might be a type of momentary derealization or depersonalization, but I’m not convinced that is the only thing going on, if at all. I’m fully aware that I’m real, and things around me are real, yet I can’t shake the FEELING that something has changed or is changing on a personal level or broader, or both. I feel this simultaneous disconnect from my personal life and connection to something or someone else.

      We are currently trying to have a baby and my dream last night was that I found out after Thanksgiving that I was pregnant, but I knew it wasn’t me, though it was from my point-of-view. Despite this knowing, I FELT all the things I would if I was actually pregnant. When I woke up, I felt nothing because I knew it wasn’t me in the dream who was pregnant.

      I have no idea what is going on or why, but I’m slowly rejoining my own life. How long it lasts, though, I have no idea.

      • November 18, 2021 at 7:37 pm #

        Hi Jennifer! I am still monitoring this thread, although I am sometimes slow to reply to comments.

        I identify with you feeling exhausted on waking up. I rarely wake up feeling like I have had a good night’s sleep. And I also sometimes feel like I am “losing myself”. If only I knew how to stop having these vivid dreams.

        Do you get migraines or have any other neurological issues?

        Thanks for your comment!

      • Jennifer
        November 19, 2021 at 5:21 pm #

        Occasionally I’ll be affected by migraines, but it’s not very often. I do usually have headaches when I wake up, though, which my doctor said might be a result from sleep apnea. That may be the case, but there’s something else going on!

        Also, sorry for replying to my own comment. There isn’t an option for me to reply to yours for some reason!

    • November 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi Ray! Thanks for leaving a comment. Are you yourself in these dreams, or do you feel you’re somebody else?

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