Posted by: beagle4 | April 30, 2011

Humans Change with Age

A dream is just like a normal human. As our mind matures over time so do our dreams, well at least up until 13 to 15 years old. The dream content of children under 5 years old are bland, only containing static images and thoughts about daily events that occurred. The most common dream characters prevalent in dreams of toddlers and preschoolers are animals. According to a study conducted by Robert Van de Castle (his name appears quite often in the dream world), almost 40% of children at ages 4 to 5 contain animals. By the time the children are teenagers, this drops by 14%. Between the ages of 5 and 8, dreams start to develop and include more of a story-like style with movement and interaction. It is not until around 8 years old where the dreamer becomes an active participant in the dream. At ages 9-11, the dreams start to become more adult-like. However, the tone of dream is not as negative as adult dreams. When you are in your pre-teens (11 to 13) the length and content is the same as adult dreams. At this time, the dreamers personality finally starts to appear within the dream. By 13-15 years old, the dream has finally matured to an adult level. (source)

As we age, the amount of dream recall also changes. Surprisingly, the ability to recall dreams increase as we age at least until a certain age (the frequency of being able to recall dreams decreases with age as well). G. William Domhoff argues that the dream recall in children is lower than in adults. In research studies, the average rate of dream recall is only 20-30% from REM awakenings until the child reaches the age of 9 to 11 years. At that age recall rate increases to the adult level of around 79%.

Dreaming continues as people age, but the themes they dream about change because their daily concerns change. There are fewer nightmares, less frequent aggressive dreams, shorter average length of dreams, and less frequent dream recall. As we get older, the content may eventually evolve into concerns about death. Shorter dreams and lower dream recall can be partly explained by the fact that memory no longer functions as well as it used to. Research has shown that the largest drop-off in dream recall occurs at around 26, especially among males.

Now just close your eyes and dream…



  1. Hi Beagle –

    I know my dreams have changed since I’ve gotten older. I can’t ever remember my dreams the next day although I knew I dreamt. I don’t have those crazy wild dreams either like I used to when I was a teenager. It’s funny that I stumbled upon your sight from another blog, but I just posted a blog this earlier today about daydreaming. Take a look at if you get some free time and tell me what you think about it. Happy Saturday evening to you. 🙂

    • Hello,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll have to check out your blog when I have some more time. Happy dreaming!

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