Dream Glossary

alpha wavesNormal electrical brain activity associated with quiet wakefulness.
apneaA life-threatening condition where a person periodically stops breathing for some length of time during sleep.
applied dreamingUsing dreams to accomplish a certain purpose, such as solving a problem, enhancing creativity, or discovering an answer to a particular question.
archetypesA particular type of symbol that is an iconic image or idealized version of a person, object, or concept. A generic version or stereotype. Examples include the mother figure, the hero, the wise old man, and the trickster.
arousalA sudden transition from a sleep state to a waking state, or from one sleep state to a lighter sleep state.
beta wavesNormal electrical brain activity associated with active wakefulness.
bruxismGrinding or clenching teeth during sleep.
circadian rhythmsCyclical patterns or biological clock in living things, said to influence sleep and dream cycles.
collective dreamingThe meaning varies, but generally involves dreams in a group context: 1) One or more individuals dreaming the same thing at the same time. 2) The idea that the aggregation of many individuals' dreams portray the greater collective consciousness, each person's dream conveying a piece of the big picture.
consciousThe aspect of the mind whose activities we are directly aware of. A waking state or state of awareness.
delta wavesNormal electrical brain activity associated with restorative sleep, usually occuring during non-REM, non-dreaming sleep.
dialoguingA technique to assist in dream interpretation, where the dreamer creates an imaginary conversation with one or more elements in a dream to gain greater insight into the dream's meaning.
dream artArtwork that is based on images from dreams, or sometimes artwork with dream-like qualities.
dream interpretationAnalyzing a dream in an attempt to discover meaning meaning or purpose that is significant to the dreamer.
dream journalingTracking dreams by writing descriptions of them, often used as a tool in dream interpretation.
dream psychologyThe study of dreams and dreaming according within the framework of the science of psychology.
dream recallThe ability to remember all or part of a dream you've had. Most people have trouble remembering dreams unless they review them in their mind or write them down immediately upon awakening. Not everyone remembers their dreams, but it is possible to improve dream recall. See the article called Dream Tips and Techniques.
dream therapyUsing dreams as a tool to assist in psychotherapy to help provide greater insight into the issues of the client.
dream typeCategory of dream, depending on dream content and structure. See also Dream Types.
dream within a dreamDreaming that you are having a dream (a dream within a dream) - can mean you feel you're getting a higher perspective or deeper understanding of whatever it is you're dreaming about. It can also be a realization that you are dreaming (having a lucid dream), or it can indicate confusion about what is real and what is not. The dream within a dream can also represent a story that you are choosing to create or make up on the fly - just as a "play within a play" is a story that the characters are creating.
hypnic jerkAn involuntary muscle contraction that occurs during the transition from the waking to sleeping state, often returning the person to a waking state.
hypnogogiaThe experiences during the process of falling asleep, such as vivid impressions, visions, voices, or tactile sensations.
hypnopompiaThe experiences during the process of waking up.
insomniaDifficulty going to sleep or staying asleep. Possible causes can include stress, anxiety, depression, alcohol, drugs, other toxins, caffeine or other stimulants, certain foods, allergies, change in schedule or routine, jet lag, a specific sleep disorder, among others.
intuitionInsight or inner wisdom. Direct knowing, independent of rational thought. A powerful tool in dream interpretation, since the dreamer almost always know the meaning of a dream, on some level.
lucid dreamA dream during which the dream is aware that they are dreaming, and often can control the events of the dream.
myoclonic twitchAn involuntary muscle contraction that occurs during the transition from the waking to sleeping state, often returning the person to a waking state.
night sweatsSignificant sweating while sleeping, independent of ambient temperature in the room.
nightmareA frightful or unpleasant dream, often vivid, which often awakens the dreamer out of REM sleep. Having a nightmare usually means one of the following: 1) Your subconscious mind is exploring one of your fears; 2) You are reliving a past traumatic or scary event (could even be an event in a movie); 3) You had a Toxic Dream triggered by environmental or mental/emotional stress; or 4) You have created an opportunity for negative dream experiences by compromising your responsibility for your own well-being (drinking irresponsibly, taking drugs, eating too much, giving up on yourself or your life, etc.)
nocturnalOccuring at night.
NREM sleep(non-rapid eye movement) A normal phase of sleep when dreams tend not to occur.
parasomniaUnusual sleep-related disorders that disrupts sleep, including sleepwalking, sleep talking, teethgrinding, sleep-eating, and night terrors.
phosphenesPatterns of lights or other visual images seen when the eyes are closed (without light actually coming in through the eyelid), often perceived when drifting off to sleep or in response to a loud noise.
precognitionPrediction, or the ability to predict accurately.
predictive dreamA dream that predicts the future, where events in the dream happen in real life after the dream has taken place.
premonitionA prediction, such as events in a dream that then happen later in real life.
psychic dreamA dream containing elements of ESP, such as accurate prediction of the future, remote viewing, or connection with another person via telepathy.
recurring dreamA dream that repeats the same or similar content on more than one occasion, usually on different nights.
REM sleep(rapid eye movement) - A phase of sleep when associated with rapid eye movements, increased brain activity, decreased muscle movement, and dreaming.
sleep architectureThe structure or pattern of sleep cycles through the night.
sleep hygieneThe practice of habits that result in good sleep.
sleep mentationMental and emotional processes that occur during sleep, including thoughts, imagery, and problem-solving.
sleep paralysisThe temporary sensation that the body is paralyzed just after waking or before falling asleep.
sleep terrorA sudden, partial awakening from NREM sleep, often with a feeling of fear, but with no associated dream recal.
somnambulismA condition that involves physical activities, such as walking, being conducted during the sleep state.
somniloquyTalking in one's sleep.
subconsciousThe aspect of the mind whose activities we are not directly aware of. Also the part of the mind that dreams.
symbolA unique aspect of a dream that provides clues about the meaning of the dream. Examples include people, places, objects, feelings, and activities. See also the article on Top Dream Symbols.
visionAn image or thought seen in the mind, often during a dream or altered state, originating in the imagination or the supernatural.
waking dreamA vision or message conveyed through images or thoughts while a person is awake. Some examples include a daydream, an intuitive thought (a sudden knowing), a creative inspiration, or a psychic vision.