Psychologists Explain 6 Common Things We Can’t Do in Our Dreams

We still don’t fully understand the purpose of our dreams, but that doesn’t stop our brains from creating beautiful yet weird concepts in alternative worlds that leave us stunned in the morning. But for some reason, certain ordinary objects and actions seem to never appear in our dreams, while flying elephants, battles with aliens, or riding motorcycles might be part of our normal dream repertoire. However, things like smartphones, mirrors, and food are rare guests in our dreams.

Psychologists Explain 6 Common Things We Can’t Do in Our Dreams

We grew curious about why we couldn’t see or do some things in our dreams that we’re perfectly capable of in our waking life, and we found some unexpected explanations. As a bonus, Internet users have shared ordinary things they fail to do in their dreams.

1. Seeing smartphones

Psychologists Explain 6 Common Things We Can’t Do in Our Dreams

According to research, only about 3.55% of women and 2.69% of men see smartphones in their dreams. It might be connected to the fact that smartphones and other modern devices have appeared in our lives pretty recently, and our brains aren’t quite used to them.

There’s a theory that we dream in order for our brains to process our anxieties and fears, and it helps us deal with stressful events. So dreaming acts as some kind of evolved defense mechanism, and the things we dream about often come from older parts of the human mind. They’re more connected to problems that our ancestors could relate to, like fighting and surviving.

However, some circumstances might trigger the appearance of smartphones in our dreams. Alice Robb, the author of a book about dreams, shares that people are more likely to see smartphones in their dreams when they’re going through some intense life events, like mourning or losing a loved one.

2. Write, read, or actually speak

Psychologists Explain 6 Common Things We Can’t Do in Our Dreams

The regions of our brains that are responsible for interpreting language are much less active while we’re asleep. That’s why forming and expressing language may become quite a task.

For example, some people note that they’re not sure that they or other people are actually speaking in their dreams, and communication between them seems more like telepathy. So we can understand the concepts and ideas while we’re asleep, and we can express ourselves, but we don’t really hear the sound or see anyone actually talking.

The same goes for reading, writing, or telling time. We can get a general idea but we rarely can distinguish separate words or tell the exact time. However, people who use language in their everyday life a lot, such as writers or poets, may actually be able to make sense of the language in their dreams and come up with new ideas that can still be useful after they wake up.

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