How long is a dream f This is a question not answered easily. It is probable that we dream many different dreams in the same night. Usually, dreams are ever changing, incomplete, moving swiftly from one incident to another. In waking life there is a somewhat similar shifting of thought; for example, a conversation of a few minutes' duration will embrace many topics, none of which have been dealt with to any extent. Often, however, the dreams of the same night are closely related to one another, and are but various aspects of the same theme. Freud1 calls attention to the dream of Pharaoh, recorded in detail by Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. II, Chap. III). After telling the first dream, the king said:

"When I had seen this vision I awaked out of my sleep, and being in disorder, and considering with myself what the appearance should be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream much more wonderful than the first, which did still more affright and disturb me."

The incompleteness of many dreams will help to explain why we rarely meet with the dangers which seem to threaten us. Often we are on the road to awaking when the dream occurs, and we awake before the dream is completed. Again, the emotion caused by the dream may be responsible for the awakening. What we remember of a dream is not all we have been dreaming about. We recall but fragments of the dreams, and this is another reason why dreams appear to be chaotic. It is something like recalling disconnected thoughts gleaned from a book, or reading miscellaneous pages. If we read the book from the beginning we would find that it had sense; likewise, if we remembered all the parts of a dream we would find that it, too, had sense.

1 Interpretation of Dreamt, by Dr. Freud, 1913, p. 309; authorized English translation of 3rd edition by Dr. A. A. Brill. London, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.; New York, The Macmillan Company.

In dreaming, especially as regards vivid dreams, women have the supremacy. This is because their lives are more emotional than are those of men. Women are also given much to reverie, and it is from reverie that many dreams proceed. Again, women are probably more interested in dreams than are men; they thus pay attention to them and try to recall them. Since they are able to recall a large percentage of their dreams, they receive credit for superiority in dreaming.

Women also enjoy the distinction of seeing their own faces in dreams more often than do men. This has been ascribed to their frequent use of the mirror, which acquaints them with the finer aspects of their features: pretty women are supposed to see their faces in dreams more than the plain featured. As a rule, we do not see ourselves distinctly in dreams, particularly our faces; but we seem to feel that we are present. This is probably no great peculiarity since in waking life we are not always well aware of our facial or other characteristics. We have an idea as to how we look, but another person has a better impression of our features than we have ourselves.