Dreaming in black and white?

Two articles about colour in dreams by Eric Switzgebel.
These are just abstracts, for the complete article PM me.

kinda interesting, i also readed somewere, dreams are possible outside REM stage and these dreams are black & white.

Before I started to investigate lucid dreaming and really question dreams, when I began to realise that bizzare things impossible in real life were happening I tended to think ‘oh, this must be a movie’ rather than ‘oh, this must be a dream’. I think this is a pretty common reaction for everybody, lucid dreamer or not. I think the state of mind needed to become involved in a movie is something like a dream state - you tend to put aside the fact that what you are watching may very well be impossible, or at least function according to a different set of rules from RL. Movies can be so engrossing and effective because part of our subconcious mind is already set up to allow us to ‘believe’ that the movie is a reality, even if this belief is only temporary.
Somewhere else on this forum, I remeber someone wondering how people’s subconcious minds explained the impossibilities in their dreams before movies existed. This article suggests that the invention of motion pictures has had a huge effect on our dreams as a society - but did people become lucid more often before the time of the movies (because their subconcious was not armed with such a good ‘excuse’), or are movies unlocking and calling to attention the dream world more than ever before?

Hmm… I’ve always dreamt in colors (full 32-bits resolution :grin: ) so I don’t understand all the fuss about dreaming in b/w :neutral:

same here, but i think that my mom said when she was in ages like 10-20 she only dreamt in color.
PS i only get 18 bits :sad:

Yeah, my dreams are all in glorious technicolour too…I guess the point is: we dream in colour now, but if we had grown up watching only black and white movies, would we dream be dreaming differently because of it? I’d be interested to know wether anyone here has dreams in black and white and wether they do or don’t feel like it’s associated to movies in any way. I remeber reading somewhere about someone whose dreams were in black in white until the moment they became lucid, and then full colour flooded in…

This is a really interesting post. I myself have always dreamt in full, dazzling color. :content: The fact that people would dream in black and white is really strange to me… but it makes you wonder about all of the people before movies ever came out at all. Did they dream in black and white? Or did they dream in color? Did culture play a part in the colors of their dreams? Take for instance, some ancient cultures used the stage for their entertainment… this would obviously be in color, except to colorblind individuals of course. But there were ancient tribes that dedicated their lives to their dreams and what not, and it seems unlikely they had plays to occupy their time. Their daily lives were in color, so did that make their dreams in color too?

Very interesting things to think about. I wish we all knew the answers to such questions.

I’d also just like to say, I have never thought of my dreams like movies… I always think of them like books! The way I see my dreams is how I see stories in books that I read. Perhaps the way people views stories from books for a few centuries effected the color of their dreams. :alien:

I always dream in one jillion… and jillion bits of colors. I even had some dreams where I saw more than colors… it’s beyond. I can’t explain. I do remember dreaming in black and white twice and it always floods in color when I become lucid. Usually when I dream in black and white, it’s more like making everything to be dramatic so I can remember it later or make it more noticable so I know it’s an important dream that I need to analyze, but it’s very rare. Last time I remember dreaming in black and white, I was like 10 years old…

The scene took its place outside. Everything was very colorful. Suddenly, I became lucid for no reasons. I was talking to my neighbor, Kris. I told her that I would love to get on the rocket. Somehow I did got in the rocket. When I got in… everything was in black and white. I thought, “Whoa! That’s cool!” The feelings were overwhelming vivid. I watched the blue atomsphere disappearing through a tiny window. When the blue sky disappeared, I realized that I was now in the space. I floated in zero gravity. I would never forget this experience. The earth was the only thing that was in color, but everything else was in black and white. I was in awe. I woke up, feeling more energized than before. I wish I could share it with you… the words aren’t enough. sighs

kool! i had one B/W dream i can remember but it was a nite mare where a invisible evil was chasing me, i dreamed this like when i was 3 years old!

I read that dream researchers used to think that ppl dreamed in b&w but remembered the dreams in color, (ie your brain adds the color when you wake up). I havn’t heard about people actually NOT dreaming in color at all! The television theory doesn’t gel with me, I mean, does that mean that before TV people never dreamt at all?
I’ve had a couple of dreams in b&w, mostly color though, I’ve even become lucid due to the colors being messed up (ie green=orange, blue= red, etc) so that proves that I MY brain doesn’t put the colors in afterwards.

i think they mite have dreamed in B/W cuz of TV b/c there dreams seemed more like a tv show… i dunno jus a guess

“I only dream in black and white, I only dream cause im alive, I only dream in black and white…to save me from myself” Iron Maiden-Dream of Mirrors


Ive also heard that you cant hear sounds in dreams…I dont beleieve it…I dont think Ove ever dreamed in black and white…or atleats i dont remember

I ALWAYS dream in color! Often it’s sortof darkish, and not bright, but sometimes its TECNICOLOURED! (I like those dreams the best!)

Yup…me too…I dream in colours that I have never seen on earth before. Do you think it’s possible that there are more colours in existence than the basic combination of red / yellow / blues we know of?

No :smile:

Not according to science, anyway. We’ve been able to examine absolutely every possible spectrum of light, and we’ve seen all the colors there are.

Nearly all of my dreams are black and white. When I do dream in color, the colors are not intense- less so than RL. Coincidentally(?), my ability to dream in color seems to have improved as my LD ability has improved. My dreams may be a special case though as I am someone who experiences “REM behaviour disorder”. For those not familiar with this condition, this is where your physical body does not achieve the normal atonia (paralysis) while in REM sleep and you actually physically get up and act out your dreams. It’s very interesting to me that most lucid dreamers dream almost exclusively in color- and intense color at that. I’m developing a theory that RBD and LD are experiences on the oppisate ends of the dream spectrum. This disparity of dream color between “normal” lucid dreamers and myself reinforces this view.

Here’s to hoping that I get to experience the wonderful colorful dreams that others have described as my LD ability improves.

I heard one time that one of the first things to slip out of your memory about an even is color. Maybe that had something to do with it?

I heard one time that one of the first things to slip out of your memory about an even is color. Maybe that had something to do with it?

I don’t want to discount any possibility, but I really don’t think so. I am as confident that I dream in black and white as others are who claim to dream in a “jillion” colors- it would be as fair to question their memory of the event (i do not). You probably dream in color yourself, so therefore my claim seems not believable. I think in a normal, non lucid dream that a lot more gets lost in the translation. However, when I am lucid and able to observe my surroundings and they are either colorless or the colors are present but “dingy” let’s call them, then I have to think that my impression is fairly accurate. If I had a jillion colors in my LD, then I wouldn’t be thinking AT THE TIME OF LUCIDITY “I wish that my dreams were more colorful”. So no, I can’t see it being a memory issue- the only possibility would be that somehow I am misinterpreting it at the time of its occurance.

I have considered the possibility of misinterpretation on my part further. My dreams tend to be very dark- the setting seems like night or twilight almost all the time. Under these dim conditions, even if an object has color, then it is going to APPEAR colorless. This may be the explanation- perhaps it is more of an illumination problem rather than a color problem. When I do notice color, it is when I am dreaming of a sunny day or a well lit room- which only rarely happens. And even when it does, the colors and illumination are not as “vibrant” as in RL. The sun itself when viewed has about the intensity of a full moon. This again implies an illumination problem. So my question would be this- those who do dream in intense color, what is the lighting like in your dreams? I would assume it would be very bright if it would correlate to RL- the brighter the light then the more intense the color.

Personally I dream in color. At least I remember the dreams being in color so I assume they were in color. I don’t doubt that others dream in black and white though. I don’t know why there would be a difference but everyone is different, I won’t discount what they say happens with them.
Personally for me red in a dream is a warning sign. If I see red on something I know something bad is going to happen. If the whole world is in a red fog something really bad is going to happen. Those are the times I really try to exercise control over the dream, uinfortunately I sometimes panic so much that I can’t achieve control.