If you are interested in becoming a dream researcher, it should be known—it is not for the faint of heart.
Most of us who are interested in dreams want to understand some deeper meaning in our lives. Or we are searching for something that we don’t fully understand.
In my case, while searching for those answers, I found some personal insights about my own consciousness that were hard to fully grasp and were often scary, but overall fascinating. The good news is, with dream research comes more dreams. By choosing dream research as your profession—or even your hobby— you too may experience some of these things.
For many of us, an interest in dream research comes at a young age. For as long as I can remember, I had experienced lucid dreams and because of that, dreams and consciousness have always intrigued me. During my undergrad studies, I was excited to learn more about the science of dreams and had found that the best way to learn about would be to study psychology. I realized pretty quickly that my psychology professors had little understanding about sleep and dreams.
As luck would have it, I ended up doing some directed study under the supervision of a professor who was also interested in dreams. This gave me the freedom to buy my own books, write my own syllabus, and essentially make my own class on the subject. I decided that the best way to learn about the subject of dreams was to reach out online to those who knew the most. That is how I ended up getting to know fellow dream researcher Ryan Hurd [editor of this here blog].
But what does a dream researcher do exactly?
It’s different for everyone. For me, dream research is a full time hobby. I am a community builder. I create original content for educational purposes. I connect with others around the world who have fantastic dream recall and have developed their own ways in order to explore their consciousness. I don’t get paid by anyone to research dreams, and most of what I research is from other people’s experiences and peer-reviewed articles on how sleep and altered states affect the mind.
A lot of what I do is learning and relearning what I already thought I understood. Most of my time is spent reading about advancements in psychology and sleep. My primary goal is to help others understand more about themselves and how consciousness through dreams affects their everyday lives.
Being a dream researcher also includes focusing on my own personal dreams and trying to pay attention to what they are trying to tell me. This can be complicated in its own way as meanings of dreams can be hidden in layers of symbology as well as archetypes. Because of this, dreams can be overpowering to conscious mind and I need breaks so that I can enjoy sleep.
Overall, this personal research gives me the freedom to do what I want to do, without anyone dictating how I should look at dreams.
Fake Dream News?
Sadly, news and media statements on dream research are often inaccurate or out-of-date. Because of this, during conversations with people, I often want to correct some misunderstood concepts about these topics. It is important to remember that humility goes a long way. When it comes to understanding consciousness in general, what we think we know today will most likely be completely wrong in the future. With that, I often try to choose my battles as wisely as possible. I reference the research rather than impose whether I am right or they are wrong. This at least gives them the option to read it for themselves.
Admittedly, some of my dreams have been frightening but overcoming fears in my dreams has allowed me to improve my waking life. Many of my dreams have also shown me what I never thought was possible, opening me up to new ideas about reality and the way we think about consciousness. All of these experiences have transformed my life and allowed me to be a more grounded person.
Explore Further into Consciousness & Community
By focusing on my own dreams, I learn more about myself, and reconnect with my more spiritual side.
But I learn best in community. As a dream researcher, I get asked a lot of questions from people about their dreams. This has allowed me to try to help others with their dreams as well as learn new ideas as we share our dream narratives.
These explorations have expanded further into trying to understanding consciousness, including shamanic practices with their use of psychedelics and entheogens, as well as meditation practices and yoga.
That’s what I have spent a great deal of effort creating a dream community called Taileaters which discusses and explores these areas with others who are also interested in these topics. My consciousness studies podcast, Cosmic Echo, explores these topics with authors, scientists and independent researchers.
Overall, these two community building projects have provided me with a great deal of information and the groundwork for becoming a dream researcher.
If you’re interested in dreams, I encourage you to think of yourself as a dream researcher too. For thousands of years, humans have been interested in their dreams and have communicated their importance in all societies. It is only recently that we have taken dreams to be nothing more than a period that we use to rest until the next day. Dreams have a lot to tell us that is very personal to each one of us.
The more people research dreams, the more we will get back to our roots and find out the importance of living, and not just for a paycheck. To ultimately achieve what is truly important to us – our dreams.
About the Author
Lee Adams is the creator of Taileaters.com as well as author of a number of published articles that deal with sleep, sleep paralysis, and lucid dreaming.
Lee has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently studying at John F. Kennedy University for his Masters in Consciousness and Transformative Studies.
David Campbell says
Yeah, Ryan, I’ve been getting your newsletter updates for two or three years maybe more.(time gets away from ya at my age). I downloaded your e-book and bought your heavyweight medallion/talisman (the Am I awake? Am I dreaming?)due to a suggestion from “Waking Life”. It seemed to be better than trying to turn the lights on and off in a lucid dream. But what actually drew me to your website was a call for volunteers at what was once called Southmost College in Brownsville, Texas, the other campus of Pan American University, now borged into the University of Texas collective. I graduated from Pan Am. Twice. ’77 and ’80. One of my minors was in Psychology and the second degree was a BFA in Fine Arts. Oddly enough there was quite an overlap between these two as I began to get deeper into the psychology of perception when I taught drawing and water media painting in the private sector. At the same time I was getting deeper into anthropology with a particular focus on the unique hybrid in that region that expressed itself in three interrelated expressions, curanderas, herbalistas, and brujas which were rooted in the traditions of the pre-conquest regional tribes, particularly the Huichols and Tarahumaras and ultimately to the Aztec affiliated tribes sharing the same pharmacopeia and curative practices. I had been experimenting with self induced out of the body experiences since 1975 when I chanced upon Robert Monroe’s seminal classic Journeys Out of the Body. All these elements congealed in the sweltering miasma of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Upon making good my escape from that region, these things were compressed, suppressed and placed in a containment zone somewhere in my subconscious. Periodically, something would summon them forth to the front room for reevaluation and revision. Your call for volunteers was among the most recent. While I’m not as highly motivated to explore your particular avenue of approach with the lucid dreaming research (most of my energy presently focused on paleanthropology), I would like to connect with people who share my interests in that rarified sub-niche I’ve just rambled on about and perhaps participate in some related research project.
MaryBeth Rowland says
Hello! So glad to havecreceived this. I can relate some what. Where fo start with research and education on the subject is difficukt and ive heard differant things. I did lucid dream easily as a kid but lost the ability. I try to do it like i used to. Since i didnt know it was a gift i didnt try to keep it. I also get sleep parakysis very often. Almost any time i lay on ny back or stomach. I have heard this could be the beginning to astral project ive seen a man i thought my soul left then went back in but i wasca little fearful as i tried to cry out for help and to move thats why i thought my soul was leaving. I was put ob medicine to assist in stopping the SP but i think it still happens im just much less aware. I wonfer if the meducine should b stopped bc its blocking a good thing. Im very mixed but interested in strengthening these gifts if they are and how to.
Suze Wilderstien says
This sounds very interesting. I have spent all my life looking deeply into dreaming whilst studying spirituality and shamanism. I agree it is absolutely not for the lightweight. I have often thought I was dicing with death far too closely for my own liking, but one of the problems I have in the lucid state is the feeling of indestructabity and a year for life that is so huge I can barely contain it. I experienced sleep paralysis after astral projection that left me paralysed for a number of hours. My eyes were shut but I could see the room somehow. I did not appear to be physically breathing but simoultaneously seemed to breathe with my entire body. So difficult to explain in words. A voice told me exactly what to do, and I did it. I was petrified and actually wondered if I was dead. Another time I experienced the double. So little is written about this and I would sincerely like to connect to others who know what I am talking about. It literally blew my mind. Fortunately it was witnessed, so I at least remained sane, because it can push you to the brink and challenge everything you know about reality. I will follow this with great interest. Thank you.
Hi Jason, Great article and thanks for sharing this. I often have anxiety type dreams, especially as I keep pushing myself to produce new content or output. That may be one manifestation of your dreams. Sometimes our dreams help purge the feelings and memories that lie just below the conscious levels of thought. Alter your outlook to embrace the challenge in the dream and see if the memory of the dream becomes less traumatic when you wake up. Then the emotions will hold less power over you and be released. Stay well, Mike
Robin Goodwin says
Is there anyone doing medical dream study research? I have the most vivid and lucid and meaningful dreams with clear messages. I also feel I have experienced time travel, or worm hole travel, perhaps to different dimensions. I’ve also had beings come to me in my sleep and urge me to travel with them. And they have told me I have special powers and need to embrace them.
In my awake life I’m a pretty intellectual, perceptive, logical, even fun and funny person.
There must be something on the etherical side of this. There has to be a connection with some other world or dimension.
Who can I speak to about any of this? Most people just think it’s crazy.
Ryan Hurd says
Hi Robin, fascinating stuff! Sadly medical research and wormhole concepts in dream research generally do not meet in the same lab. I think you would enjoy the work of Robert Moss if you haven’t found him yet — he even has an online course called “quantum dreaming.” His newest book is called Mysterious Realms and it plays in this realm of possibility. Also there’s an interesting book by Fred Alan Wolf called “The Dreaming Universe: A Mind-Expanding Journey Into the Realm Where Psyche and Physics Meet“