The Color of Our Dreams


Do you remember your dreams? There are people who claim they don’t dream at all, though it’s much more likely that they just don’t remember them. If you do, tell me . . . are they in color or black and white?

Odd question? Not really. My husband always marvels at how I describe my complicated and sometimes very bizarre dreams in vivid color. That’s how I experienced them, but he can’t begin to imagine it. He claims that when he does (rarely) remember his dreams, that they unfolded in black and white.


Now, there a fifteen year age difference between us. Born in the late 1950s, I do remember our first television set as being black and white. But it wasn’t long before a color set replaced it. For my husband, radio was his family’s entertainment for a good part of his childhood, and of course, their first television set was black and white. He was born in 1943, and graduated high school early, at age sixteen. Color TV sets did not become commercially viable until he was already headed for college.

Does this have an effect on how we dream? A study from 2008 suggests that it does. In this article in The Telegraph by Richard Alleyne, he states:

Research from 1915 through to the 1950s suggested that the vast majority of dreams are in black and white but the tide turned in the sixties, and later results suggested that up to 83 per cent of dreams contain some colour.

An extensive study by Dundee University psychology student Eva Murzyn concluded that a human’s ability to dream develops between the ages of 3 and 10. Her results correlate: those under 25 claim to dream in color, while study participants over the age of 55 say they dream mostly in black and white. Even though they have been watching color television and films for a large percentage of their lives.

How about you? What color are your dreams?


Claire Gem is an multi-published, award-winning author of nonfiction and fiction. You can find out more about her and her work at her Amazon Author Page or  Website.