Can you read in dreams? I can.

I have heard that it’s supposedly impossible to read in dreams because reading is a function of the left side of the brain and dreams occur in the right side. I know for a fact I can read in dreams. I’ve also been told that I’m “whole-brained”. I want to know whether this left-brain, right brain concept is hooey and if not, is there any support for the Illiterate Dreaming Theory?

When I was a kid, it seemed to be common knowledge that you couldn’t dream your own death, either. I’ve also dreamed that countless times (when I die, my POV switches to the third person). I don’t lend too much credence to elementary school rumors, but I’m starting to wonder about my cranial health. :slight_smile:

I have before, so yes, I’d say, strictly anecdotally, it’s possible.

I agree - I’ve read some things in dreams before.
I have to go right now, but here are some links to older threads on this topic - I think I’ve even posted in one of them:

I’ve read in dreams to. But if I look away from the words, and then look back, they change. That’s one of the ways I can check if I’m dreaming.

Damn, I searched for previous threads and got nothing. I guess my searching abilites aren’t too good when I’m awake. :wink:

Thanks for the replies & links.

I once had a nightmare where I was reading (and trying to debug) an infinitely-long computer source code listing…

Once in a dream I looked at the side of a great granite stone church with the sign:

Saint Michael’s Presbyterian Church.

I’ve read the SDMB in dreams.

There is a well-documented difference between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. However, it is not true that only the right brain “dreams.” While imagery is largely right-brain controlled, verbal elements are from the left-brain.

Another fun way to check if you’re dreaming: jump
Gravity doesn’t seem to work quite as well in the dream world.

I quite often read in dreams but the words are usually random - set out on the page of a book - black old fashioned typeface with thick pages and once a menu - but it doesn’t make any sense or if it does to start with it quickly gets jumbled. I’m vaguely aware that it doesn’t make sense but don’t use it as an “Am I dreaming?” test.

I dont know whether I read in my dreams because I can’t remember my dreams as soon as I wake up. Is that normal?

I can. But I tend to realize I’m dreaming half way through the story. But unlike when I’m flying (and I can use knowing I’m dreaming to my advantage) as soon as I’m aware that I’m the one “writing” it, I can’t continue. I’ve missed out on the ends of a lot of good stories that way :frowning: .

Wow… Some of you guys seem to have far much more control in your dreams than I do. Dreaming is strictly dissasociative for me: I’ve never been aware that I’m dreaming, despite actually dreaming that I am… In other words, I never have any concept of the waking world when I’m dreaming.

But regarding the OP’s question… yes, I can read in dreams - I distinctly remember reading through an e-mail in a dream. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to, since I’m also generating speech for other people. However, it happens so rarely that I’ve never gone back to re-read something.

Yes, clearly, it is possible to read within a dream. Here’s a trick for you to try: assuming you can muster some degree of lucidity, the next time you find yourself reading something in a dream, put whatever you’re reading down, look around, then look back at what you were reading. Often, the material will change completely. Sometimes the object itself will change (i.e., you were reading a book, look away, when you look back, you’re holding a cabbage). In fact, if you can remember to do this, it can be a good lucidity cue in and of itself.

Obviously, this takes more than the average amount of dreaming cognition (reading comprehension within a dream…a whole new SAT category). There’s a way to “trick” yourself into doing it: every time you’re reading something during waking hours, put it down for a moment, look around, then go back to reading. Obviously, you should be able to pick up right where you left off. Do this often enough such that it becomes a habit. Keep it up, and sooner or later, when you look back at what you were reading, it will have changed somehow. Poof: you’re dreaming. Now don’t wake up. :slight_smile:

Another “read in dream”-er here. Also, I jump in my dreams all the time and I’ve never noticed anything weird about the gravity. Just last night I dreamed I was jumping all over my driveway because it was raining and the surface was covered in worms and slugs and I was trying to avoid stepping on them in my bare feet. I would have definitely liked a slight lapse in gravity at that point.