Feeling pain during a dream?

Has this ever happened to you? You are having an intensive dream wherein you might be wrestling with a bear (or in my case, a tiger) and this animal bites or attacks you with its claws and you actually feel the pain in your dream? I don’t take drugs and I don’t drink. Obviously your pain receptors are awake even though you are not. Is there a scientific explanation for this or do I have “Abby Normal’s” brain?


Well, professionals say that you cannopt hear or feel pain when you are asleep, but thats bullshit…

I too have felt pain… I rolled down a flight of stairs being pushed down by some ogre, or wombat human… although I knew that I physically hurt myself… I had pinch marks on my arm…

It is impossible to tell, unless your little sister was beating you with the ugly stick?

I almost drowned during a semi-dream once. I was drifting off to sleep and having a dream where I was underwater trying to get to the top for whatever reason, and I wasn’t going to make it and hit the point where it feels like your lungs are going to just burst and then I suddenly snapped up in my bed and was coughing and hacking trying to get air.
Scared the hell out of me, and I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night. Haven’t run into pain though (like being hit).

  • Tsugumo

Yeah, I once dreamed that Manny slammed me into IMHO so hard it left spectacular bruises…

Seriously, I have experienced this as well, sometimes to the extent that if I’m awakened during the dream, phantom pain lingers for a few minutes. I often dream that I’m fighting, so waking up suddenly can be an uncomfortable experience.

During a nightmare once I tried to pinch myself to wake up. I didnt.

When I am doing something while sleeping that normally causes pain or discomfort, that is when I will make up a dream to explain that situation. So yes, you can feel pain in your dream, but it is actually you feeling pain a lot of the time, due to something that has happened to you while you sleep.

For purposes of keeping this in GQ, shall we assume that the question here is “Is it possible or normal to feel pain in a dream, and if so, from what sources?”, rather than “Do any of you feel pain in your dreams?”?

why the insistence on external stimulation? When you smell a rose in a dream, your brain is churning out some hardcore fake reality. I believe that the same thing is true with what you see, hear, or feel in a dream.

after all, it would be pretty absurd to assume you smelt a rose in your dream because there were roses under your nose.


p.s.- although, feeling real pain in bed certainly has translated into pain in a dream

I had a dream once where I was in a duel (with foils) and lost. As the loser, my punishment was to be sawed in half with a chainsaw. This hurt really, really bad and I could feel my entrails spilling out. Can’t say that any of this was based on sensations my body was actually being exposed to. On the other hand, I’ve had dreams where, say, I broke my arm or something, and I woke up and my arm was asleep from me laying on it.

I dreamed I was shot through the hand with a blowgun, and it hurt rather badly.

May it be so assumed, and thank you for your guidance, Chronos.:smiley:


I don’t think it’s possible to feel real pain while dreaming. What probably happens is that the dream is so real, your body is fooled into thinking it really happened, or something like that. But while we’re on the subject, I once heard it is impossible to see yourself die in a dream, because if you did, then you would really have died. You can imagine yourself dead, but not actually dream of your death. I don’t think this is true, but has anyone else heard of this?

I have dreamed that I died. Not very pleasant.

Wherefore would we have gotten confirmation that you die for real if you die in a dream, Fishy?

Exactly why I question the reasoning of the person I heard it from. You’re right, farley, who would know, anyway? It does make for interesting conversation, though.

What is reality aside from your sensory receptors being “fooled” into telling you something? If your body ‘thinks’ the pain is real then it is, in fact, quite real.

As for pain while dreaming, i happened to experience it last night. I had a dream that i was making a movie and me and some of my friends were punching things in a sound studio to make realistic sounds for the fight scenes. I felt intense pain in my hands.
BTW - this is my 311th post :smiley: