The dreamiest nation is…
Quantifying the number of dreams every day is a herculean task, but when asked how frequently a person can recall their sleeping dreams, the global average comes to 119 days in a year. For those moments during the day when people drift off for a bit, the average number of days with daydreams is 107, making the combined number of total dreams for the average person around 226 per year.
While nighttime dreaming is consistent worldwide, there is a much more diverse frequency for daydreaming connected to the region where a person lives.
For example, people in Ireland are most likely to daydream (145 per year), while those in Poland are significantly more unlikely to do so (43 per year). The difference between the Nordic countries of Sweden (132), Finland (128), and Norway (124), though, is much less pronounced, with a difference of only 8 separating them. And while thousands of kilometers divide the nations, there’s no separation between the people of Australia and New Zealand when it comes to daydreaming.
- Canadians have the most dreams at night (143) on average, while the US has the most daydreams (141) per year.
- The Irish have the highest number of dreams (272) per year, counting both night and day.
- Men and women average the same amount of dreams at night per year (119), while women daydream 13% more over a year.
The US has the most average daydreams per year (141), while Ireland is the country with the most daydreams compared to night dreams (+19 more daydreams), and Poland and France are on the opposite side (+63 more night dreams).
The dreams of youth.
The younger you are, the more likely you will have healing dreams or ones where you dream something that later actually happens, while lucid and recurring dreams seem consistent across generations. On a global average, Gen Z’ers are more than twice as likely to have healing (+145%) and prophetic (+123%) dreams than Baby Boomers.
Highest share of
Healing dreams: US, Canada (24%)
Prophetic dreams: US, Canada, Poland (32%)
Lucid dreams: Spain, Portugal (50%)
Recurring dreams: Sweden, the Netherlands (53%)
Keeping the dream alive.
While everyone has dreams, not every dream gets remembered. About every fourth person occasionally writes down their dreams, but only a few keep a regular dream diary.
The eagerness to recall dreams seems to be a generational preference, as Gen Z’ers (45%) and Millennials (37%) are far more likely to write down their dreams as compared to Gen X’ers (17%) and Baby Boomers (7%).
Most people (60%) say they have researched what their dreams mean, and 1 in 4 Gen Z’ers (24%) do it often.
Would you like cheese on that?
More than a third of people (37%) say they’d actively choose to eat or drink something that would help them remember their dreams better. That’s especially great news for dairy manufacturers, as research shows cheese may help with dream recall. Thanks to their cheese consumption, Canadians (37%) are the most likely to have already remembered a dream. Italians are very willing to try this (53%), making them more than twice as willing as the Danish (25%) to do so and significantly outpacing their American (24%) and European (19%) counterparts.
Dreams of adventure.
As for the most common types of dreams, people often experience exploring nature and seeing distant places, more so than imagining themselves as an athlete, musician, or artist. If you’re experiencing an even more far-out dream, you’re in good company, 1 in 5 people has dreamed about going to outer space.
Distant new places.
- Women dream more often about exploring nature and seeing distant places on Earth. In contrast, men more often dream about going to outer space. However, the differences are more significant across generations than between genders.
- 30% of Gen Z’ers have dreamt about being social media influencers. That’s least prevalent in Austria (21%) and most common in New Zealand (40%).
Dreamed I was someone new.
Reflecting their values and interests, Gen Z’ers and Millennials are more likely to dream about quitting their jobs to pursue passions or turn hobbies into careers, or dream about innovating something impactful or innovative for the greater good.
Meanwhile, for people over the age of 40 there seems to be a drastic decrease in dreams overall.
The only consistent dream among all generations is around travel or going on vacation.
Balancing good and villainy.
Dreams where a person becomes a superhero, are more common than dreaming about being the villain in all countries, but there are wide variations in how frequent it is across borders. Spanish people are ten times more likely to dream about being a superhero than a villain, whereas in Finland and Poland, they dream about being a villain almost as often as being the hero.
In a similar comparison, it seems that there is a clear divide between countries when it comes to whether it’s more common to dream about becoming a real person or a fictional character.
have dreamt about owning an item they don’t possess.
have an “ideal dream purchase”.
What triggers a dream purchase?
In some countries, as many as two-thirds of people have an ideal dream purchase they are looking to purchase. And about half say there is a specific event that would trigger a dream purchase. What that occasion is, varies across countries and generations, but the most common reason seems to be moving to a new residence.
Baby Boomers (20%) are four times more likely to consider retirement a motivator for a dream purchase compared to younger age groups (5%) for whom retirement feels much farther away. On the contrary, at the starting point of working life, Gen Z’ers (20%) are ten times more likely to consider graduation a motivating factor compared to Baby Boomers (2%).
Dreaming for someone else.
Shoppers aren’t only thinking of themselves, approximately half also have a “dream purchase” for someone else. Most often, that someone is a family member or significant other—this is consistent across age groups. However, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be planning to surprise a friend over a family member with their ideal dream purchase.
The price is right? Or the time?
More than one-third (37%) insist it’s impossible to put a price tag on what should be considered an ideal dream purchase, and most shoppers (55%) say there is no specific timeframe one has to wait for an item to become a dream purchase.
And the older (and more experienced?) a person is, the more likely they are to believe a dream purchase doesn’t have to come with a specific price tag or that they have to wait to make their dreams come true. However, among those who would put a price tag on a purchase, only 15% say it has to cost more than $5,000.
And for those saying one needs to wait a specific time before an item becomes a dream purchase, it appears people are eager to make their dreams come true, considering purchasing the item in roughly 95 days, or three months, on a global average.
have dreamed about doing an activity with an item they don’t have.
Dreams about missing items.
It’s widespread to dream about participating in an activity requiring an object you don’t have (imagine skiing without the skis). Another common theme involves owning an item you don’t actually possess when you wake up (like a magic wand that turns random objects into pastries). About half (43%) of people can recall dreams with these ideas. In these dreams, people are most commonly participating in sports or exercise without the proper equipment, or owning unique fashion items. One noted difference, men regularly imagine owning high-end electronics only to wake up and realize it was just a dream.
approximately half of people worldwide have an “ideal dream purchase.”
Lemme upgrade ya.
Half (49%) of shoppers worldwide are currently looking to level up or improve something important to them. Among the genders, men are more likely to be waiting to make purchases for Electronics, Entertainment, and Leisure, and Sports & Hobby, while women favor Clothing & Shoes, Jewelry & Accessories, Beauty, and Home & Garden to a greater extent.
The most popular products to dream about are electronics, but comparing all age groups to each other, the priorities more clearly shifts:
- Gen Z: Beauty, and Jewelry & Accessories.
- Millennials: Children’s Products, and Beauty.
- Gen X: Leisure, Sports & Hobby, and Home & Garden.
- Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers: Home & Garden, and Leisure, Sports & Hobby.
Leveling up their favorite things.
Hobbies are one of the areas where people are actively looking to upgrade or replace their current items. Overall, about 24% of people on average are looking to do so, with some activities (like making music or learning a new instrument) seeming to attract more dream purchases than others.
Gamers want to level up.
- More than one-third of people playing computer/video games (35%), and those who make music or are currently learning a new instrument (34%), would like to improve an item they use for that activity.
- The activities people feel less inclined to level up or replace an item are dancing, yoga, and pilates.