17-38% of people report experiencing some sort of precognitive dream. To be classified as precognitive, dreams must have the following characteristics: You must record or tell others about your dream before it happens in waking life. The dream must have unique details so that it is unlikely to be fulfilled by chance. You must not be influenced by existing knowledge. If you dream of doing something, and as a result you decide to do it in waking life, this does not count as a true premonition.
Currently, scientists have not found solid proof that dreams can predict the future with accuracy. While our dreams may not "predict" the future, they seem to be pretty good at guessing what's possible.
Some research suggests that some dreams may help predict illness by sending signals that there is a health issue in the body. Your dream is a neurobiological machine that simulates possible situations based on your memories and life experiences. Dreams have been proven to help people prepare for situations and take control of their health. It is like an advanced algorithm that generates possible outcomes. Dreams are designed to overlap with our waking life, that is why they are so personal to us. There is a term called intuitive dreams, which refers to our subconscious bringing things to the surface that we know inside. This is why many people dream of an illness shortly before they are actually diagnosed. They may not consciously realize they are more tired or less healthy, but their body and subconscious mind certainly inputs that data into their dreams.
We have many dream memories, and it is likely that events in our waking life trigger those memories. As you start to record your dreams, you may notice you dream of many different time periods of your life. When we keep a dream journal, we are more consciously aware of the ways our dreams and waking life overlap.
Some people who have precognitive dreams may not interpret them as predictive until a corresponding event occurs in real life. Other people assign deep meaning to ambiguous elements. This discrepancy in how everyone interprets their dreams makes it difficult to study. Factors such as selective recall, tolerance for ambiguity, and paranormal beliefs can contribute to how someone draws connections between their life and dreams. Paranormal phenomena is also difficult to study mainly because we cannot create those occurrences on command.
This does not mean that it is impossible for dreams to predict the future. Scientists just haven't found solid evidence yet. Many people do believe their dreams predicted the future and warned them of a situation.
Carl Jung had a theory about precognitive dreams being linked to what he called 'Big Dreams'. They were archetypal and arose from the collective, not the personal level. The collective unconscious contains ancestral memories and the experiences of all sentient beings. Jung tried to bridge the gap between metaphysics and science.
President Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his death about a week before he died. He mentioned to his wife and friends that he saw details of his funeral and casket. He was apparently quite interested in the meaning of dreams and what they have to say about future events both positive and negative. This has left scientists perplexed about the true significance of dream content.
Aberfan Landslide is another famous example. In 1966, 150 people were killed when waste from a coal mine buried a school in South Wales. Many who had died, as well as other locals, had mentioned dreams and premonitions of dying in the days before. A 10-year-old girl who died in the landslide, had reported a dream the day before the accident, in which she told her mother that her school was no longer there and that it had been covered by something black.
Isaac Fruenthal was a passenger on the Titanic. He had a dream before boarding that it crashed into something and sank. He had the same dream while on the Titanic. Fruenthal survived the sinking, and his dream story has become famous.
Dreams certainly show us our past, and present lives. What about dreams that predict the future; could they be real? Experts still don’t fully understand the potential of dreams and more research is needed on the topic. Perhaps in the near future, there will be a growing interest in dream research, and scientists can gather larger sample sizes and more funding.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney