Most of us have had experienced dreams in our lives. Dreams can be described as emotional hallucinations, which are most intense during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dreams can vary from being totally illogical and unconnected to being relevant to certain situations that we may be facing in our lives. There are various theories about why we dream, but nothing has been proved conclusively as yet.
Another big question that comes to mind is whether blind people have dreams? Well, here too there are different variations described by various people. The fact is blind people do dream. However, what blind people experience in their dreams is quite different to the dreams of a normal person who can see. Here’s what some research studies have to say about whether blind people dream or not.
Age of blindness – What type of dreams a blind person experiences depends a lot on when they became blind. If it was congenital blindness (people born blind), then these people are unlikely to experience dreams like we do. A normal person largely experiences dreams in visual form. We see all sorts of stuff in our dreams including things that may not be there in the real world.
In case of people who were born blind, their dreams will largely manifest in the form of sound, smell, taste and touch. This applies to people who may have become blind at the age of 0 to 5 years. Memories of this early age are usually wiped out in most people. So, if anyone becomes blind at this young age, they may not be able to experience visual dreams.
Do blind people have nightmares?
This is another critical question that researchers are trying to answer. Based on studies already conducted, there is evidence that blind people may experience nightmares with the same frequency as that of a normal person. Our nightmares can be due to stressful situations that we may be facing in our lives. It can also be linked to specific health conditions such as high blood pressure. Sometimes, mental health problems can also lead to nightmares.
In some studies, it was found that blind people may have even more nightmares, as compared to normal people. This is apparently linked to fears that a blind person may have about their life and situation. For example, if a blind person does not have adequate social support system, they may experience stress on a regular basis. This in turn could result in nightmares.
Bottom line is blind people do dream. However, their experiences are usually different from that of a normal person. A lot more research studies need to be conducted to fully understand the diversity of dreams experienced by blind people. Examining dreams of people who became blind at different age will allow researchers to better understand how blind people dream.