How To Really Benefit From a Rehearsal Dream

There’s a type of dream where you might not even realize that you’re dreaming when you have it—the rehearsal dream. 

You just might think of the dream as “just thinking about something.” 

It could be a meeting, a presentation, or a conversation you know you’ve got to have with someone.

Be careful. Even if the dream seems very realistic, you’re better off thinking of the dream as a dream and treating it as such. 

You wouldn’t trust the conclusions you reach in a dream that was more odd or fantastic, would you? 

You shouldn’t. A dream reflects your day-to-day life. They’re good for insight and looking at problems differently.

Even for a realistic dream, the logic is all its own. It’s dream logic.

If you’re dreaming, you may not catch the subtle lapses in logic.

You still need to prepare for the meeting, presentation, or conversation using your conscious mind, all the better if you employ any insights you gained from the dream.

What does a rehearsal dream mean? 

Whatever it is that your subconscious decided to rehearse is important. It matters to you.  

Be sure to ask a couple of questions: 

  • Why did I dream about that event coming up? Why does it matter? (The answer to this question may very well be obvious. It doesn’t hurt to ask the question anyway. 
  • What are my takeaways from the practice? 
  • What else might be important to realize? 

The dream might tip you off to something else you need to do to ensure that the endeavor is a success.  

What you need to be careful of is feeling so satisfied from your rehearsal dream that you don’t bother to fully prepare for the event. That’s a mistake. 

It’s a good kind of dream to have. It’s even better if you realize that it’s a dream when you dream it. You can then make use of it properly. 


Understand we’re talking about dreams that are prompted by your subconscious. We’re not talking about Image Rehearsal Therapy or visualization exercises that a player might use to improve their abilities at a game. With those techniques, the individual is aware of their thoughts. In the rehearsal dream, you’re not necessarily aware of it. 

The key with a rehearsal dream is to realize you’re having a dream. Next, it’s to realize that the preparation you’re doing in the dream probably isn’t sufficient by itself. Finally, ask yourself what else is there to do. What else is there to know?


James Cobb, RN, MSN is the founder of the Dream Recovery System, one of the top sleep and dream blogs on the Internet.

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