How Deaf people dream

Dreams are quite a mysterious thing! Although many people do research on it, the purpose of dreams can still not be fully explained by scientists. Dreams are successions of emotions, sensations, and images that mostly occur involuntarily in our mind during certain stages of sleep.

The way how dreams manifest themselves differs for Deaf people. The dreams of Deaf people are usually much more visual.

Some Deaf people have an auditory component in their dreams

If people become Deaf after the age of five, they will probably have an auditory component in their dreams, even after a severe hearing loss. This might range from short auditory flashes to complete auditory recreations.

how deaf people dream

Dreams of the Deaf are more colorful

Researchers (1) found out that persons with congenital hearing loss have a higher dream recall frequency. Color, vividness, and spatial depth of their dreams is usually amplified.

In another study (2), Deaf participants reported a higher rate of nightmares and lucid dreams. Those are considered as intense and vivid dream experiences. Furthermore, taste, smell, pain, temperature, hope, anger, fear, and tense feelings were reported more often by Deaf participants.

How blind people dream

In comparison, blind people’s dreams include all senses except for the visual sense. Like Deaf people, they can also have a visual component in their dreams if they lost their vision after the age of five.

(1) Mendelson, J. H., Siger, L., & Solomon, P. (1960). Psychiatric observations on congenital and acquired deafness: Symbolic and perceptual processes in dreams. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 116, 883–888. https://doi.org/10.1176/ajp.116.10.883

(2) Okada, Hitoshi, and Kei WakaOkada, H., & Wakasaya, K. (2016). Dreams of hearing-impaired, compared with hearing, individuals are more sensory and emotional. Dreaming, 26(3), 202–207. https://doi.org/10.1037/drm0000026

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