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If you have a child between 2 and 10 years of age who doesn't want to go to bed and/or can't sleep the UK`s biggest ever sleep dream survey has just revealed a brand new insight into this long-standing problem. 

Between the 24th October and 17th Dec 2019 well over a third of the 8,120* Parents, children and sleep loving adults following Sleep Master Europe and Dream Pillow UK responded to five questions about their favourite dream. With almost 3,000 specific answers this was the largest ever UK comparison of the favourite adult Vs child dreams. It became apparent why the secret to winning “The Bedtime Battle” is not so obvious to parents.

Typically, parents of these pre-high school children were the same age as their kids around a quarter of a century ago. This survey shows why the massive difference between the way parents and their children dream can make them consciously or subconsciously frightened of bedtime. We also reveal how the well-established Image Rehearsal Technique (often used by the NHS with adults) can harness this creative difference to totally transform bedtimes.

In short, the survey of an adult “Top 20” dreams show that generally not only do parents dream about very different things but also that dreams of experienced people are normally more predictable, stable, less imaginative and less scary. Adults have very few nightmares compared to children. The dreams of the unpredictable creative and imaginative pre-teen child’s brain, on the other hand, are far more varied and illogical. This incredible imagination can result in the most horrible/vivid nightmares/night terrors OR it can be harnessed to provide the most wonderful dreams such as those listed and drawn by the surveyed “Dream Pillow” followers in their “Top 20” child’s dreams.

Any child who consciously or unconsciously fears a nightmare or night terror (40% of children aged between 2 and 10) will use every excuse under the sun to avoid going to bed and drifting off into this dark world. When a child selects one of the three Dreamimal pillow characters which most closely match their personality they can use the Image Rehearsal Technique (easily understood in the user-friendly instructions) to totally transform how a child thinks about bedtime.


1 -  UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS (12.1%). The number one children’s dream with over 12% of the vote involved rainbows and / or unicorns. Often they would be riding the unicorn over rainbow bridges between the clouds.

Unicorns sometimes ate the rainbows or would leave glitter rainbows in their wake.

Several reported herds of fully grown or baby unicorns discovered at the end of a rainbow. Many rode rainbow coloured unicorns and reported hearing the wind and feeling the breeze around them (not visual-only dreams).

Sometimes the rainbow unicorn dreams involved other fantasies eg eating ice cream riding a unicorn with Princess Rapunzel making rainbows.

Selena’s Unicorn and Rainbow Dream Wish Note

2 - THE GIFT OF TALKING TO ANIMALS / PETS (10.0%). Many instances of dreams where children could understand and /or talk to animals.

“My daughter has a recurring dream about a friendly pet frog that lives under her bed. So often she will look under the bed at night time before climbing in to see if he will come and say hello to me”.

“My favourite dream as a child was to take my talking bird to school and tuck her safely into my bag so she could listen to lessons”.

One dreamt about “circus animals telling me how unhappy they were so I rescued them. They were very grateful and they kept visiting me at home”.

“I had a very clever talking dog who I would take to school and he would give me all the answers”.

Another talking Dog features on this Dream Wish Note drawn by Ruby (nearly three) who was the youngest of our Dream Pillow followers in the survey.

3- BEING A SUPERHERO OR SUPER HERO'S PARTNER (8.9%). The most popular was Spiderman, followed by Batman then Superman. Sometimes as a superhero partner they would have a superpower, other times not, but would bravely help to catch bad guys anyway.

One was approached by the Avengers who wanted her to be their leader “I always think it’s funny the “missions” she explains to me” said Mum.

Apart from comic book heroes, one dreamt he was a giant looking down on small people helping the police with robbers.

“I would become invisible and explore different places to find out what the villains were planning then foil them”.

One boy dreamed he was a cloud and could rain on school bullies to make them go away.

“Always used to dream I was Superman so one Christmas my Grandad bought me the full outfit ….I cried so much when it didn’t work (I couldn’t fly)”.

Rhu’s favourite dream is as a superhero with her brother Ted as her partner.

4 - LIVING IN A SWEET/ CANDY LAND (8.1%). There are so many variations on this dream, Marsh mellow ground with plant lollypops or ice creams, palm trees bearing sweets instead of coconut, candy floss clouds and chocolate rainforests, rivers or mountains.

Some would be given the keys to a sweet shop. Others have candy comes or baths where the water was skittles, chocolate or whatever their favourite sweet.

“There is always cake in my best dreams”.

One got a job as a taster in a Smartie factory where he got to eat as many as she liked.

“I had Mr Tickle who would use his long arms to stretch all the way downstairs to grab sweets, biscuits and a drink for me”.

Will wants to dream about candy land where the sun melts the chocolate into a river!

5 - IN THE DINOSAUR AGE (6.2%). These normally involved riding on the back of friendly dinosaurs through a magical forest or Jurassic Park type of landscape.

T rex was the most popular dinosaur in these dreams and they are often reported to be wearing a crown.

One dreamed of being a dinosaur vet who prevented extinction.

In the favourite dreams reported there was normally only play-fighting between dinosaurs. That said this Dream Wish note has the dreamer pleased to be safely on high ground while “My brother Carter” is shown running away from a not too friendly looking Raptor!!!!!

6 - WHITE CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY / SANTA CLAUS (5.9%). As our days inform our dreams it may be that conducting this survey in the four weeks before Christmas put this higher in the top twenty than at other times of the year.

The other popular Christmas dream involved going to Lapland (or the North Pole) to meet Father Christmas and / or helping his Elves make and deliver the presents.

“Santa flying over his house on our sleigh” or “finding him putting presents under the tree in Summer were also mentioned”.

One child who lived in a house with a real coal fire had a recurring dream that the fire was still burning when Santa came down the chimney and it “burnt his bottom”. His parents recalled having to spend a long time assuring him the fire would be out early on Christmas Eve.

7 - FLYING WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING (5.8%). Unlike the adult flying dreams which tend not to feature anyone or anything else…. almost of the child dreams have some other element.

Ethan (age 6) has drawn travelling the world on a flying pizza as his favourite dream.

One flew to China on a more traditional flying carpet and got there to find the flowers were made of chocolate.

Some fly in a Harry Potter car, whilst others sits in a fairground ride which spins around and takes off into the clouds.

Animals are also popular flying companions….not only with a flock of birds but also on the back of a befriended Dragon or around the garden with Hobbs (the cat). Peter Pan was also involved in many of the top flying dreams.

One girl was “rescued” from school by Pegasus and flew back in time.

Another recalls vividly how she would “hold out her cardigan and fly anywhere along with her pet dog…feeling the wind on my face and the sun on my back”.

Ethan (age 6) has drawn travelling the world on a flying pizza as his favourite dream


Building a Lego house to live in was exceptionally popular.

“Living in a huge Lego house is always the favourite dream of my little boy. I swear I could actually build my own full-size house with all the Lego used constructing over the years”. There is massive evidence that repetitive actions can be used to effectively influence dreams….eliminating the negative ones or just creating better dreams that children can look forward to when they go to sleep

This Lego dream house was drawn by the oldest child Dream Pillow follower in the survey Alfie (age 13)


“My favourite dream was to be a Princess in an enchanted forest where I looked after all the fairies”.

“I lived in a big palace with long hair and had a maid to brush it for me”.

In the traditional fairy tale style a few dreamt they got married to a Prince and lived happily ever after in on

The drawing shows Glesni`s favourite dream where she is a very young Welsh princess meeting princess Elsa from Frozen.


Diana sent us this picture of her favourite Dream Wish Note under the sea with a Mermaid!

" Mine is where I can breathe underwater and swim across the Ocean’s with a family of dolphins”.

“I love it when I dream about living under the sea with (or in some cases as) a mermaid”.

No mermaids or slides …but we love the girl who travelled to school on a waterslide.

11 - BECOMING WHAT THEY WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP (4.1%). Some of the older children surveyed said that their favourite dream was actually getting their perfect job.

“I was a clumsy child and dreamt I was dancing in a West End show”.

Jobs associated with animals were popular many wanted to be a vet, some zookeepers whilst one wanted to work in a circus so he could look after the animals. The next most common answer was to be a lead singer/pop star, actor, followed by a ballerina.

Less popular was a judge on X-Factor, a famous You Tuber, author, nurse or jockey. One wanted to be a teacher, not a pupil. Transport jobs were also popular air hostess, train driver or even an astronaut.

Phoebe (age 10) has drawn a picture of her modelling her own range of clothes on the catwalk.

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Between the 24th October and 17th Dec 2019 well over a third of the 8,120* Parents, children and sleep loving adults following Sleep Master Europe and Dream Pillow UK responded to five questions about their favourite dream.

12 (Joint) - OWNING A THEME PARK AND/OR A CHOCOLATE CASTLE / FACTORY (3.4%). In a joint 12th position is a dream where the child becomes the boss or owner of their favourite theme park and/or a chocolate factory. Many became Willy Wonka…but our favourite Dream was that of

Adele age (10) who became boss of Alton Towers and lived in the castle (which was made from Chocolate).

14 - DRIVING (MAINLY) BIG STUFF (3.3%). In this top dream the children could often drive but their chariot of choice was often surprising.

Although a few choose sports cars most went for bigger diggers, lorries, cement mixes and several even choose garbage trucks.

The top dream though involved driving monster trucks like those draw here by Brady.

15 - ON THEIR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY - NORMALLY DISNEY LAND OR THE SEASIDE (3.2%). Perhaps surprisingly this ranked much lower down the Children’s top dream list than it did on the adults.

The one we liked the best was the girl who travelled around Europe on a bouncy castle (although 90% of the children who picked this choose either a visit Disney Land or the beach as their most cherished holiday dream).

Cayson (age 5) shows his all-time favourite dream where he is in Disney Land meeting Mickey Mouse with his Mum and lots of sweets.

16 - ALONE ALL DAY OR NIGHT IN A TOY SHOP (3.1%). This dream often involved the child being left in a huge toy shop where they could play all night and normally did not have to go to school the day after.

For some, it was just an unlimited supermarket sweep visit but they could take all the time they wanted to buy anything in the shop.

Seven-year-old Darcy shows her ideal toy shop dream which involves lots of LOL dolls.

17 - JOURNEYS IN A ROCKET SHIP (2.7%). Journeys sometimes around the Earth but normally into space on a rocket came in as the 17th favorite child’s dream.

Here Charlie (age 7 ½ ) meets up with Buzz Lightyear for his moon visit dream

18 – IN PIRATE SHIPS HUNTING TREASURE (2.5%). Almost three percent of children mentioned Pirate ship adventures as the favourite dream they wanted to have at night.

“In my best dream, I was a pirate on a treasure hunt to faraway lands and every time I get close to the treasure I wake up. I looked forward all day to going back to sleep when I can find out where my treasure is. Eventually, I found it”!

Eve wants to dream about finding treasure on a Desert Island.

19- SCORING THE WINNING GOAL / TRY/ RUN FOR THEIR NATIONAL (OR LOCAL) TEAM (1.3%). Cricket and rugby both featured in this desirable dream but the majority of children surveyed wanted to score the winning goal in a cup final for their national or local team. One boy scored the winner for Watford, most scored for England

On this Dream Wish Note Tomos from Glamorgan has just scored the world cup winner for Wales.


My favourite dream is when Cinderella comes into my bedroom to play, we have a slide and trampoline in there too.

Actually being in the Minecraft game, Scooby-Doo or Hogwarts were other examples of the 20th most popular dream.

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Between the 24th October and 17th Dec 2019 well over a third of the 8,120* Parents, children and sleep loving adults following Sleep Master Europe and Dream Pillow UK responded to five questions about their favourite dream.

Here are the top twenty responses by adults (percentage in brackets) Which were massively different from the children`s top twenty. 

1 -  A NATURAL PARADISE (16.4%) Most of the time a desert island or deserted beach. 

"My favourite is being on a desert island with all my family…somehow we still have WI-FI though".

Many takes on this summarised by being on a deserted beach listening to waves with friends or watching the family play in the sand.

"Living on a remote island with everything I need."

"Having the only beach house on my own tropical island".

" I had a lovely dream about swimming in a woodland pool into which tumbled a waterfall. It wasn't cold at all, but I know it would be in real life". 

2 - FLYING DREAMS (15.6%)

"I love my flying dreams - I do all sorts of mad acrobatic manoeuvres but nobody is impressed that I can fly!"

"Flying at will through the city I live in" 

"Drifting along with the crisp white clouds."

"Where I can fly, I take a run up and away I go it’s amazing. I never want these dreams to end"

"When I am able to fly is the best dream (like swimming in the air)".

3 - WINNING BIG  (12.3%)  Almost always winning the lottery and giving up work. Sometimes enabling a life goal to be achieved."

"My favourite dream is the dream where I win the Euro lottery and then buy a dog rescue centre. I usually end up being licked to death in the dream, which is weird but wonderful!" 

Often it was the consequences of a lottery win that made the dream special e.g.: "Being able to help all the family out" or "handing notice in at work." 

"One man said he dreamt of retirement (even though he`s already been retired for three years)".

Another dreamt of "money falling from the sky so fast he couldn't pick it all up."


"My favourite dream was seeing my son again. He became an angel at three years old so dreams and memories are all I have" 

"Remember I told you about that dream I had where my Mother, who is deceased, came for a while and chatted and made much of me just as we did in the old days. It was amazing but when I woke my cheeks were running wet."

"Any dream in which I get to see and talk to my lovely Mum who has been gone 9 years now."

"I dreamt that I got to visit my Dad one more time in heaven" xx

"My favourite dream was meeting up with people I have lost to have a good catch up. Feel so real like I could remember the touch and the smell."

"The one that sticks out for me is the one where I dreamt about a family get together and all our relatives who had passed were with us. A happy but sad dream but it was lovely to see them".

5 - MEETING / GETTING TO KNOW A CELEBRITY / VIP (6.6%).(this was mainly a female`s dream.)  

" My favourite dream was one where I was on a beach digging, I then jumped into a pool where I found loads of treasure, and I ended up being sooo rich. Then dream switch, and "I was buying microwave dinners with Tom Selleck?!"

"Working with Ant and Dec."

The dream of being married (to one of a very long list of celebrities or VIP`s)  these included: Prince William or Harry, David Tennant, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Ronan Keating, Jason Mona, Henry Cavill, Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, any of Take That, Kelly Jones, Or rather bizarrely Big Bird from Sesame Street


In more than two-thirds of cases this was to Disneyland....most of the other dreams relate to beach resort holidays.

One lady was just delighted to find out it wasn't Monday!  "I dreamt it was Monday morning and when I woke up it was Sunday bonus an extra day off lol"


"My favourite dream which is reoccurring is that I'm driving around, everywhere, picking people up from past and present and catching up with them all, then dropping them off, and picking others up. The thing is I don't drive, so I'm really disappointed when I wake up!"

Another popular dream along these lines is a holding a huge BBQ event on a lovely summer’s day where all friends (even from the school days) come along.


"I dream I have a farmhouse with lots of lands...but no farm animals...instead I have lots of land and lots of Rescue Spaniels from the kill stations all living with me in this Fabulous is my best dream" 

"Winning a farm in competition featured more than once."

"I'm in Borneo up a tree with an orangutan"

"Being mobbed with cats or puppies who just want to cuddle all day." 9 - LIVING IN (OR BUILDING) A DREAM HOUSE WITH A NICE JOB AND / OR CAR (4.4%).

"Mine is I live in a chateau surrounded by a moat with four turrets" 

"My favourite dream is when I was living my perfect life.. dream job, house, car. I tried so hard to go back to sleep after I woke up Haha"

" My favourite dream is that someone comes in and decorates my whole house while I'm asleep".

"I find a building in the woods with secret stairs and corridors and stables then end up living there as no one comes back to claim it,"


"I had a dream we were coming back from holiday and as we were halfway through the flight there was an announcement that the pilot had been taken ill and they wanted someone to help fly plane..... so I said I'll do it when I got to cockpit I had to fly it myself as both pilots were down weather outside was terrible thundering lightning plane was all over people were screaming and I managed to bring it into land everyone was cheering and clapping"

"Dreamt I was a soldier during war and saved loads of lives".  

"My favourite dreams have always been a replay of a favourite film or TV show, but the starring role goes to me" 

"Went on a spy mission to save Will Smith" 

One favourite dream was "to play Sandy in the west end version of Grease"


"Eating chocolate all day without putting on any weight!"

"I had a dream there was a tree that grew devils food cake in my garden it was a lovely dream until I fell out of bed reaching for one in my sleep."

"Sleeping in a bath of chocolate"

"Eating as much cheese and drinking as much wine as I liked (calorie-free dream)"


"My favourite is when I am riding a beautiful chestnut horse along a sandy beach, holding tightly onto Johnny Depp." 

"Had a weird dream about Justin Bieber once!! Like I'm probably old enough to be his mom haha I think it must be because it's all my eldest talked about lol"

"Dating my idol at the time Cliff Richard"

"Meeting Jason Statham on a nudist beach"

 "My favourite dream is that I was stuck on a desert island with Paul Hollywood"  

"Strapped to James Bond in a parachute"

"I can’t tell you about my favourite dream I would blush."

" My favourite dream involved James Hetfield of Metallica but I can't give more detail as it was X-rated!"


A popular theme involving pets from hamsters up to horses and everything in between.


A significant amount of adults suffer from extreme tiredness

insomnia or fatigue to the extent that no longer feeling tired becomes a highly desirable dream in its own right. 

"In my dream, I wake up with bundles of energy just like a youngster (when I wake up in real life I just want to roll over and go back to sleep"

One said that they "I now talk about sleep like I used to talk about sex (I went 8 hours through the night straight)"


"My all-time favourite dream is running in a 100m final..... and winning!"

Another popular dream wish was "Completing a marathon". " the feeling I get at the finish line is one of overwhelming satisfaction".

"Playing centre court at Wimbledon".

" Score the winner against Sunderland for the Toon" (Their major rival) 

"Spurs win a trophy" Spurs last won the FA cup trophy in 1991.


"That I had magical powers to help people as long as I didn’t tell them it was me!"

 "My favourite dream was when I could bend the laws of physics (so it wasn't just one ability I had)...I could be invisible, I could fly, I could speed through time or make it come to an absolute stop. Then I woke up with poor eyesight and dubious coordination..."

"When I`m a knight on a horse having mind powers to do what I want"

"My favourite dream is where the planets move around our solar system differently" They don`t orbit but pinball of each other. No life forms were hurt in the making of this dream.


"Groundhog day repeating over and over where I have my wedding exactly as it was...but I could just correct the very slight things that went wrong!"

Many were happy to re-run their entire day exactly as it was.


"My best dream I ever had was my son being able to walk for the first time. He has spina bifida so hasn’t been able to yet"

"Just walking hand in hand just talking with my husband along the beach the sand between our toes and watching the sunset as we’d walked and talked for so long....we sat down I woke up...I use crutches or walking aids or wheelchair so it was magical whether dream lasted 5 mins or 30 mins"

"My fave dream is when I'm able to climb a mountain, though need a knee op before I can even walk to the end of the street lol!"


"My dream is all about being ickle again in our family home playing hospital on the stairs with my teddies and my sister...when life was simple and everybody I love was still with us XXXX".

20 -  POLITICAL DREAM (0.5%). - Several people considered a certain political outcome their best ever dream

HONOURABLE  MENTIONS these are some of the dreams we liked but had less than 0.5% of the vote.

"I was chased by a Dinosaur inexplicably because I had the keys to the Boots store".

I am an avid follower of music my favourite dream is where I start at the front of the train and walk through many carriages to the back. In every carriage, there is one of the greatest hits of my all-time favourite band.

It`s probably the time of year but one lady said here dream wish was that  " Mama Bear didn't have to wrap all the presents"


Some adult`s and children also do not remember their dreams but around 5% talk in their sleep exposing similar randomness

"My wife didn't believe me when I said she had been screaming at me for parking the car in the harbour at low tide"

Another man unhappily announced to his wife "your Mother ate my burger"

*Total Sleep Master Europe and Dream Pillow UK Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers 8,120 (21 Dec 19 )

Dream Pillow UK followers total over 5,900.

Twitter followers - 3,528 

Facebook followers - 1,677

Instagram followers - 698 

Sleep Master Europe followers total over 2,200

Twitter followers - 1,393

Facebook followers - 521

Instagram followers - 497

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