UK`s biggest ever adult v`s child favourite dream comparison shows why we lose the "Bedtime Battle"

Updated: Jan 13

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 21st Nov 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.


TOP TWENTY CHILD DREAMS

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








8 - HUGE LEGO HOUSE BECOMES HOME (5.3%).

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)














9 - BEING A PRINCESS / FAIRY IN A MAGICAL LAND (4.6%).

“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.

10 - SWIMMING ON AND BELOW THE WATER WITH MERMAIDS OR DOLPHINS (4.2%).

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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