Dreams are a mysterious phenomenon that we have been studying for a long time. Dreams can have a vivid and/or intense experience and can leave us feeling disoriented. We are often unsure about how long we were dreaming for because of the disorientation we feel after the dream.

How long a dream lasts isn’t a straightforward answer and depends on different variables. Dreams often occur in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep which takes up about 20-25% of total sleep time. The first REM period only lasts a few minutes but it increases throughout the night.

Most dreams happen in the final REM period which typically lasts anywhere between 15-45 minutes. How long your dream lasts depends on multiple factors such as how old you are, sleep habits, level of consciousness, and mental health. 

Your perception of time during dreams is often different from when you’re awake. This is known as the time dilation hypothesis which means that the brain processes information differently when you’re asleep vs when you’re awake. According to this theory, a long dream might be the brain processing more information in a short amount of time creating an illusion of lots of time passing.

Another variable that can affect how long you dream is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD are more likely to experience more vivid and longer dreams. In these cases dreams can go on for hours with intense emotion.

In conclusion, dreams typically last between 15-45 minutes. The length of your dream is affected by multiple variables such as how old you are, sleep habits, level of consciousness, and mental health. Your perception of time during a dream will make it feel longer than what it actually is.

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