do you dream in colour?

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Dreaming in colour - Davina MacKail Dream Whisperer.

In our every day waking life colour has a huge impact on our moods and feelings (either learnt associations to that colour or an unconscious psychological response).  Which got me to thinking … what significance does colour have in our dreams…?
So who better to ask than Davina MacKail, the UK’s Dream Whisperer.

colour memory
I started by asking Davina if it was common place to dream in colour as I remember most of my dreams in black and white.  I was surprised to learn that 70 – 83% of our dreams are in colour.  Davina explained the reason why we may not remember is because colour memory fades fast upon awakening so we only think we dreamt in black and white.

dreaming in colour
We’ll dream in colour if it has significant relevance or meaning, otherwise we’ll dream in black and white. The colour relates to emotions associated with that dream image and Davina encourages her clients to look at the significance between the colour and the image they are getting.  For example, you were in a green car and had an accident.  If you then dream of a green car the association may be related to danger or a warning. This will naturally differ from person to person as it will relate to a personal association, event or experience.

The association attached to that colour is stored in the limbic brain.  It’s the place when we are in the dream state that associates the image and colour to an emotion.

dream colours & their meaning
Here are some of the most common colours seen when dreaming and their general significance:
Black – represents the unconscious mind, the deep emotion psyche
White – represents spiritual aspirations
Red – represents personal significance i.e. passion, drive (unless you have a specific association with red)
Blue Sky (Sunshine) – represents the conscious world, the waking active world

What is also interesting is that it is rare to have a technicolour dream and those born blind don’t dream in colour or images, instead they dream in feelings and sound.

sleeping in colour
I was quite intrigued to know Davina’s thoughts on whether the colour of the room you slept in had any impact on the colour your dreamt about.   Given that dreams are affected with immediate external stimuli, Davina said it’s possible however there’s no known research into this.  Could be quite an interesting study…

I know from now on I’ll be paying particular attention to recalling the colour associated to the image instead of just falling back to sleep! What colours have you seen in your dreams and what have they meant to you?

If you’d like to know more about Davina, you can go to her website or see her regular monthly TV guest spot on the UK Channel 5 The Wright Stuff Extra with Gabby Logan.

Image via

Share the knowledge


  1. Tamsin Fox-Davies on September 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This is fascinating! I always thought I dreamt in black and white too, but now I know it’s just that my memory is in black and white.

    Will try and take notice of my dream colours in future.

    (Also I love the picture you’ve used on this post. Beautiful.)

    • admin on September 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Hi Tamsin, It was a joy interviewing Davina. I’m looking forward to remembering if there was any colour in my dream too and seeing what it is associated with.

  2. Laura on September 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

    wow – love the bit about the meaning in the colours you dream in!

    • admin on September 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

      Hi Laura,

      The trick is to remember the colour when you wake up! 🙂

Leave a Comment