Compressed Dream YKTTW Discussion

Compressed Dream
The time you have been asleep, and the time you actually lost are different
Needs Examples Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2012-09-23 06:09:32 sponsor: bulmabriefs144 (last reply: 2012-09-27 03:49:40)

Add Tag:
After having a Dream Within a Dream several times (all of which involve you hitting your alarm clock), you finally awake an hit your alarm clock. It's only 8:10. Forget it, you say, it's time to just sleep through the alarm clock and blow off everything. You're self-employed anyway.

In your dream, you hear the alarm in the background but tune it out, dreaming for hours and hours of some legendary mystical forest which you search for the Seven Triangles of Time. After finding the last one, you hear the faint buzz of your alarm clock, which must have been persistent because that happened ten hours ago. You wake up. It's 8:20.

This is where time passes at a vastly different rate in dreams, give experiences of hours, days, months, or even years, in only a fraction of the time. The inverse is also an example, but one wonders why you'd waste your time like that. Related to Narnia Time.


  • Dark City: Murdock has a dream implant that helps the main character master Tuning, running several lifetimes to teach the skill. It was supposed to be a quick dream implant that was supposed to make him simply lose his memories of Tuning, because he was a threat to the aliens who made the city. Even though it is short compared to its actual length, it runs much longer than a simple dream should.
  • Dreams in Inception move 12 times faster the further down you go.

Live-Action TV
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Inner Light", Picard lives about thirty years in an alien-device-induced dream world while half an hour or so goes by in real time.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "Perchance to Dream". A man goes to sleep and has a long dream taking at least 15 minutes subjective time. It's later revealed that the dream only took a few seconds of real time.

Tabletop RPG
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Dreamlands. When a character is asleep and exploring the Dreamlands, an hour of Earthly sleep roughly equals a week of Dreamlands time. However, this can vary widely depending on the situation.
  • In the Eberron campaign setting of Dungeons & Dragons time passes ten times faster in Dal Quor, the plane of dreams.

  • El Goonish Shive has one of these. Ellen gets 18 years of her life in an alternate dimension through her dreams.

Replies: 13