About a year ago I created KeepDream on a whim. It emails me every morning and asks what I dreamt last night.
I have no idea if dreams are special, but they are sometimes fun and I like to see trends over time. Here is an example dream I recorded on March 31st:
Given the option to turn into elephant for 2 weeks. At a dirt pen with olivia and we are about to turn into elephants. But then I start to have doubts, and I'm embarrassed to say it, but I definitely start feeling like I don't want to turn into an elephant. I realize that I value my humanity and that as an elephant I also wouldn't be able to speak or express things clearly for 2 weeks. olivia has similar doubts and we don't wind up becoming elephants.
Most of my dreams were recorded in this single-paragraph description format. Many are more serious and deal with relationships and so on.
For context, I began recording these in the spring of 2012, a year after I graduated college and started work as a software engineer.
I tokenized and lemmatized my dreams, then extracted n-grams and parts of speech. They are provided here for your enjoyment (all names have been anonymized):
Most of my dreams just involve doing things with friends. I picked out some recurring topics:
college: 25+ high school: 15+ work: 12 plane crashes: 11 train rides: 8 in which someone dies: 7 space/spaceships: 4 zombies: 3 being able to fly: 1
a bunch of: 11 with mom and: 10 the old house: 10 a lot of: 9 sophia and i: 8 some sort of: 8 with a bunch: 7 i realize that: 7 hanging out with: 7 in a big: 5
going trying being getting looking doing having driving working running
worried related caught annoyed caused assigned inspired
people things friends kids lots others hs guys guards
more bigger smaller better younger less older narrower
Large-scale analysis over a text corpus of dreams does not reveal a whole lot. I also tried finding interesting collocated phrases, but the results were not good.
I'd like to build a classifier for dreams. It's clear that some dreams are lighthearted, some are stress-related, some represent fears, and so on. Categorizing these things will make future analysis easier and more interesting.
When I was in school I did research that relied heavily on semantic analysis using Freebase. Doing something similar here could be quite interesting and lend more context to my analysis.
It seems like dreams reflect my state of mind over a period of time. This is something that I notice only in retrospect, but it is interesting to go back, see, and remember these things.
For example, an abortive business venture with a friend showed up in my dreams in ways that I wasn't aware of at the time. My hopes and dreams, family/friend troubles, etc. also show up. It's a twisted autobiography.
p.s. KeepDream has a data export feature that encourages analysis like this. Eventually I may make this part of the web service, but with only about 40 users it's not a priority.