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I know that Freud in his "Interpretation of dreams" provides a number of examples of events influencing dreams several days to several months after the event has occurred. For example, a person sees a red bicycle in a shop and a week later may have a dream about riding/fixing/seeing the same type of red bicycle. Freud provides on example where an event took place months before the dream.

My question is - has there been any research that explained why there can be a long (4-7 days) delay between a real life event and a dream with elements from the event?

Just to clarify - these are not recurring dreams, but one time dreams about past experiences. Typically the delay between the event and the dream is several days.

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1 Answer 1

Because memory is consolidated during sleep ( and dreaming)

http://learnmem.cshlp.org/content/11/6/671.full

http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/04/26/dreams-are-key-to-memory/13157.html

there are also some psychological benefits from easyng painfull memories.

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/11/23/dream-sleep/

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I'm aware of memory consolidation, and would expect it to happen on the next night, maybe 2 nights from the event. The phenomenon I'm talking about takes 4+ days and I find it hard to believe that a memory of some trivial details could be lingering around the brain for so long before being consolidated. –  Alex Stone Apr 22 at 13:20
    
some memory needs more than 4 days to consolidate (even years to integrate with other memories). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_and_memory –  ICanFeelIt Apr 22 at 13:30

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