Friday 20 December 2019

Why the Secret to Winning the Bedtime Battle is not so Obvious to Adults.

When it comes to getting our children to sleep, or even want to go to sleep, sometimes we are very focused on the next day, or before the sleep. This maybe routines to get them to bed, this maybe encouraging them that they need sleep to not be tired, it may be telling them about the excitement of the next day, it may even be bribes! But have you ever thought that encouraging your child to have nice dreams may be the way forward?

Dream Pillow and SleepMasterEU have been looking into dreams and between the 21st Nov and the 17th Dec 2019 over 3,000 followers responded to five questions in a joint survey (Parents, children and sleep loving adults). It became apparent why the secret to winning “The Bedtime Battle” is not so obvious to parents.

When they spoke about Children's dreams, the examples of dreams was much different to the examples of dreams that adults have. They were creative, exciting, imaginative and FUN! Where as adults dreams were less imaginative and creative and a lot more predictable. This is unfortunetly because we are "grown up" and less likely to believe in the lovely world of make believe like children are. 

If you would like to read the Top 20 adult Dreams (which are not as creative and fun as the children's dreams but still worth a read!) you can do so by clicking Here !! 

I imagine that as a parent when we have dreams we can perhaps forget that children dream differently to us. Their dreams can be super exciting and they are off on a magical journey. So this is where it would be good to start to encourage your child before bedtime to want to think about what they would like to dream about. By making bedtime exciting by encouraging them to be looking forward to having their nice dreams. 

This is exactly what Dream Pillow is about, and so as well as conducting the survey they got some children to draw their favourite dream on our Dream Wish Notes! 

Read below about the top 20 kids dreams and see some super fun examples of what kids love to dream about. 


1 - UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS (12.1%). The number one children’s dream with over 12% of the vote involved rainbows and / or unicorns. Often they would be riding the unicorn over rainbow bridges between the clouds.
Unicorns sometimes ate the rainbows or would leave glitter rainbows in their wake.
Several reported herds of fully grown or baby unicorns discovered at the end of a rainbow. Many rode rainbow coloured unicorns and reported hearing the wind and feeling the breeze around them (not visual only dreams).
Sometimes the rainbow unicorn dreams involved other fantasies eg eating ice cream riding a unicorn with Princess Rapunzel making rainbows.
Selena’s Unicorn and Rainbow Dream Wish Note

Selena's example involved no rainbow but bouncing down the street riding a big blow up unicorn to fight the inflatable Marsh Mellow Man from Ghostbusters!!!!

2 - THE GIFT OF TALKING TO ANIMALS / PETS (10.0%). Many instances of dreams where children could understand and /or talk to animals.
“My daughter has a recurring dream about a friendly pet frog that lives under her bed. So often she will look under the bed at night time before climbing in to see if he will come and say hello to me”.
“My favourite dream as a child was to take my talking bird to school and tuck her safely into my bag so she could listen to lessons”.
One dreamt about “circus animals telling me how unhappy they were so I rescued them. They were very grateful and they kept visiting me at home”.
“I had a very clever talking dog who I would take to school and he would give me all the answers”.

Another talking Dog features on this Dream Wish Note drawn by Ruby (nearly three) who was the youngest of our Dream Pillow followers in the survey. 

3 - BEING A SUPER HERO OR SUPER HERO'S PARTNER (8.9%). The most popular was Spiderman, followed by Batman then Superman. Sometimes as a super hero partner they would have super power, other times not, but would bravely help catching bad guys anyway.
One was approached by the Avengers who wanted her to be their leader “I always think it’s funny the “missions” she explains to me” said Mum.
Apart from comic book heros one dreamt he was a giant looking down on small people helping the police with robbers.
“I would become invisible and explore different places to find out what the villains were planning then foil them”.
One boy dreamed he was a cloud and could rain on school bullies to make them go away.
“Always used to dream I was Superman so one Christmas my Grandad bought me the full outfit ….I cried so much when it didn’t work (I couldn’t fly)”.

Rhu’s (aged 6) favourite dream is as a super hero with her brother Ted as her partner.

4 - LIVING IN A SWEET/ CANDY LAND (8.1%). There are so many variations on this dream, Marsh mellow ground with plant lolly pops or ice creams, palm trees bearing sweets instead of coconut, candy floss clouds and chocolate rainforests, rivers or mountains.
Some would be given the keys to a sweet shop. Others have candy comes or baths where the water was skittles, chocolate or whatever their favourite sweet.
“There is always cake in my best dreams”.
One got a job as a taster in a Smartie factory where he got to eat as many as she liked.
“I had Mr Tickle who would use his long arms to stretch all the way down stairs to grab sweets, biscuits and a drink for me”. 

Will aged 10 wants to dream about Candy Land where the sun melts the chocolate into a river!

5 - IN THE DINOSAUR AGE (6.2%). These normally involved riding on the back of friendly dinosaurs through a magical forest or Jurassic Park type of landscape.
T rex was the most popular dinosaur in these dreams and they are often reported to be wearing a crown.
One dreamed of being a dinosaur vet who prevented extinction.

In the favourite dreams reported there was normally only play fighting between dinosaurs.

That said this Dream Wish note has the dreamer pleased to be safely on high ground while “My brother Carter” is shown running away from a not too friendly looking Raptor!!!!!!

6 - WHITE CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY / SANTA CLAUS (5.9%). As our days inform our dreams it may be that conducting this survey in the four weeks before Christmas put this higher in the top twenty than at other times of the year.

The most popular dream wish (Xmas Ground Hog Day) has been drawn for us by Ryan age 9.

The other popular Christmas dream involved going to Lapland (or the North Pole) to meet Father Christmas and / or helping his Elves make and deliver the presents.
“Santa flying over his house on our sleigh” or “finding him putting presents under the tree in Summer were also mentioned”.
One child who lived in a house with a real coal fire had a recurring dream that the fire was still burning when Santa came down the chimney and it “burnt his bottom”. His parents recalled having to spend a long time assuring him the fire would be out early on Christmas Eve.

7 - FLYING WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING (5.8%). Unlike the adult flying dreams which tend not to feature anyone or anything else…. almost of the child dreams have some other element.

Ethan (age 6) has drawn travelling the world on a flying pizza as his favourite dream.

One flew to China on a more traditional flying carpet and got there to find the flowers were made of chocolate.
Some fly in a Harry Potter car, whilst others sit in a fairground ride which spins around and takes off into the clouds.
Animals are also popular flying companions….not only with a flock of birds but also on the back of a befriended Dragon or around the garden with Hobbs (the cat). Peter Pan was also involved in many of the top flying dreams.
One girl was “rescued” from school by Pegasus and flew back in time.
Another recalls vividly how she would “hold out her cardigan and fly anywhere along with her pet dog…feeling the wind on my face and the sun on my back”.

Building a Lego hose to live in was exceptionally popular.
“Living in a huge Lego house is always the favourite dream of my little boy. I swear I could actually build my own full size house with all the Lego used constructing over the years”. There is massive evidence that repetitive actions can be used to effectively influence dreams….eliminating the negative ones or just creating better dreams that children can look forward to when they go to sleep.

This Lego dream house was drawn by the oldest child Dream Pillow follower in the survey Alfie (age 13).

“My favourite dream was to be a Princess in an enchanted forest where I looked after all the fairies”.
“I lived in a big palace with long hair and had a maid to brush it for me”.
In the traditional fairy tale style a few dreamt they got married to a Prince and lived happily ever after in one of several castles of England.

The drawing shows Glesni’s favourite dream where she is a very young Welsh Princess meeting Princess Elsa from Frozen.


Diana sent us this picture of her favourite Dream Wish Note under the sea with a Mermaid!

“Mine is where I can breathe underwater and swim across the Ocean’s with a family of dolphins”.
“I love it when I dream about living under the sea with (or in some cases as) a mermaid”.
No mermaids or slides …but we love the girl who travelled to school on a waterslide.

11 - BECOMING WHAT THEY WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP (4.1%). Some of the older children surveyed said that their favourite dream was actually getting their perfect job.
“I was a clumsy child and dreamt I was dancing in a West End show”.
Jobs associated with animals were popular many wanted to be a vet, some zookeepers whilst one wanted to work in a circus so he could look after the animals. The next most common answer was to be a lead singer / pop star, actor, followed by a ballerina.
Less popular were a judge on X Factor, a famous You Tuber, author, nurse or jockey. One wanted to be a teacher not a pupil. Transport jobs were also popular air hostess, train driver or even an astronaut.

Phoebe (age 10) has drawn a picture of her modelling her own range of clothes on the catwalk.

12 (Joint) - ADVENTURES WITH TOYS THAT COME TO LIFE (3.4%). Toys can be children’s best friends during the day but some found themselves interacting with them in a totally different way when their toys talk back.
“My son tells me his best dreams always involves the adventures he has with his toys when they turn into his friends”.
“My daughter’s favourite dream is when she becomes the same size as her toy dolls who come alive and they have many outfit changes every day”.

 Amy (8 YO) draws her favourite teddy comes to life and they go downstairs to find out what the elf is up to.

12 (Joint) - OWNING A THEME PARK AND/OR A CHOCOLATE CASTLE / FACTORY (3.4%). In joint 12th position is a dream where the child becomes the boss or owner of their favourite theme park and / or a chocolate factory.
Many became Willy Wonka…but our favourite Dream was that of Adele (10) who became boss of Alton Towers and lived in the castle (which was made from Chocolate).

Adele's Dream Wish Note 

14 - DRIVING (MAINLY) BIG STUFF (3.3%). In this top dream the children could often drive but their chariot of choice was often surprising.
Although a few choose sports cars most went for bigger diggers, lorries, cement mixes and several even choose garbage trucks.

The top dream though involved driving monster trucks like those draw here by Brady.

15 - ON THEIR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY - NORMALLY DISNEY LAND OR THE SEASIDE (3.2%). Perhaps surprisingly this ranked much lower down the Children’s top dream list than it did on the adults.
The one we liked the best was the girl who travelled around Europe on a bouncy castle (although 90% of the children who picked this choose either a visit Disney Land or the beach as their most cherished holiday dream).

Cayson (age 5) shows his all time favourite dream where he is in Disney Land meeting Mickey Mouse with his Mum and lots of sweets. 

16 - ALONE ALL DAY OR NIGHT IN A TOY SHOP (3.1%). This dream often involved the child being left in a huge toy shop where they could play all night and normally did not have to go to school the day after.
For some it was just an unlimited supermarket sweep visit but they could take all the time they wanted to buy anything in the shop.

Seven year old Darcy shows her ideal toy shop dream which involves lots of LOL dolls.

17 - JOURNEYS IN A ROCKET SHIP (2.7%). Journeys sometimes around the Earth but normally into space on a rocket came in as the 17th favourite child’s dream.
Some would go into deep space …some towards the sun but the majority were happy to just land on the Moon.

Here Charlie (age 7 ½ ) meets up with Buzz Lightyear for his moon visit dream.

18 – IN PIRATE SHIPS HUNTING TREASURE (2.5%). Almost three percent of children mentioned Pirate ship adventures as the favourite dream they wanted to have at night. 
“In my best dream I was a pirate on a treasure hunt to far away lands and everytime I get close to the treasure I wake up. I looked forward all day to going back to sleep when I can find out where my treasure is. Eventually I found it”!

Eve want’s to dream about finding treasure on a Desert Island.

19- SCORING THE WINNING GOAL / TRY/ RUN FOR THEIR NATIONAL (OR LOCAL) TEAM (1.3%). Cricket and rugby both featured in this desirable dream but the majority of children surveyed wanted to score the winning goal in a cup final for their national or local team. One boy scored the winner for Watford, most scored for England.

On this Dream Wish Note Tomos from Glamorgan has just scored the world cup winner for Wales.

My favourite dream is when Cinderella comes into my bedroom to play, we have a slide and trampoline in there too.
Actually being in the Minecraft game, Scooby Doo or Hogwarts were other examples of the 20th most popular dream.

Jessica (age 7) uses a Dream Pillow Dream Wish Note to write her favourite dream where she dances with Snoopy and bunnies in a field. 

So as you can see, children have some BRILLIANT Dreams, But if their imagination can think up some of this fun creative nice stuff, then that means their imagination can also come up with some pretty scary stuff too in the form of nightmares.

Nightmares can also be a thing that stop children wanting to go to bed. Which is where the re enforcement of encouraging them to talk about positive fun dreams will help!
When a child selects one of the three Dreamimal pillow characters which most closely match their personality they can use the Image Rehearsal Technique (easily understood in the user friendly instructions) to totally transform how a child thinks about bedtime.

Any dream pillow ordered here before Saturday 21st December is guaranteed to arrive next working day. If ordered via Amazon we will deliver by the earliest date of the date range (either Monday 23rd or Tuesday 24th  December).

Have you ever thought about the difference in Children's dreams to Adult Dreams? 

(This was a collaborative post) 


  1. What a beautiful read - never really thought about the differece but now youve pointed it out its real

  2. I actually won a Dream Pillow in a competition as my daughter has nightmares a lot and so I entered and won and it is absolutely brilliant. She gets excited about going to bed

  3. Wow a dream pillow sounds like an excellent item to have

  4. I love the idea of a dream pillow - what a fantastic concept. Such an interesting read about kids dreams!

  5. Aww this is so cute. I am always fascinated discussing my daughter's dreams with her, she had lots of dreams about unicorns and space (as she wants to be an astronaut.)

  6. Oh wow this is really interesting. We use a lavender mist that helps them sleep . Whether it does or it’s a placebo- it works :)

  7. Oh these look really nice, might be something worth trying out with the twins, they would really enjoy it.

  8. I enjoyed reading and looking at all the kid's drawings. My son has the dream pillow and totally loves it to bits, he has started a routine where he will write on his pad and then take the pillow to bed, he sleeps much better now.

  9. I've never really thought about the difference between dreams as I always tended to dream about what I had been doing in life x

  10. This is definetely a very interesting concept! I love the kids drawing very cute. Cecilia xx

  11. My children never seem to remember what they've been dreaming about, these are really cute!