How Much Time Do People Spend Daydreaming?

A study showed that participants engaged in daydreaming during 47% of their waking hours. Mind-wandering appeared to be consistent regardless of the participant's activity, with the exception of sex — the only activity during which daydreaming dropped to less than 30% of the time was during sexual activity. The authors of the study also noted a correlation between daydreaming and unhappiness, because many of the respondents who reported daydreaming reported being unhappy later in the day.

More about daydreaming:

  • Some studies have demonstrated a positive connection between daydreaming and creativity.

  • As they age, people are less likely to daydream. Older people also are less likely to report feeling bored.

  • Cognitive behavior therapy can be effective at treating obsessive daydreaming that interferes with a person's daily life or ability to form real-life relationships.

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Discussion Comments


It is the way people have been made. There is lot of firing going on in your brain as you are doing your work. The millions of firing neurons get into some familiar patterns unique to the individual and when they reach a certain threshold, you start day dreaming.

Daydreaming has been handed over generations of our ancestors who most likely had time to pump two channels at a single time because they had more time on their hands. See, sex was all concentration. It should have also a generations to generations matter for the sheer need of man to survive.


People who daydream are lost in a world of improbable happenings and are therefore more depressed when they touch back to reality, e.g., dreaming of winning the lottery, walking on the moon, being the President, etc.


The creativity that comes from day-dreaming may be more rewarding than the task at hand and therefore the motivation that causes day-dreaming to occur?


About the "rider horse thing." I think you have to be aware when you go to that daydreaming state and you have to be very vigilant about it and "knock" yourself out of it. That vigilant state of mind is very difficult to achieve because you need to be calm and able perform other tasks.

It's similar to Cesar Millan's technique of yanking on your dog's leash when the dog "decides" to go to different energy level. Almost like quantum physics, when you look at and investigate electrons. They cease to be electrons and take on the characteristic of light waves. And vice versa. This is similar to dreaming. Everyone does it. But do we wake up saying, "I dreamed I was dreaming."


People may daydream when bored, but sometimes the reason may be that one looks forward to an activity of what they are daydreaming about happening in the near future.

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