Jennifer Hudson: We all have that recurring dream where you’re running but can’t move

Star Magazine has a new interview with Jennifer Hudson to promote Cats. I feel sort-of sorry for anyone in that terrible movie, except for Taylor Swift because I always have schadenfreude with her. (Incidentally did you see that Twitter thread with the cast of Cats as medieval paintings? It was priceless, as is this tweet about the plot.) Jennifer talked a little about dreams, and about recurring dreams particularly. Star just reports this with the header “last recurring dream,” which I’ve never heard asked in an interview and wanted to know more about. Did they come up with that question or did Jennifer bring it up on her own? Here’s more of that interview:

Last moment of bliss
I had lots this summer. I got to bike ride. I got to go to an amusement park. One of my goals was to simply just sit on my front porch and eat ice cream. It was the absolute best ever.

Last recurring dream
I think we all have that dream where you’re running but you can’t. And I’m trying but my legs are like noodles or something. And I need to get away. Don’t ask me what I was running from.

Last time I faced my fears
I probably walked past a spider. Oh my God, I lose my mind. I cannot deal with that at all. Even toy spiders at Halloween.

[From Star Magazine, print edition, December 30, 2019]

I wonder if Jennifer is getting that dream more now after Cats. I’ve never had the dream where you’re running but can’t move. I have had the “didn’t prepare for the test/never went to class and have to take a final” dream many times. My most frequent dream in the winter is the one where I’m trying to drink water and can never quench my thirst. I almost think I’m awake when that happens. This is of course because the heat in my bedroom makes my mouth so damn dry! I need to put a humidifier in there. I’ve also had the “teeth falling out/you’re getting old” dream a couple of times. It’s so funny to me that Hudson assumes we all have that dream, because I did that in a conversation recently. I said “you know that dream where you’re drinking but your mouth is still dry?” and my friend answered “no, I’ve never had that one.” Also, I like Jennifer more after she said that sitting on the porch and eating ice cream is the best! Eating ice cream is usually a highlight of the day and I will remember to eat it on the porch, maybe at dusk so I can watch the sun go down. I’ll have nice dreams that night.


I love this dress!

photos credit: WENN

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28 Responses to “Jennifer Hudson: We all have that recurring dream where you’re running but can’t move”

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  1. Lex says:

    That’s a recurring one of mine!! I can move but vrry very slowly and the person chasing is going to catch me but never seems to.

    Bf has the teeth turning to liquid dream recurrently – I’d never heard of it before we met

    • Juls says:

      Mine is always a tornado. I see it coming and turn to run to shelter, but my legs don’t work.

      • Haapa says:

        I had this dream all the time the one summer I lived on the prairies. The sound of the wind at night didn’t help!

  2. Derrière says:

    Thankfully I haven’t had them in a while, but I used to have quite frequent sleep paralysis where I need to breathe, but I can’t, I want to move but I can’t and then I’m awake but I can’t wake up out of the dream. It’s the worst.

    • Gingerbee says:

      OMG, sleep paralysis is the worst, and also frightening. When I have them, it feels like someone is in the room, and I am always fighting to wake up.

    • Mel M says:

      I used to have sleep paralysis all the time! Thank goodness I also haven’t had it in a while. The feeling is so frightening. Laying there eyes open and awake but can’t move. The worst.

      Like @Lex above I also have the dream where I’m trying to run and moving so slow no matter how hard I try but it’s usually to try and get somewhere. I’ve also had the one where you have a test or assignment to do and I either can’t get to it because i have all these obstacles in the way preventing me from getting to it and then running out of time. Most of my dreams are frustrating.

    • Chris says:

      There is something you can do for this! Researchers have found that making a “smells like someone farted face” will get you out of sleep paralysis. No, I’m not joking. The explanation is that, our bodies go into a paralyzed state at a certain stage of our dreams. Our bodies do this so that we won’t actually move around in the dream state and end up hurting ourselves. Some people wake up while still in that state, hence sleep paralysis. Your face however, does not get paralyzed in this state, and making a stink face works enough muscles that our brain will come out of the dream/paralysis state.

  3. Anni says:

    Dito on the not being able to run or move dream. And dito on the teeth dream. Also, I quite often deam that I need to call 911 and simply cannot get it right. The phone doesn’t work right and I cannot dial or the numbers are all wrong (even though it is only 2 different digits…).

    My half-awake dream is that I need to pee but I cannot find a bathroom, or it is occupied or broken. I proceed to pee in an alley or on a lawn but do not feel relieved. That’s when I wake up and storm to the bathroom. Fortunately, I have not actually dream-peed yet :D

    • Ramona Q. says:

      OMG Anni – Yes, I often have to dial 911 or a 10-digit phone # and I can’t hit the buttons corectly! This must be a modern universal anxiety dream.

  4. Jenns says:

    I have this dream and I hate. Also the one where I’m still in college and about to graduate, but then I remember that I forgot to go to a class for the entire semester. I’m 40 years old, how am I still having this dream?

  5. Ali says:

    My reoccurring dream is driving, usually in a rainstorm, and not being able to turn or stop.

  6. greenmonster says:

    I had this dream quite often: I need to run but can only move slowly and slightly faster if I go on all fours like a dog. But now I know in my dreams, that it is a dream because of that pattern :) I also had that dream where I would lose my teeth or I needed to type a certain number and can never get it right, but I NEVER had the dream where I’m supposed to take a test or give a presentation and I’m not prepared.

  7. Virginia says:

    I think Cats is getting an unfair bad rap.
    Yes, the CGI is a bit crazy but it’s so you can see the bodies of the amazing ballet dancers! This is Cats not Citizen Cane, it’s campy, silly fun and if you can suspend disbelief then I think it’s a great family movie!

    • BeanieBean says:

      I saw it on Christmas and loved it! It was the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen, yet the dancing was wonderful.
      As for recurring dreams: never had the teeth one, although I’d heard of it; I’ve had the sleep paralysis one; as a former marathon runner, I’ve had the late for a race, can’t find my shoes, oh gosh they already started, and yikes! I’m naked I need to go back to the hotel & get dressed dream; and there’s the driving up a bridge or a mountain & near the top, starting rolling backwards.

  8. Mumbles says:

    I would add Rebel Wilson and James Corden to that list of Schadenfreude with Swift. Those two are such loud annoying scenery chewers that get on my nerves.

  9. JanetDR says:

    Yes to the teeth dream. Funny, because it used to be frequent, but as I have aged, it happens much less. My school dream was always: got to take a test and I can’t find the room, or a pencil, not even sure I went to the class, but if I don’t take the test, I will flunk. And at some point when I am asking someone about the location, I look down and realize that I am naked.

  10. Esmom says:

    I have all the recurring dreams mentioned, and also the dreaded sleep paralysis, the most frequent one probably the “didn’t go to class or study for the test” one. But another one I often have is where I need to see or do something but I’m basically blind. Good times, lol.

    • Lady D says:

      I have the sleep paralysis, just didn’t know what to call it until now. I always thought it was extreme tiredness that made me unable to move, now I know better. I have vivid dreams, rarely are they nice or fun, I mean really rarely. I have 3 recurring dreams, two of them started when I was 12, I’m still having them at 59. In one, I’m in danger, in the other one my younger sister is in danger. It’s so vivid and I’ve had it so many times, I finally warned my sister and made her promise she would avoid the dream scenario in real life. Once, long before GoT, I had a dream where I had to conquer the 3 dragons I shared a flooded basement with, who wanted to eat me. I did it by feeding them pearls.

  11. Pamspam says:

    I have all these dreams! Can’t run, can’t dial 911, can’t get to a toilet, have to take a final but haven’t been to class all semester (or I have to go back to high school). But the worst one for me is I’m in danger and trying to scream but no sound comes out or only a little as though I have the worst case of laryngitis. That one is terrifying.

    • Coji says:

      I have the trying to scream but can’t dream/nightmare pretty regularly. I hate it.

    • Bee says:

      I used to have that unable to scream dream regularly and always feared that’s how I would react in a real life situation. Then one night I came out of the shower wrapped in a towel and an intruder was cutting my phone line (back when everyone had land lines) with a pair of scissors. I screamed at him in outrage so loudly he ran out of my apartment. 😅

  12. Wamamax3 says:

    My main recurring dream is a bit different, and now looking back, ties to some pretty significant changes in my life. I am driving a car, and then suddenly I am no longer in the car, but still trying to control it. Almost like I am steering on Mario Kart, but it’s a real car with real people in it, and therefore will have real consequences if (WHEN) I crash. It’s almost always on a bridge or highway and I inevitably lose control and careen off the road to a long fall. It’s terrifying and I’ve never met another person who has had it or anything similar. Upthread with the person driving in the rain is the closest I’ve seen!

    I often have the “forgot about attending one class for an entire semester” one. How interesting what universal feelings and experiences must lead to these.

  13. Suzieq359 says:

    I wonder if Jennifer’s dream is related to her family’s murders. A sense of paralysis, hopelessness, maybe even guilt in not being able to save her mother, brother and nephew from the brother-in-law. I’m sure she likely went to therapy but maybe this dream is related.

  14. JanetFerber says:

    Suzie359, that was my exact thought, too. I remember President Obama called her to give her condolences. Terrible tragedy.