One of the most confusing and curious elements of the dreaming mind is that dreams appear to be precognitive at time. That is, that someone will have a dream that then manifests itself in waking day at some point in the future. Can this really be happening?
One explanation for this is that the dreamer has the images in a dream and then tries to match them with events in waking day. Therefore, it appears that they have had the dreams before the event but they have not. Research has shown that people can be brought into a sleep lab and can then dream about a very specific event that they could not possibly have known about or tried to create. Also, when someone has a truly precognitive dream the details of the dream to the waking day are so specific that the dreamer could not possibly create that. For example, a dreamer has an image of a squirrel with no tail running in front of his path as a group of women in red hats walk by. The next day this event occurs in waking day (the red hat society are going to lunch at a local restaurant). The possibility of that even occurring is quite rare.
People have always reported precognitive dream images and research is now trying to unravel that mystery. A recent study (Smith, unpublished data) has shown that approximately 10% of dream images appear to be precognitive. Often they are of everyday events such as a friend calling out of the blue or a parcel showing up. None the less, people continue to report on these dreams and research continues to try and understand them.
Perhaps these are more common and typical then once thought but more research is required to shed light on this phenomena.