Dream reports are the data that oneirologists usually work with. They are not the dreams themselves; no-one has access to the dream themselves except the dreamer, and then only if they remember them. Dreams are the experiences you have while asleep; dream reports are the written or spoken account of these experiences. Unless (or until) technology improves, dream reports are the best things we have to work with. But they are difficult to work with, because when we create a dream report, we are using our waking, conscious minds to try and report something that happened when we were asleep and our minds were in a very different neurochemical and phenomenological state. We might (without necessarily realising) try to make the dream make sense, smooth out bizarre parts, make it into more of a narrative than it was at the time, etc. Because we have to write them down after they’ve happened, they’re also subject to memory flaws, confabulation, and so on. To try and deal with these issues we try to work with dream reports that have happened as close to the dream as possible (i.e. they are reported immediately upon waking up).