Timing and time riddles can be a difficult element of dream interpretation. Since dreams occur in a fantasy-like mindset, there are few controls on how time is perceived. One dream may seem to happen in real time: twenty minutes of events in a given REM cycle. Another dream may occur in a series of edited scenes that happen over the course of days, weeks, years, or an unfathomable period of time. Other dreams still may seem outside of any time constraints whatsoever.
One way to discern elapsed dream time is to simply recall the scenes and then try to identify any chronological changes. Another is to think about numbered items in the dream and associate that number with time periods in your life. If your dream watch says 5:15, this could be the time, the date, or an elapsed time between two ages; in this case, perhaps five and fifteen years old.
These riddles are both frustrating and wonderful. In them are the deeper nuances of dreaming. You may readily observe a cyclical pattern to life that repeats periodically. You may recall when your maturity or self-awareness changed and how long that transition took. Numerous insights are available in these ways.
Sometimes the aspect of time within a dream may affect the emotional milieu of the dream; a "real time" dream will probably offer a different emotional background than a "scattered time" dream.