Interested in facts about dreams? Every night our conscience shuts itself down when we go to sleep and it reconnects when we wake up, ready for a new day. While we rest our brains remain active all night long and part of this brain activity produces almost real and sometimes frightening images during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep, which we call dreams or nightmares. On average we spend 19.3 years of our lives in this trance phase we call sleep, and although that time represents almost a third of our lives, we still know very little about what goes on in our brain during sleep. Today we publish 10 facts about dreams, which hopefully will help you to clarify some common doubts on this subject.
10. We Forget Up To 90% of Our Dreams
It is commonly believed that people forget the majority of their dreams, with estimates of forgotten dreams ranging from 50-90%. This is thought to be due to the fact that the brain processes dreams differently than waking experiences, making them more difficult to recall upon waking. Additionally, sleep-dependent memory consolidation, the process by which the brain solidifies new memories, may also play a role in the forgetfulness of dreams.
9. Some People’s Dreams Are Black and White
It is true that some people report experiencing dreams that are in black and white, rather than in color. This phenomenon is thought to be related to the way that the brain processes visual information during sleep. The majority of people dream in color, but a small percentage of individuals have reported experiencing black and white dreams. It is also possible that people may report dreaming in black and white because it is more memorable than a dream in color.
It is also worth mentioning that the prevalence of black-and-white television has been significantly reduced since the 1950s and 60s, and it is likely that people who experienced black-and-white dreams during that time period may be more likely to remember them.
8. When We Dream the Body is Paralyzed
During the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, the body’s muscles become temporarily paralyzed, a phenomenon known as REM atonia. This is thought to be a protective mechanism that prevents people from acting out their dreams and potentially injuring themselves. While the majority of dreaming occurs during REM sleep, it is also possible for people to dream during non-REM stages of sleep, during which the body is not paralyzed.
It is important to note that the REM-atonia is not complete, some muscle activity still occurs, and some people may experience sleep-related movement disorders such as sleepwalking or sleep talking during REM sleep.
Additionally, some people may experience sleep-related movement disorders such as sleepwalking or sleep talking during REM sleep. These episodes occur despite the paralysis and may result in the individual acting out part of the dream.
7. Women Have More Nightmares Than Men
Research suggests that women may be more likely to experience nightmares than men. One study found that women reported having nightmares twice as often as men. However, it is important to note that this difference may be partially due to the fact that women are more likely to report their nightmares than men. Additionally, other studies have found that men and women experience nightmares with similar frequency, and the difference in reporting may be due to cultural and societal factors.
It is also worth noting that the causes of nightmares can vary widely, and they can be triggered by a variety of factors such as stress, trauma, certain medications, and certain mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
It is possible that women may be more likely to experience certain factors that trigger nightmares, such as stress, or be more likely to report them, or both. Further research is needed to understand the reasons for the difference.
6. Blind People Also Dream About
Blind individuals do dream, and their dreams can include visual imagery, despite the fact that they are not able to see. Studies have found that people who are blind from birth tend to dream primarily in auditory and tactile senses, while those who lose their sight later in life may dream with visual elements, but they are often less vivid or detailed. This is thought to be because the brain is able to construct visual imagery based on memories and experiences, rather than on actual visual input.
Additionally, research suggests that people who are blind from birth may have an increased ability to process auditory and tactile information in their dreams, and that their dreams may be more vivid and emotionally intense than those of sighted individuals.
It is worth noting that everyone’s dreams are unique and individualistic, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Blind people’s dreams can be influenced by their own personal experiences, emotions and the way they perceive the world around them.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re halfway through our list of facts about dreams.
5. Animals Also Dream
Animals, like humans, also experience the state of sleep, and it is likely that they dream as well. Studies on a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, rats, and birds, have found that they display similar brain activity during sleep as humans, including the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is associated with dreaming.
Research has shown that rats, for example, have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans, and when they are prevented from entering the REM stage of sleep, they experience similar cognitive deficits as humans. Similarly, studies on birds have shown that they have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans and also experience REM sleep.
It is difficult to say for sure what animals dream about, as we cannot ask them. However, it is thought that their dreams may be based on their daily experiences, instincts, and survival needs. For example, a hunting animal may dream about chasing and catching prey.
While research on animal dreams is ongoing, it is clear that many animals experience sleep and have brain activity that is similar to that of humans during sleep, suggesting that they too dream.
4. External Stimuli Invade Dreams
It is possible for external stimuli to invade dreams, a phenomenon known as dream incorporation. This occurs when external stimuli, such as sounds, smells, or touch, are incorporated into the dream. This can happen when the stimuli is present during REM sleep, the stage of sleep during which most dreaming occurs. For example, a person may dream about a siren if they hear a siren while they are sleeping.
Additionally, it is possible for external stimuli to trigger a dream or to influence its content. For example, a person who has recently seen a horror movie may dream about a similar topic or a person who is worried about a specific event may dream about it.
It is also worth mentioning that external stimuli can also disrupt sleep, and a person may wake up or experience a lighter stage of sleep due to the disturbance. This can affect the dream recall and the continuity of the dream.
Overall, the incorporation of external stimuli into dreams is a complex process that is influenced by a variety of factors, including the timing and intensity of the stimuli, as well as the individual’s own experiences and emotions.
3. Women and Men Dream About Sex Equally
Research on gender differences in dream content has found mixed results, with some studies suggesting that men and women dream about sex equally, while others have found that men report more sexual content in their dreams than women.
One study found that men reported having sexual dreams more often than women, but when women did report sexual dreams, they were more likely to include multiple partners or same-sex partners. While another study found that men and women reported similar frequencies of sexual dreams, but men’s dreams were more likely to include strangers, while women’s dreams were more likely to include familiar people.
It is important to note that the content of dreams is influenced by a variety of factors, including personal experiences, emotions, and cultural and societal influences. Additionally, many people may not remember their dreams or may not be comfortable reporting sexual content, which could also contribute to the differences found in research.
It is also worth noting that studies on dream content are based on self-reported data, which may be influenced by recall bias, social desirability bias and other factors that may affect the accuracy of the findings.
Overall, it is likely that men and women dream about sex with similar frequency, but the specific content and details of those dreams may differ.
2. In Dreams We Only See Faces We Know
It is commonly believed that the majority of faces seen in dreams are those of people that the dreamer knows in real life. Research has found that familiar faces are indeed more common in dreams than unfamiliar ones, and that people are more likely to dream about people they have seen recently or with whom they have a strong emotional connection.
However, it is also possible for people to dream about people they have never seen before, or to dream about faces that are a composite of different people. Additionally, research has found that the face recognition system in the brain is less active during sleep, which may make it more difficult for the brain to create accurate and detailed facial representations in dreams.
It’s worth noting that the interpretation of dream contents is a complex process, and it’s influenced by personal experiences, emotions and the way the dreamer perceives the world around them. Dreams are a reflection of the dreamer’s subconscious, and they may be symbolic, metaphorical or even surreal. Therefore, the faces seen in a dream may not always represent actual people, but rather an aspect of the dreamer’s personality or a specific emotion.
Just one more to go. You’ve read 9 facts about dreams.
1. Lucid Dreams Facts
A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and has the ability to control and manipulate the dream’s content. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may be able to fly, change their surroundings, or interact with dream characters.
Lucid dreaming can be induced through various techniques such as reality testing, keeping a dream journal, and mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD). Reality testing involves questioning the dreamer’s reality while awake and also during the dream, to train the brain to recognize when it’s in a dream state. Keeping a dream journal can help the dreamer to remember their dreams better, and MILD involves setting an intention to become aware and in control during a dream.
Lucid dreaming has been found to be associated with better problem-solving skills, improved emotional regulation, and increased self-awareness. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of lucid dreaming.
It’s worth noting that lucid dreaming can also be dangerous if not practiced correctly. Some people may have difficulty distinguishing between the dream world and reality, which can lead to confusion and disorientation. Additionally, lucid dreaming can cause sleep disruptions and nightmares, so it’s important to practice it with caution and under the guidance of a professional if needed.
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