10 Fascinating Facts About Dreams
Dreams are defined as successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. No one knows for sure why people have them – there are many theories in the spiritual and scientific world, but the following facts about dreams are quite fascinating.
1. Everyone dreams
This is a fact. No matter the age or circumstance, all human beings dream. Animals do too; if you watch your pet when it sleeps, you will notice them twitching in response to their dreams.
2. It does not rely on eyesight
Even the blind can dream. People who went blind later in their life will still dream in images while people who were born blind will dream with their other senses.
3. You can have up to 7 dreams per night
You can only dream during REM cycles of sleep. While you can have up to 7 dreams, the average person has 3-5 dreams a night. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. REM sleep is one of the 5 stages of sleep and it is the time in your sleep when your brain is the most active. During REM, your eyes move quickly in different directions.
4. You forget most of your dreams
Do not worry if you do not remember having so many dreams every night. The majority of human beings will forget more than 90% of their dreams. This forgetfulness is generally attributed to neurochemical conditions in the brain that happen during REM sleep.
5. You cannot read in dreams when you are asleep
If you are ever unsure of whether you are asleep or awake, try to read something – like a newspaper, book, or a sign. If you are not able to read anything, then you are still sleeping. Most people cannot read in their dreams. If you find yourself reading during a dream, you are having a lucid dream.
6. There are common themes
There are a few dreams that nearly everyone experiences in their lifetimes. Some of the most common dreams involve being chased, being naked in public, falling, or finding out that your partner is cheating on you. According to a study, these themes exceeded 60% prevalence in both men and women.
7. They can be symbolic
Sometimes, your mind may be trying to tell us something with our dreams. Chase dreams often occur when a person is feeling anxious or fearful. If you dream that you are naked in public, you might feel like you are unprepared for something important or that you are scared of being mocked. Falling dreams can also indicate anxiety and insecurity. And worrying about a cheating partner is a common fear. Plus, if you are having a recurring dream then you may have some unresolved issues or emotions.
8. Media can have a big effect
The media you consume can have an effect on your dreams. Violence in the media can lead to fearful dreams, such as the chase dream. One interesting study found that participants aged about 55-75 years were more likely to dream in black and white than the younger participants were – this may have been affected by the invention of color TV.
9. You only dream about faces that you’ve seen
Your minds cannot invent a new face in a dream. Every single character in your dreams is a face you have seen before, either in person or through media.
10. It is possible to control your dreams
Some have learned to control their dreams through lucid dreaming. This involves being aware that you are dreaming and being able to take control. There are people who simply have a natural knack for it, but it is possible to learn techniques. This is particularly useful for anyone who has recurring nightmares.