Fascinating Dream Facts
Dreams can be sad, funny, and sometimes truly bizarre. Dreams are basically narratives and images that our minds create. They can be vivid, and bring about feelings of fear, anxiety, or even tranquility. Sometimes they'll make sense and other times leave you completely confused. While dreams can occur anytime during slumber, the most realistic dreams typically occur during REM sleep. And while no one is quite sure why we have them, studies have shown that dreams are an imperative to our health and well-being - and they make for great conversation and blog fodder too! Below, you'll find some pretty cool facts about dreams. Enjoy!
1. Sleepwalking is a rare, and sometimes dangerous, sleep disorder affecting approximately 3.6% of the population.
2. People who sleepwalk have been known to not only act out while asleep, but to go on adventures too.
3. A man once drove 22 miles while sleepwalking, and killed his cousin.
4. A person cannot read or tell time while dreaming.
5. Several inventions were dreamed about beforehand, such as Google, the periodic table, and the sewing machine.
6. Sleep paralysis is otherwise known as “Old Hag Syndrome” due to an archaic belief that it is caused by a witch, or an old hag, who was coming to get you while you slept. Studies have shown that during an attack, there is an extreme amount of amygdala activity, otherwise known as the “fight or flight” instinct.
7. Sexual dreams are known scientifically as “nocturnal penile tumescence” and have long been a documented phenomena.
8. Studies show that men can be turned on up to 20 per dream.
9. Despite common belief, our brains are more active while asleep than awake.
10. Pets dream too and show the same brain waves during sleep as humans.
11. It’s impossible to dream of a face you have not actually encountered in real life.
12. Dreams tend to be more negative in emotion, with anxiety being the most common emotion.
13. It’s approximated that 12% of people only dream in black and white.
14. Surprisingly, 70% of all people in a man’s dream are other men, whereas women’s dreams have an equal amount of both men and women.
15. Men’s dreams have more aggression.
16. You can have between 4 and 7 different dreams a night depending on how many times you reach REM cycles; the average person has about 1,460 dreams a year.
17. The average person dreams one to two hours per night.
18. Men and women dream about sex equally.
19. People born with blindness dream with their other senses which are heightened.
20. People who become blind after birth, are known to dream of images, which may lessen as they age.
21. Some people claim to not dream at all, but this is simply not true; every person dreams but up to 60% of people don’t remember them.
22. Dreams are responsible for “renewing” creativity.
23. Dream-catchers are a well-known Native American symbol and are believed to protect against nightmares.
24. “Dimethyltryptamine” is an illegal drug that induces dreams and is taken by people who wish to dream more.
25. It’s supposedly impossible to snore while dreaming.
26. There are some truly incredible cases where people have dreamed about things that eventually happened, known as “premonition dreams”, in the exact same way they were dreamed of. Some examples of this are: Abraham Lincoln dreaming of his assassination just days before his demise; 19 verifiable dreams about the Titanic catastrophe; and several victims of the 9/11 tragedy who dreamed of it beforehand.
27. There is an entire subculture of people who practice lucid, or conscious, dreaming. Lucid dreaming is defined as “a dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming”. It is believed that lucid dreamers can manipulate their dreams.
28. Within 5 minutes of waking, 50% of your dream is forgotten; within 10 minutes, 90% is gone.
29. The average person spends 6 entire years of their life dreaming, and approximately a quarter of a century sleeping.
30. Toddlers cannot dream of themselves until around the age of 4 due to lack of brain development.
31. Dreams are symbolic; during our lives, our dreams relate things to provide a message, with elements that our brains can process quickly. For example: a dream about dirty water may be a sign that you are not healthy.
32. Egyptian pharaohs were considered children of Ra, an Egyptian Sun God, and as a result, their dreams were considered divine.
33. In the Chinese province of Fu-Kein, people would sleep on their ancestor’s graves in hopes of dream revelations.
34. According to Plato, a well-known Greek philosopher, dreams originate in the organs of the stomach. Plato
described the liver as the “biological seat of dreams”.
35. Most of us dream every 90 minutes or so, and the longest dreams (ranging from 30-45 minutes) occur in the morning.
36. “Oneirology” is defined as the scientific study of dreams. Oneiros is Latin for “dream” and ology means writing. Lucid dreamers are known as oneirauts.
37. One African group, known as the Ashanti, take dreams very seriously, so much in fact, that a man can take legal action against another man for having an erotic dream about his wife.
38. The planet Neptune, which was discovered in 1856, is considered the planet of dreams – like water, dreams cloud and distort images and meaning. Also, water represents the endless depths of our unconsciousness and our emotional levels in dream imagery.
39. Yoga can help you learn how to control your dreams by helping you to tune in to your body’s vital energies.
40. The word “nightmare” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word mare, or demon; demon is related to the Sanskrit mara, meaning destroyer, and mar which means crush. So, essentially, “nightmare” means to be crushed by demonic forces.
41. Dreams of falling more often occur during Stage 1 sleep.
42. People have dreamed of flying since ancient times, long before airplanes were invented.
43. Sigmund Freud’s most popular work to date was The Interpretation of Dreams (1900); it only sold 415 copies in the first two years after it was published.
44. In China, up until the mid-16th century, political figures were expected to seek dream guidance to maintain balance and to remain objective in their decision making.
45. Nicotine patches are said to intensify your dreams.
46. Pregnant women are more likely to remember their dreams, due to intense hormonal changes.
47. Those who suffer from epilepsy have been known to have extremely vivid dreams and disconcerting nightmares preceding an episode.
48. Gabriel, the archangel, is considered the archangel of emotions, childbirth, and dreams.