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13 Interesting Facts about Dreams

Dreaming is one of the most mysterious experiences in our lives. During the Roman Era, some dreams were submitted to the Roman Senate for analysis and dream interpretation. They were thought to be messages from the gods. Dream interpreters even accompanied military leaders into battles and campaigns! In addition we know, that many artists have received their creative ideas from their dreams. But what do we know about dreams? Here are 13 interesting facts for you.

1. You Forget 90% of Your Dreams

Within 5 minutes of waking, half of your dream is forgotten. Within 10, 90% is gone.

2. Blind People also Dream

People who became blind after birth can see images in their dreams. People who are born blind do not see any images, but have dreams equally vivid involving their other senses of sound, smell, touch and emotion.

3. Everybody Dreams

Every human being dreams (except in cases of extreme psychological disorder). If you think, you are not dreaming, you just forget your dreams.

4. In Our Dreams We Only See Faces, That We already Know

Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces throughout our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilize during our dreams.

5. Not Everybody Dreams in Color

A full 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. The remaining number dream in full color. Studies from 1915 through to the 1950s maintained that the majority of dreams were in black and white, but these results began to change in the 1960s. Today, only 4.4% of the dreams of under-25 year-olds are in black and white. Recent research has suggested that those changing results may be linked to the switch from black-and-white film and TV to color media.

6. Dreams are Symbolic

If you dream about some particular subject it is not often that the dream is about that. Dreams speak in a deeply symbolic language.  Whatever symbol your dream picks on it is most unlikely to be a symbol for itself.

7. Emotions

The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety. Negative emotions are more common than positive ones.

8. Recurring Dreams

While the content of most dreams is dreamt only once, many people experience recurring dreams—that is, the same dream narrative is experienced over different occasions of sleep. Up to 70% of females and 65% of males report recurrent dreams.

9. Animals Dream Too

Studies have been done on many different animals, and they all show the same brain waves during dreaming sleep as humans. Watch a dog sleeping sometime. The paws move like they are running and they make yipping sounds as if they are chasing something in a dream.

10. Body Paralysis

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a normal stage of sleep characterized by rapid movements of the eyes. REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep, about 90-120 minutes of a night’s sleep.

During REM sleep the body is paralyzed by a mechanism in the brain in order to prevent the movements which occur in the dream from causing the physical body to move. However, it is possible for this mechanism to be triggered before, during, or after normal sleep while the brain awakens.

11. Dream Incorporation

Our mind interprets the external stimuli that our senses are bombarded with when we are asleep and make them a part of our dreams. This means that sometimes, in our dreams, we hear a sound from reality and incorporate it in a way. For example you are dreaming that you are in a concert, while your brother is playing a guitar during your sleep.

12. Men and Women Dream Differently

Men tend to dream more about other men. Around 70% of the characters in a man’s dream are other men. On the other hand, a woman’s dream contains almost an equal number of men and women. Aside from that, men generally have more aggressive emotions in their dreams than the female lot.

13. Precognitive Dreams

Results of several surveys across large population sets indicate that between 18% and 38% of people have experienced at least one precognitive dream and 70% have experienced déjà vu. The percentage of persons that believe precognitive dreaming is possible is even higher, ranging from 63% to 98%.

And for the end:

Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.  (Marsha Norman)

So good night and sweet dreams! I’m going to my bed to check those facts..

(image credits:  alicepopkorn)


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  • Ann Wright said:

    how could anybody prove fact #4? have they videotaped a dream? I’m pretty sure our mind is capable of creating a face model that was never been seen before.

  • Tommy said:

    at least I dream in color! whew.! :) and what about lucid dreaming? Personally I just love controling my dreams, and it is easy to learn it as there are many easy trics how to dream lucidly.. just google it

  • Alice Simons said:

    you could add one more: when you snore you do not dream!

  • JustaPasserby said:

    I can add one from my own experience: the feelings felt while lucid dreaming (touch, pleasure and etc..) can be as pleasurable and strong (or I believe even stronger) as the feelings experienced in the real world.

  • Mike Toler said:

    Results of science indicate that 0% of people have experienced at least one precognitive dream.

  • Marcia Dream said:

    How would you define precognitive dreaming?

    It’s not unusual for someone to unconsciously pick up clues that something is going to happen, without being consciously aware of these clues. This may then show up as a message in a dream, and when the thing happens in waking life, make the dreamer feel as though he has “predicted” the future.

    Regarding dreaming and snoring – we do breathe more shallowly during REM sleep (which is why people experiencing sleep paralysis sometimes believe they are being suffocated.) However you can dream during any stage of sleep, not just REM sleep.

  • LucidDreamer said:

    I have an entire world made up of very-similiar-to-reality places that I go and have lucid dreams. I have existing relationships with people in my dreams and I visit with them often. I have alot of control of my dreams, but never full control, which always keeps it interesting. I enjoy lucid dreaming so much I would consider a medically induced coma if I could still dream :)

  • Tony said:

    While it is certainly true that you forget your dreams within minutes of waking up, I’ve remembered what I dreamed about by seeing or hearing something that was in that dream during that day or days later. The memory is there; it just needs something to stimulate it. Pretty cool stuff indeed.

  • astrotravil said:

    what about astrotravil?
    its when wile your dreaming your spirit leavs your body and can go virtually anywhee in the world, it hppens alot in my family, once time my mum had a dream that her and her father (who has died) were walking through the hills of scottland, when she woke up her legs and back were aching like she had just been on a long hard hike. another time i woke up with bruses along my back and down my legs but i didnt know how they got there, but i had a feight feeling i rememberd something about falling and hitting rocks.