That we spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping is probably one of the most commonly known facts about dreams. Moreover, dreaming that occurs during REM sleep is considered healthy because it provides psychological rest.
Studies have shown that lack of proper REM sleep (which typically accounts for 20-25% of total sleep) can lead to irritability, decreased concentration, hallucinations and even signs of psychosis merely after three days. The scientific study of dreams is known as Oneirology.
Fascinating Facts About Dreams
- A number of people believe that they do not dream. This is not true, though. Studies have revealed that although people do not remember their dreams most of the time, they do dream several times each night while sleeping. In fact, on average, a person has about 1,460 dreams in a year.
- Brain waves are more active when we dream as compared to the time when we are awake.
- We forget up to 50% of a dream within first five minutes of waking; almost 90% is lost within ten minutes.
- Fear and anxiety are the most common emotions that we experience in our dreams.
- It is interesting to note the sleep patterns of various animals. For instance, cats usually sleep for 12 hours, but they can doze off for as long as 20 hours in a day. On the other hand, giraffes only sleep for about two hours in a day.
- Surveys conducted over large population sets indicate that about 18% to 38% of people have had at least one precognitive dream. In addition, 63% to 98% people believe that precognitive dreaming is possible.
- Have you ever noticed repetitive patterns and events in your dreams? You’ll be astonished to know that about 70% of females and 65% of males report recurring dreams.
- Albert Einstein once had a dream in which he was going down a mountainside at night, sledding really fast. After a moment, he realized that the sled was approaching the speed of light, and he could see the appearance of stars change refracting into a brilliant spectrum of colors. His Theory of Relativity was inspired by this dream.
- Here’s another amazing fact about dreams. Although we may not realize it, unlike dream scenarios, the faces that we see in our dreams are not imaginary. They are real people taken from an array of individuals we come across in our daily lives.Our eyes catch glimpses of people we come across in moving vehicles, train compartments, shops and so on. The subconscious mind simply plants these very faces in our dreams in the form of different characters.
- Children, especially those aged 3-6 years are more prone to nightmares.
- Interestingly, children do not begin to dream about themselves until the age of 3 or 4.
- Due to hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy, moms-to-be tend to remember more dreams as compared to others.
- St. John’s Wort and vitamin B6 encourage more vivid dreams. Moreover, it has been observed that nicotine patches can increase the intensity of dreams. Alcohol, on the other hand, causes slow-wave sleep and affects REM sleep adversely.
Facts about dreams also indicate that they are not superficial; instead most dreams have symbolic meanings. If you are interested in dream interpretation, read our article on how to interpret dreams.