For years, dreams baffled the human minds. From being believed that they are predictions for the future, to knowing that they are important physiological and psychological functions that reflect the content both of our conscious and subconscious mind, dreams have been understood and interpreted differently.
Different cultures and civilizations have gathered myths and facts about dreams. Today, we’re going to concentrate on some of the amazing facts (and more), and we’ve listed some of them here:
1. It’s Raining Men
Contrary to what you probably expect, men actually dream with 70 % of the characters in it as other men, this goes to both straight and gay. Women on the other hand have equal % of gender in their dreams.
2. Sleeping Beauty
On the average, 6 years of your total life time is spent on dreaming. Day dreaming isn’t accounted for in that number, only regular sleep and occasional naps.
3. Rome vs Greece
The in ancient Rome, people submit some of their dreams in their Senate so that the council can interpret it. Nowadays, people consult dream interpreters and you’ve guessed it, the Internet. Ancient Greeks regarded dreams as important messages from gods, and they would at times sleep on divine locations and sacred places like altars or shrines to summon dreams.
4. Book of Dreams
The oldest book about dreams is called the Beatty Papyrus. It is actually a dream dictionary which dates back to 1350 B.C. Today there are about more almost 600 thousand books about dreams in Amazon alone, that’s a lot of books to put you into sleep.
5. First Born Dreams
According to researches, birth order plays an influence in your dreams. First born individuals tend to be more aggressive in their dreams. Analysts say this is probably due to imposed roles to first-borns by families to be more dominant. This means that first-borns would usually have action-packed dreams where they play as the hero while non first-borns would have something a little less eccentric and a little bit subtle.
6. Color of Dreams
Before the invention of color television, people dreams are in black and white. So people who lived during the age of black and white TVs, that’ll be your grandmothers and grandfathers always dreamed in black and white. Think of how modern day 3D TVs will affect dreams of our kids.
7. Dreaming in the Dark
Not all dreams involve images; some dreams are experience through other senses: smell, touch and sound. Such is the case of visually impaired individuals. People who lost their sight after being able to recognize images can dream with images, that is visual dreams. Those who are born without the ability of sight on the other hand have their dreams via other senses.
8. Face Recall
You can only see faces of people in your dreams that you’ve already seen in real life. There is no chance for your brain to reconstruct a never before seen face in your dreams. You might just not remember all of these faces because they could be stored in your subconscious mind, plus we see hundreds of faces everyday – TV, paper, streets, internet etc.
Psychologists think that there is a clear link between dreaming in your sleep and daydreaming. Dreaming in your sleep may involve a link to both your natural and real and unnatural and unreal experiences, daydreaming on the other hand may only focus on your natural experiences, those with reference to actual situations. Of course there are some people that can differentiate the two.
10. Dream Memory
People forget half of their dreams within 5 minutes from waking up. Only 10% will still be in your conscious memory after 10 minutes. However there are simple tricks and techniques to help you recall your dream such as waking up during your REM state, or having a notebook beside your bed that allows your take notes of your dream seconds after waking up.
There is also one research suggesting that sleeping on comfortable location on tempurpedic beds can help you remember your dream.
11. Dream of Free Falling
The dream involving you on a free fall is actually pretty common. And according to researchers, it affects many mammals. The free falling feeling is actually muscle spasm called myoclonic jerk, but if this free falling feeling happens when you’re wide awake, then it could mean trouble as in a serious sleep related neurological syndromes or other disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
12. Baby Dreams
Babies and even fetuses have dreams. Scientists say that although they lack visual images in their dreams much like how a person with visual impairment dreams, theirs comprised of delicate sound and touch sensations.
13. Sleep Paralysis
The phenomenon of sleep paralysis may be scary, but it is not uncommon. It is associated with sudden paralysis of a part of your body, usually arms and/or legs. Nearly 40% of the world’s population experiences the phenomenon. It usually happens when a person wakes up in the middle of deep sleep or REM sleep. While advanced manifestation of sleep paralysis may be linked to narcolepsy and sleep apnea, it is no way linked to demonic visitations, as once thought during the ancient times.
This article for AmeriSleep is produced by Kim Tyrone Agapito. He blogs about Search and Social at kimoftheworld.com. Find him on Twitter.