Amazing Facts About Dreams


The word "dream" is related to the West Germanic draugmus which means 'deception, illusion, or phantom'. The word may also be related to the Old Norse draugr which means 'ghost or apparition) or the Sanskrit word druh which means to 'seek to harm or injure'.

We forget most of dreams. Within 5 minutes of waking up more than 50% of dreams are forgotten. After about 10 minutes, about 90% is forgotten. Keeping a dream journal and regulating sleep can help with dream recall. [Dream Journals] [Dream Recall]

The Egyptians had a male god of dreams. Serapis’ likeness was often carved on the headboards and headrests of Egyptian beds. Serapis had a number of temples devoted to his worship. These temples housed professional interpreters or “learned ones of the library of magic.”

People who are blind do dream. Those who became blind after birth can see images in their dreams. Those who were born blind do not see images, but experience other senses such as vivid sound, taste, smell, touch and emotion. while those who lose their vision after age seven continue to “see” in their dreams, though images tend to fade as they grow older.

Everyone dreams. Those who claim they don't dream simply do not recall their dreams. Although, those with severe psychological disorders may not dream. An inability to dream can actually lead to psychosis. [Improve Dream Recall]

The average human will spend one quarter of their lifetime asleep. This is on average the equivalent of 6 hours or more that is spent dreaming. Most of these dreams are forgotten after waking up.

The average person has around 1,500 dreams a years. This averages to about 4 dreams per night whether they are remembered or not.

In the Chinese province of Fu-Kein, people often called upon their ancestors for dream guidance by sleeping upon their graves.so revelations would appear in their dreams.

Famous French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) asserts in his essay “Dream, Imagination, and Existence” that dreams are the origin of the human soul.

In Hawaiian mythology, dreams are called moe’uhane or “soul sleep” because it was believed the soul left and entered the physical body through the tear duct, or the lua’uhane or “soul pit” during the night. Nightmares occurred when spirits entered the body while the soul was gone.

The archangel Gabriel is considered the archangel of childbirth, emotions, and dreams.

Fetuses in the womb do dream. Their dreams are mostly composed of sound and touch sensations but are lacking visual stimuli.

About 80% of newborn and prenatal sleep is REM sleep. So they spend a majority of their sleep dreaming. [Dream Journals]

The longest dreams tend to occur in the morning closer to waking up, and usually last around 30-45 minutes.

Hypnagogic hallucinations are dreamlike images and sounds that may occur just as a person is falling asleep or waking up.

The Ashanti tribe of West African take dreams so seriously that a husband would be allowed to take legal action against another man if that man had an erotic dream about his wife.

The word 'nightmare' is derived from the Ango-Saxon word mare, meaning demon. This word is also related to the Sanskrit word mara, meaning 'destroyer, and also mar which means 'to crush'.

Meditation practices and exercises has many benefits and can also assist one is learning how to control their dreams by controlling the vital energies of the body and states of consciousness.

The Raramuri people of Northern Mexico make their sleeping arrangements so that they can wake during the night to discuss their dreams with one another.

During REM sleep, the flow of blood to the brain increases and so does the temperature of the body. [REM Sleep]

Colors in dreams can usually be interpreted based on the context of the dreamers feelings or associations with that particular color.

William Shakespeare, like many of his Greek playwright predecessors, used dreams in his dramas to help advance plot and develop characters.

Sufferers of epilepsy can have extremely vivid and disturbing nightmares that immediately precede seizures during the night.

Because nightmares were thought to be from menacing spirits, such as witches, folklore suggests placing a knife under the foot of the bed to ward off the evil spirits.

“Old Hag Syndrome,” or sleep paralysis, occurs in as many as 40% of all people. It happens when a sleeper wakes, recognizes his or her surroundings but is unable to move for as long as a minute.

The actual scientific study of dreams is known as Oneirology.

Men’s dreams are more often set outdoors, are more action oriented, and involve strangers more often than women’s dreams do. Women’s dreams usually happen indoors and involve emotional encounters with people they know and care about.

In ancient Greece (and many other early cultures such as Egypt), dreams were regarded as messages from the gods. Incubation, or the practice of seeking dream revelations by sleeping in a sacred place was also common. [Types of Dreams]

In ancient Mesopotamia, dreams were often seen as omens of the future and a way in which a dreamer could access other realities and even the afterlife.

One of the most infamous precognitive dreams in history was President Lincoln's in 1865. The president envisioned his own demise just a few days before he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. [Precognitive Dreams]

Studies show that a decrease in daily calorie intake may result in fewer nocturnal emissions in men and an overall decrease in sexually themed dreams.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) suffered from chronic childhood nightmares about paralysis that continued into his adult life.

Dreams about falling is common, and typically occur at the beginning of the sleep cycle (stage 1). These dream are often accompanied by muscle spasm (myoclonic jerks) and even occur in the dreams of other mammals.

Childhood dreams are shorter than adult dreams and nearly 40% of them are nightmares, which may act as a coping mechanism.

Night terrors, or parasomnia, are not the same as nightmares. They are episodes of extreme panic that occur in early sleep and affect from 1%-4% of children between the ages of four and 12. Night terrors are rare in adults and most often occur in those who abuse drugs or alcoholic or have a sleep disorders such as apnea

According to the philosopher Plato, dreams originate in the organs of the belly (solar chakra). The liver is described i particular as the biological seat of dreams.

may famous inventions, discoveries, and even scientific theories throughout history are noted by their inventors to have come to them from a dream they had.

The quality of dreams depends, at least in part, on the stage of sleep in which the dreams occur. Dreams during REM tend to be more bizarre and detailed and have story line. Dreams in stages 1 and 2 of sleep are simpler and shorter. Deep-sleep dreams tend to be diffused and may be about nothing more than a color or emotion. [Sleep Cycles]

Flying dreams are fairly common and have been found around the world to have existed since ancient times, even before the invention or airplanes. [Flying Dreams]

The brain waves that occur during REM and non-REM sleep are found in mammals, birds, and reptiles, but not in amphibians and fish. [Brain Waves]

When deprived of dreams, individuals become irritable and disoriented, hallucinate, and show signs of psychosis. They will also dream excessively the first chance they get in a phenomenon known as “REM rebound.

Egyptian pharaohs were considered children of the gods and their dreams were often seen as being divine and often interpreted to make important decisions.

Often the strange faces of people we see in our dreams are actually the faces of people we have seen throughout our lives that are stored in the memory but whom we may not know or remember.

Not everybody dreams in color. A small percentage of people may dream exclusively in black or white. This percentage has decreased since the 1960's. This phenomenon may be linked with the transition from black and white to color television.

Chronic smokers who suddenly quit report more vivid dreams than they had when they smoked

St. Jerome’s mistranslation of certain key biblical passages led Medieval Christians to fear their dreams and to view them as the devil’s invitation to sin

Certain vitamins and natural herbs have been shown to not only induce dreams, but to also produce more vivid dreams. Vitamin B complex (B6), St. Johns Wort, Valerian Root and Melatonin are a few of these.

Morpheus is the principle Greek god of dreams and sleep. His name is from the Greek word morphe, meaning “he who forms, shapes, and molds.” Hypnos, the god of sleep, is his father.

South Asian Hindus developed the idea that this world is actually a dream and the “real” reality is somewhere else.

Dreams are symbolic and often not literal. Most dream imagery is compiled of details that are actually symbols based on associations one has. This is why dream interpretation can vary from person to person even if they are dreaming of the same subject. [Dream Symbolism] [Dream Interpretation]

Experiencing emotions in dreams is common. Negative emotions are more common that positive ones and the most common emotion experienced is anxiety.

You can have several dreams tonight, even as many as 7. On average, an individual will dream anywhere from one to three hours every night in intervals [Types of Dreams]

Until sometime during the sixteenth century, Chinese society expected prominent political figures to seek dream guidance periodically to maintain balance and objectivity.

According to psychologists, daydreaming and dreams during sleep may be related, but different cognitive processes seem to be involved.

Animals dream too. Animals show the same brain waves activity during dreaming (REM) sleep as humans. Watch your cat or dog while they sleep and you can often see them acting out in slight movements indicating a dream is in progress.

The Iroquois have an annual dream-sharing festival in which they act out their dreams, either literally or in pantomime.

During REM(dream) sleep, the body is paralyzed by a mechanism in the brain in order to prevent one from physically acting out the movements which occur in the dream. This mechanism can also be triggered right before or after normal sleep as well.

If a dreamer is awakened directly from REM sleep, he or she is more likely to remember the dream than if awoken during another stage of sleep or after a complete night’s sleep. [REM Sleep]

Often stimuli that is happening around us in the physical environment where we sleep, such as noise, can be incorporated within our dreams.

Common dreams that are experienced by most individuals at some point include falling, flying, nakedness in public, unpreparedness and teeth crumbling. Such shared dreams arise from experiences and anxieties that are fundamental to all people. [Dream Dictionary]

Those who watched black-and-white television as youngsters (or still do) tend to have more monochrome dreams than children who watched color television.

Alcohol slows activity in the cortex, which causes a person to sink into a deep, slow-wave sleep rather than experiencing REM sleep. Even the occasional use of alcohol can have a significant impact on sleep and dreaming.

Pregnant woman tend to remember dreams more often than others. This is largely due to the extreme hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy. [Improving Dream Recall]

Men and woman dream differently. Around 70% of the characters in a man's dream are other men, while a woman's dream contains almost an equal number of woman and men. Males generally have more aggressive emotions in dreams than females.

An average of 25% of people have precognition in their dreams and around 70% have experienced deja vu. Precognitive dreams that often consist of details that may foretell the future or a scenario that ends up happening in the future. [Precognitive Dreams]

In contrast to modern dream interpretation, which is psychologically oriented, ancient dream interpretation was mostly concerned with discovering clues to the future. [Dream Interpretation]

Painful and pleasurable physical sensations are experienced within the dream, such as touch, taste, smell etc., and can be as strong as sensations experienced in the waking world.

Researchers at New York University suggest that wakefulness and REM sleep are essentially similar brain states, differing only in the extent to which they are shaped by sensory stimuli from the outside world. [Sleep Cycles/Brain Waves]

Lucid dreaming occurs when there is a state of partial or complete awareness during the dream state. Researchers have begun to explore the possibility of using lucid dreaming for the treatment of nightmares and other therapeutic purposes. An oneironaut is someone who lucidly dreams. [Lucid Dreaming]

There is slight evidence that when one is snoring they cannot be dreaming at the same time.

Abraham, the ancestor of the Hebrew nation, was one of the most prolific dreamers in the Hebrew Bible. The first dream in the Bible is in Genesis 15:12-16 and is a dream by Abraham.

Dreams occupy a prevalent role in movies, including Fritz Lang’s Woman in the Window (1944); Hitchcock’s Spellbound, Psycho, and Marnie, and Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz

Drugs that are used for regulating the endocrine system, for controlling blood pressure, and for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease can wreak havoc on form, content, and frequency of dreams.

Nicotine patches (and other stop-smoking aids) and some over-the-counter sleep aids are reported to increase the vividness of dreams and nightmares.


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