30 Facts & Myths About Dreaming

By Nick Hadji 1 year ago

1. Blind people dream in sounds

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People who have been blind since birth do not dream like everybody else, obviously because they have never been able to see things. However, what a lot of people don't know is that blind people dream in sounds as well as smells and emotions.Originally sourced from Femanin.

2. It's a myth that you shouldn't wake a sleepwalker

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Plenty of us sleepwalk or experience sleepwalking in our lives. In fact 15% of the population are sleepwalkers and while it's not a nice feeling being woken up, it actually isn't dangerous. You can't cause a heart attack or put the person into a coma by waking them up.

3. You forget 50% of your dreams in 5 minutes

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Have you ever woken up, remembered a bit of a dream but started forgetting it as you've started thinking about it? Well, you're not alone! This is the reason why many people keep dream journals as a way of remembering what they dreamt about each night.

4. People can actually be awake whilst in their dreams

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Lucid dreaming is a thing and it's where people are aware that they're asleep and can sometimes control what they dream about. Imagine Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception...it's a real thing but not many people realise quick enough for them to control their dreams.

5. Dreaming in black & white

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Thinking back to the times when televisions were in black and white, pre 1954, only 15% of us dreamt in colour. A lot of us still dream in black and white now but its more common for us to dream in colour now we spend a lot of our time watching TV and films.

6. Deaf people often use sign language in their sleep

image source: Reddit 
Just like blind people dream in sound, some deaf people have been known to dream in sign language. Many of us can't even comprehend what that must be like, but if someone has been deaf since birth, or almost fully deaf it makes complete sense - how else would they dream?

7. The sleep paralysis demons

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Hands up who's had sleep paralysis?! I think we all have experienced it or will experience it at some point in our lives and it can be terrifying. If feels like we're awake at the same time as dreaming and we can often see creatures right in front of us in our bedrooms. Its terrifying...but its not dangerous! Those who suffer are conscious but unable to move.

8. Toddlers don't dream about themselves...

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Now this one comes as a surprise to me, because most toddlers act and think that the world revolves around themselves. However, what a lot of people don't know is that they don't feature in their own dreams. We don't appear in our own dreams until we're about three or four years old.

9. Fear isn't the most common emotion we experience in our dreams

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That's right, fear isn't the most common emotion we experience in our dreams. When we talk about dreams, we tend to focus on the scary ones when in fact, the most common emotions to feature in our dreams in sadness, anxiety and guilt.

10. Men and Women dream differently

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You know what they say, women are from Venus, men are from Mars, so it's probably isn't too surprising to know that we dream differently too. Men have more violent and aggressive dreams that women, who tend to dream about things that cause them to feel guilty.

11. You can't tell the time when you're dreaming

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Many of us don't ever realise that we're asleep in our dreams, because we cannot see clocks, or tell the time when we're dreaming. Clocks are man made to manage time, dreams are related with emotion, feelings, fear. choice, desire and past experiences.

12. You also can't read a book whilst you're dreaming

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If you've ever had a dream in which you're reading, the text is just a projection of your subconscious. It might make sense in your dream but it doesn't actually reflect reality whatsoever. It's also very unlikely that the text is even written in a language you know or exists.

13. Google was invented in a dream

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A lot of inventors keep a note of things that they dream about incase one comes into fruition one day and this is exactly how Google came about. Whilst Larry Page was dreaming, he got the idea to create the most used search engine in the world, Google.

14. You only dream about faces you've actually seen

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If you think who on earth is that in my dream...you will have seen their faces, whether its someone you know or someone you've walked past in the street. Each and every day we see hundreds of people walk past us in the streets and their faces are easily forgotten - except in our sleep.

15. Longer dreams occur in the morning

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Experts think that morning dreams are easier to remember because their happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of our sleep. Your brain processes emotions and experiences during the REM phase and organises them into our long-term memories.

16. Your muscles are paralysed when you're in REM

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Have you ever noticed your partner twitch, make funny movements or shout out in their sleep in the middle of the night? Well, when you're in the rapid eye movement stage of dreaming your muscles become paralysed to prevent you from acting out in your dreams so this won't happen then.

17. Recurring dreams have themes

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Recurring dreams are a thing, especially in children and the most common ones are confrontations with animals and monsters, physical aggressions, falling and being chased. People who remember their dreams often dream about falling when they're in the REM part of their sleep.

18. Strange dreams are completely normal

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Ever felt like you're a bit of a weirdo because of the dreams you have? Well, it might put your mind at ease to hear that strange dreams are actually completely normal. The weirder the better...joking! But really, those out there dreams that have you waking up thinking WTF are very common and normal.

19. Low stress = Happy dreams

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Most people dreams about emotions like anxiety, guilt and sadness, however, if you're feeling very settled, happy and unstressed you might find that you have very pleasant dreams because of how satisfied you are in your life at that present moment.

20. Morning wood has nothing to do with s*x dreams

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Morning wood has nothing to do with having s*xual dreams or stimulation. Nocturnal penile tumescence is what causes men to have three to five erections every night with some lasting as long at 30 minutes at a time. This explains why they wake up with a pointy end most mornings!

21. Wet dreams...

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Men aren't actually the ones who have wet dreams, women can release secretions from arousal and orgasm whilst they're having a sexual dreams. S*x dreams can often lead to some sleepy time spoonage which then leading to a bit of forking...who can complain about that?!

22. Women tend to dream a lot about celebrities

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We already know that men and women dream differently to each other but studies have shown that women are actually twice as likely to dream/have a s*x dream about public figures compared to men - which may come as a bit of a surprise to you!

23. Nightmares occur at a similar time of the night

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Ever wondered why you always remember your nightmares? Or why you wake up feeling a bit weird after a scary dream. Well, a lot of people don't know that nightmares actually happen at a similar time of the night each night, frequently occurring in the last third of the night.

24. Your feelings come out in dreams

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You're most likely to experience negative dreams about lost loved ones if you're suffering from post traumatic symptoms, guilt or if you're blaming yourself over their death. This often plays out in your dreams, particularly because those feelings are so strong.

25. Eating late definitely doesn't help with things

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We've all heard about how cheese can give you nightmares, which technically is a myth BUT eating late can definitely cause you to have weirder dreams. Eating before bed increases your metabolism which signals your brain to be more active equalling in weird dreams.

26. We dream a lot throughout the night

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Most of us struggle to even remember one of our dreams the morning after but people actually dream a lot throughout the night and people over the age of 10 tend to have at least four to six dreams each night. We just don't remember them annoyingly!

27. Sudden movements aren't in your imagination

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Hypnic jerks can really make you jump out of your skin, the sudden jolts or feeling of falling that occurs right before you go to sleep isn't in your imagination. You do actually jump and wake yourself up and can happen more often when you're under emotional stress, excessive caffeine intake or under physical stress.

28. Why do we dream?

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Ahhhh, the question we've all been asking since the beginning of time...well, you won't be happy to know that even researchers and scientists don't know why we dream or what the purpose of it serves, if any! Maybe we're all just overthinking it all...?

29. Tooth dreams might have a bigger meaning - but not death

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Many people dream about their teeth falling out which could be caused by an undiagnosed dental irritation like bruxism. Folklore says that it's a premonition of death but that has been scrapped and turned to myth in recent times.

30. The deeper the sleep, the more vivid the dreams

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Most people are likely to experience the more bizarre dreams during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage. Adults spend around 25% of their sleep time in REM sleep which is why vivid dreams can occur multiple times throughout the night.

31. There are things you can do to try and influence what you dream about

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Most people believe that dreams have a mind of their own in terms of a person going to sleep and having no clue what their mind is going to make up for the evening! But there's actually plenty of ways you can influence what you dream about, starting with what you do and what you think before you climb into bed.

32. It's a myth that dreams don't mean anything because they're so nonsensical

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Let's be honest, dreams are crazy weird. It's easy to dismiss them as nonsense when you wake up wondering why a three-eyed monster made you a cup of tea and then pushed you off a cliff. But every little thing in your dream will mean something, even if it's as simple as you saw a poster for that monster when you were out earlier that day.

33. Different people from history have believed dreams to mean different things

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There have been so many understandings and theories about what dreams are, and what they mean. Ancient civilisations thought that dreams were a way for ancestors to connect and send messages. Educated people, like Freud, began to think dreams were things you'd repressed. Other people think dreams are there for our brain to sort through information. What do you believe?

34. You're more likely to remember your dreams if you sleep better: it's a myth!

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It's logical to think the deeper and healthier you sleep, the more advanced and in-depth your dreams might be - and therefore you're more likely to remember them - but that's not the case. Being able to remember your dreams doesn't have anything to do with getting a bad or good night's sleep.

35. It's not true that if you stay up late, you'll dream less

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You might think if you've gone to bed at 3am after a drunk night out only to get up at 6am for work, there's no way you'll fit a decent dream in during that amount of time - but that's not true! You're still likely to have a dream - or even a nightmare - and a vivid one at that.

36. People who stay up late are actually more likely to get nightmares

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There have actually been studies that suggest people who go to bed late are more likely to get nightmares compared to people who get an early night. If you know you've got work early in the morning, too, maybe this is your subconscious panicking about how tired you're going to be and manifesting it into a nightmare!

37. It's a myth that only children get night terrors

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Night terrors is something you definitely associate with children - especially if horror movies are anything to go by when you see the 5-year-old in their bed screaming about something. But adults can get night terrors, too - in fact, anyone of any age can get them!

38. But night terrors are more common in children

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While it's definitely possible for adults to get night terrors, that doesn't change the fact they are, to be fair, more common in children. This might be down to the fact of children's over-active imagination or being more easily scared of things, like lights being off and things under the bed!

39. You do dream every night

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People who don't usually remember their dreams are quick to say that they haven't dreamed at all - but everyone dreams, and everyone dreams every single night. It's just that you can't always remember what you've dreamt! Your brains are always active when you sleep.

40. Your brain really does have your back, even when you're asleep

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It's actually amazing that you and your brain are wired to not act out your dreams - so your brain does really have your back when you're not awake, to make sure it's still keeping you safe and you're not acting out anything that could put you or other people in danger.

41. Part of your brain shuts down when you sleep

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Although your brain is working extra hard to make sure you don't act out your dreams, a part of it actually does shut down during sleep. The front of your brain, which controls how you process the world when you're awake, is the part that shuts down - which explains why dreams can be really random and weird.

42. You'll probably dream about things that have happened the past one or two days

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Dreams usually crop up from very recent experiences, and this will usually be things that have happened in the past day or two before you dream about them. You might be surprised at this seeing as you can have a random dream about someone you used to know, but most things in your dream will link this to something that's happened recently.

43. So you might wonder why you're dreaming about someone you knew ten years ago

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A lot of dreams can have you dreaming about someone you knew a long, long time ago, like an ex, or maybe an old job you used to work - so you might wonder how this relates to recent experiences. But it might be that you've seen or done something in the past few days that reminded you of that/them - even if you didn't realize it.

44. We think in ideas, we dream in pictures

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Dreams are mainly visual experiences, and you usually do dream mainly in pictures. When you're awake, your brain is processing things in ideas or concepts - but when we dream, it's all visual in pictures. Very few dreams have too much sound or movement rather than pictures.

45. Color is actually only in about 33% of dreams

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You're trying to think of your last dream now, aren't you? And how much color it had in it! You're probably thinking to yourself that you've definitely dreamed in color, but it's hard to recall. That isn't to say you dream in full black and white, but color is actually in only about one third of all dreams you have.

46. Lucid dreaming versus astral projection

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Not everyone can do both of these things, but they're very often linked. Although they're similar, there are some key differences: lucid dreaming, as mentioned, is when you go to sleep and then have some control over what you're dreaming. Astral projection is an out-of-body experience that can happen when you're conscious and awake.

47. If you learn to control your dreams, you can have less nightmares

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Lucid dreaming and controlling your dreams isn't just about the topic you want to dream about, or your actions in your dream. You can actually have some control over the tone of your dream, so that you can make it less scary for you and tone-down any nightmares you might be having!

48. And some people learn lucid dreaming for that reason

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If you're someone who has really awful nightmares all of the time, it makes sense why you would want to learn lucid dreaming in order to better control them. This can be done if you keep track of what scary dreams you're having, and why they scare you, so you can plan a different action or outcome in the dream.

49. Some people consider dreaming as a form of therapy

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When you're feeling really stressed about something and you're dwelling on it, or perhaps even pushing it to the back of your mind so you don't have to think about it, dreaming can sometimes help you sort through troubling thoughts. Some people might wake up knowing exactly the solution to their problem.

50. There is no evidence to suggest dreams do have messages in them

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While a lot of people believe that dreaming can carry important messages - whether from ancestors, deceased loved ones or even through spirit guides - there is no evidence to definitely prove this. But with most things spiritual, it's all about what you believe rather than what can be proven!