6 Whole Years
The average human spends six years of his or her life dreaming.
Up for Interpretation
The ancient Romans submitted their significant or unusual dreams to the Senate for interpretation.
The Beatty Papyrus is the oldest dream dictionary in existence. It was written around 1350 B.C. and discovered near Thebes.
Birth order influences the role of aggression in dreams. Men generally dream about more violent subjects than women, yet first-born females tend to have more aggressive characters in their dreams. On the other hand, first-born males see themselves in a more positive light than their younger male siblings.
It’s Not All Black and White
People who grew up watching black-and-white television as children tend to have more monochrome dreams than children who grew up watching color television.
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Dreaming in the Dark
Visually impaired people dream too. Those who lost their sight later in life can see visual images in their dreams. However, dreams don’t have to be visual. Blind people who don’t dream visually can experience dreams through sound, smell, and touch.
We can only dream of faces of real people we have encountered, but we might not remember because people usually see hundreds of faces in a single day.
Between 18 and 38 percent of people say they have experienced at least one precognitive dream and 70 percent have experienced déjà vu.
According to psychologists, daydreaming may be related to dreams that occur during sleep. However, they involve different mental processes.
Forget About It
Within five minutes of waking, half of the average person’s dream is forgotten, while 90 percent is forgotten in just 10 minutes. However, people are more likely to remember their dreams if they’re awakened during the REM stage.
Dreams of unpreparedness, flying, falling, and public humiliation arise from common human anxieties and seem to transcend cultural and socio-economic boundaries.
Not “Sew” Bad
Inventor of the sewing machine Elias Howe said the cannibals who chased him in his nightmares held spears that looked like the needle he then designed. I guess nightmares aren’t always bad.
Falling dreams, which affect many mammals, typically occur in the early stages of sleep. The muscle spasms experienced during these dreams are called myoclonic jerks.
Even fetuses in the womb dream despite the lack of visual stimuli. Scientists suggest their dreams are composed of sound and touch sensations.
Temporary, Yet Terrifying
Sleep paralysis, a phenomenon experienced by nearly 40 percent of the population, occurs when a sleeper awakens, recognizes his or her surroundings, and is unable to move for as long as one minute.
It’s a Man’s World
Around 70 percent of the characters in men’s dream are other men, whereas a fairly equal amount of men and women appear in women’s dreams.
Where Dreams Are Made
Plato believed dreams originate in the organs of the belly. He described the liver as the biological seat of dreams.
Research involving students suggest waking someone up at the beginning of the REM stage of sleep can cause irritability, hallucinations, and eventually lead to psychosis.
Dreams as a Device
William Shakespeare used dreams to help develop characters and advance the plot in his plays.
The Greeks regarded dreams as messages from the gods in ancient Greece and would sometimes sleep in sacred places to conjure significant dreams.
Children tend to have shorter dreams than adults and as many as 40 percent of them are nightmares. Scientists believe this is because dreams act as a coping mechanism.
Animals Dream Too
Studies have revealed that animals, mammals in particular, dream just like humans.
Your Surroundings Matter
Known as dream incorporation, while you are sleeping you will include or “incorporate” sounds and stimuli in your surrounding into your dream. For example, if your brother is playing a loud guitar riff next door you may begin to dream that you are at a concert.
The word “dream” is most likely related to the West Germanic draugmus, meaning deception, illusion, or phantom.
Toddlers do not appear in their own dreams until the age of 3 or 4.