7 Facts About Dreams, Based on Science

05/14/19  |  Omiete Charles-Davies  |  1389 views


Everyone, at some point, must have dreamt about one thing or the other. Dreams are actually a universal human experience. They are stories and images created in our minds while we are asleep. These images/stories can be interesting, fun, romantic, scary or even bizarre.

Dreams can be described as a state of consciousness indicated by cognitive, sensory and emotional occurrences during sleep. Most times, the dreamer has little or no control over the content or images of his/her dream.

Why Do We Dream?

A lot of research has gone into attempting to answer the question, why do we dream? Although scientists haven't exactly come up with a particular answer to this question, some researchers think dreams come from psychological reasoning and suggests that we dream because our brains need it to incorporate memories, solves problems and deals with emotions.

This means that dreaming is important for our emotional health.

It's a means by which the mind goes through difficult and complicated thoughts and experiences to help us achieve psychological and emotional balance.

Also, dreams act as some sort of protective action by the brain to prepare us for dangers and challenges.

7 Facts About Dreams Based On Science

1. Everybody dreams

Although we may not all remember our dreams, the truth is that everyone, including babies, dreams. In fact, research has shown that people usually have several dreams in a night, with each one lasting between 5-20 minutes.

2. Men and women dream differently

Studies have shown that men and women dream differently. While men were observed to dream more about weapons and some sort of aggressive physical activities, women dream more about emotional things and conversations.

Also, women's dreams tend to last slightly longer, featuring an equal amount of both male and female characters, unlike men's dreams that are basically characterized by men.

3. Your mind is more active when you are dreaming than when you are awake

Studies have proven that the brain is usually more active when you are asleep than when you are awake. This is equally true about dreams. This is because your brain is busy learning from all the activities you were engaged in over the preceding hours, as well as, processing problems that are left and also making sense of everything you've been involved in all day long.

4. You are paralyzed during your dreams

Sleep paralysis is when you have a temporary inability to either move your body nor speak. This occurs mostly during REM sleep, a stage of sleep where dreaming occurs.

This sleep paralysis restricts us from acting out our dreams, but can sometimes carry over into waking up for a few minutes. You can beat sleep paralysis by sleeping comfortably on a nice bed, using a nice pillow, avoiding lying on your back while sleeping, and decreasing your stress. For example, you can try using a weighted blanket while lying on your side or abdomen.

5. Negative emotions are experienced more in dreams

Researchers have found out that about 50% of dreams include negative emotions.

About 50,000 dream accounts were collected from college students by researcher Calvin S. Hall, and the results revealed that many emotions are experienced during dreams. However, the most common emotions are anxiety and negative emotions.

6. About 90% of our dreams are often forgotten

Although some people forget all about their dreams within 5 minutes of waking up, an average person, however, forgets about 90% of the details of our dreams within about 10 minutes of waking up.

7. Visually-impaired people also dream

As stated before that everyone and anyone can dream, visually-impaired people, are not excluded.

Those who become visually-impaired after birth can still see in their dreams (even though their eye movement during REM sleep is fewer than normal) but for those who were born without the ability to see, they can not see in their dreams but can experience dreams through different ways like via smell, sound, and other senses.

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