Dreams have been studied throughout history, and dream interpretation has tried to make sense of these nighttime visitations for as long as their have been people to dream. People who could interpret dreams, and those whose dreams were particularly vivid, where often thought to be imbued with divine powers, and they were given a special place in their societies.
Even today, dream interpretation remains a highly sought after art, and science is continuing to focus on dream interpretation as a way to deal with all kinds of anxieties and other underlying psychological issues.
There are some interesting facts about dreaming that you may not be aware of. These facts include:
1. One third of most people’s lives is spent asleep, and a good portion of that time is spent in dream sleep.
2. In the average lifetime, a person will have spent approximately six years in dream sleep, equivalent to more than 2,100 days of dreaming.
3. Dreams have existed as long as human beings. There are records of dreams going back over 4,000 years.
4. Dream interpretation has existed almost as long as dreaming, and Roman senators in the ancient world often engaged the services of dream interpreters before making important political and social decisions.
5. Every human being dreams. Even if you do not remember your dreams, you dream between four and seven times a night, every night.
6. Many animals dream as well. All mammals are thought to dream, and it is suspected that some lower animals dream as well. What they dream about, however, remains a mystery.
7. If people are prevented from dreaming, they suffer a variety of personality disorders and psychological problems. The exact function of dream sleep is still not known, but it is known that dreaming is an indispensable part of life.
8. The average person spends two hours per night in REM sleep, and has from four to seven dreams during that time.
9. Even blind people dream. The dreams of blind people who were previously sighted sometimes contain visual images, while the dreams of those who have been blind from birth do not. Vision is not the only component of a dream, however. Dreams also contain sounds, sights, smells and touch sensations.
10. Dreams are forgotten very quickly upon waking. It is estimated that 50% of the content of a dream is lost within five minutes of waking, and after 10 minutes as much as 90% of the dream can be forgotten.
11. The word dream is derived from a word in Middle English. This word, dreme, translates to “music” and “joy”. It is therefore apparent that dreams have long been looked at as a source of wonder and inspiration.
12. Men most often dream about other men, while women tend to dream about men and women equally.
13. Studies of brain wave activity have revealed greater activity during dreaming than during waking periods.
14. People who are awakened during dream sleep are able to recall their dreams vividly, while those who wait until morning to wake often are not.
15. Everyone, men and women, seem to experience sexual arousal during their dreams, regardless of whether or not the content of the dream is overtly sexual.
16. Smokers who are trying to quit often report greater intensity in their dreams.
17. Studies have shown that toddlers do not dream about themselves. In general, toddlers do not appear in their own dreams until they reach the age of three or four.
18. It is impossible to snore and dream at the same time.
19. Children commonly experience nightmares, and these nightmares usually begin by the age of three and last until the child is seven or eight years old.
20. More than 60% of people surveyed have reported experiencing Déjà vu in their dreams. Déjà vu dreams occur more frequently in women than in men.