Even the Sumerians in Mesopotamia have left evidence of dreams dating back to 3100 BC. According to these early recorded stories, there are gods and kings, like the 7th century BC scholar-king Assurbanipal, who had been recorded to have paid close attention to dreams and have shown evidence of early practices of dream interpretation.
Though the content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, throughout recorded history, there has been a topic of scientific speculation, as well as a subject of philosophical and religious interest about dreams.
Here are some 25 Amazing Facts about Dreams:
1. Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. This is the stage when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. Although, there are also times that dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less vivid or memorable.
2. It was until 1953 that the continuous brain recordings that led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye-movement) sleep were done. This is done so late as partly because the scientists involved were concerned about wasting paper.
3. Dreams can said to last for a few seconds, or as long as twenty minutes, but tends to last longer as the night progresses. The first episode is said to be shortest, of approximately 10–12 minutes duration, and the second and third episodes increasing to 15–20 minutes. Dreams at the end of the night tend to last as long as 15 minutes, although these may be experienced as several distinct stories due to momentary arousals interrupting sleep as the night ends.
4. During a full 8-hour night sleep, two hours of it each night are said to be spent dreaming, totaling about six years dreaming during a typical lifespan of person.
5. There are about 1,460 dreams that an average person can dream a year, which is about four per night or about 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some may have up to 7 dreams in one night.
6. About 80% of neonatal and newborn sleep time occurs during REM sleep, suggesting a tremendous amount of time dreaming.
7. Scientific evidence says that people are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase.
8. 90% of your dreams are forgotten within 10 minutes of waking and within 5 minutes, half is forgotten.
9. Anxiety is the most common emotion experienced in dreams. There are also other emotions, which include abandonment, anger, fear, joy, happiness, etc. Negative emotions are much more common than positive ones.
10. The content of most dreams is dreamt only once, though there are many people who experience recurring dreams, that is, the same dream narrative or dreamscape is experienced over different occasions of sleep.
11. There are a full 12% of sighted people that dream exclusively in black and white, with the remaining number dream in full color.
12. According to a study, dream reports can be reported from normal subjects on 50% of the occasion when an awakening is made before the end of the first REM period. But, there is an increase of about 99% in the rate of retrieval when awakenings are made from the last REM period of the night. This increase in the ability to recall appears to be related to intensification across the night in the vividness of dream imagery, colors, and emotions
13. Adults are said to dream off and on, for a total of about an hour and half to three hours every night.
14. All mammals experience REM, so they dream too.
15. There is a 2001 study that showed evidence that illogical locations, characters, and dream flow may help the brain strengthen the linking and consolidation of semantic memories. These conditions is said to occur because, during REM sleep, the flow of information between the hippocampus and neocortex is reduced.
16. 8% of men’s and women’s dreams have sexual content.
17. Though the recall of dreams is extremely unreliable, it is a skill that can be trained. Dreams can usually be recalled if a person is awakened while dreaming
18. It is believed by the Mesopotamians that the soul, or some part of it, moves out from the body of the sleeping person and actually visits the places and persons the dreamer sees in his sleep.
19. It is also believed that their dreams were omens and prophecies.
20. In ancient Egypt, People with vivid and significant dreams were thought blessed and were considered special.
21. In the Chinese province of Fu-Kein, people sleep on graves to call on their ancestors for dream revelation
22. It is believed by Plato that dreams originated in the organs of the belly. Plato describes the liver in particular as the biological seat of dreams.
23. Most of us dream every 90 minutes, with the longest dreams (30-45 minutes) occurring in the morning.
24. If you dream of losing teeth or having teeth extracted, this can signify many things, including fears of helplessness or of some sort of loss in one’s life. Women experience more teeth dreams than men.