Importance of Dreams
Dreaming is a natural, necessary part of life.
Everyone dreams, but the significance, frequency of occurrence and ability to remember dreams varies on an individual basis. Here are some facts about dreams you may not have known.
Incidence of Dreams
The average person has 1,460 dreams per year.
That comes out to four dreams per night.
Snoring v. Dreaming
Scientists say you can’t snore and dream at the same time.
Good news: if you wake up feeling like you had a wild night of dreaming, you don’t have to worry about having annoyed your partner beside you all night long.
Childhood dreams tend to be shorter than adult dreams, and nearly 40% of children’s dreams are nightmares.
Children also dream about animals far more than adults. Dogs, horses, cats, lions, snakes and bears all frequently appear in children’s dreams.
The interpretation of color in a dream varies from person to person.
A color’s meaning can only be determined by an individual’s relationship to a color. Blue in one person’s dream can mean love or serenity, but it can translate to something entirely different for another dreamer.
Men’s Diets and Sexual Dreams
Sharp decreases in men’s caloric intakes have been shown to lead to fewer ejaculations during sleep and an overall decrease in the sexual themes of their dreams.
Dreams and Blood Flow
During REM sleep, the blood flow to the brain increases.
This raises the body’s temperature, and a man’s penis and a woman’s clitoris become erect.
Vitamins and Dreaming
Both Vitamin B complex (B6) and St. John’s Wort have been shown to produce more vivid dreams.
Pregnant Women and Dreaming
Pregnant women tend to have and remember more dreams than other populations.
This is typically believed to result from their extreme hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Nicotine and Dreaming
Chronic smokers who have recently quit report more vivid dreams than when they smoked.
Additionally, nicotine patches are widely regarded to intensify the content and frequency of dreams and nightmares.
Alcohol and Dreams
Alcohol consumption tends to have a significant impact on sleep and dreaming.
It slows activity in the brain’s cortex, which leads a person to fall into a deep, slow-wave sleep rather than REM sleep.
Sleep Stages and Dreams
REM dreams are often more bizarre and have more detailed story lines than dreams in all other sleep stages.
Dreams occuring in stages 1 and 2 of sleep are usually shorter and less-detailed, while dreams in a deep sleep stage involve nothing more than a simple color or emotion.
Blindness and Dreams
People who become blind after they are born are able to see images and colors in their dreams.
Those blind since birth can’t see images in their dreams, but they experience a heightened sense of touch, taste and smell when they dream.
Television Viewing and Dreams
People who watched black-and-white television as children tend to have more monochromatic dreams than people who watched color television as children.
Dreams and Ability to Remember
On average, 50% of your dream is forgotten within five minutes of waking.
Within ten minutes, you will have forgotten 90% of whatever you dreamed.
Men’s Dreams v. Women’s Dreams
Men are more likely than women to dream about aggression, fear, anger, anxiety and misfortune. Men’s dreams tend to be action-oriented, set outdoors and involving strangers more than women’s dreams.
Women’s dreams are usually set indoors, are more friendly and positive and involve emotional situations with people they know and care for.
The Population of Our Dreams
The people in your dreams are comprised of the faces of people you’ve encountered, knowingly or otherwise, in your everyday life.
They could be strangers you’ve seen on the street during adulthood, a person you saw on a family vacation as a child or just some passing face for a fleeting second.
Birth Order and Dreams
Firstborn males see themselves in a more positive light in their dreams than their younger siblings tend to.
The eldest females tend to have more aggressive characters in their dreams than their brothers and sisters.
Most Common Dreams
Shared dreams such as falling, flying, public nudity and being unprepared transcend cultural and class boundaries.
These dreams stem from experiences and anxieties that are fundamental to all people.