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Interesting Facts About Dreaming

Updated on August 2, 2012

Dreaming is one of the most mysterious phenomena and has intrigued us since ancient times. Dreams mainly occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, although less vivid and memorable dreams can take place during any stage. Sigmund Freud explained dreams as manifestations of our deepest fears and desires and also devised a psychological technique to understand their meanings by looking at particular symbols and other details.

The following are some interesting facts about dreaming.

  • Within five minutes of waking up, we forget about half of our dreams. After ten minutes, we will forget 90%.
  • We become temporarily paralyzed while dreaming.
  • All mammals and even some birds and reptiles dream.
  • People who are born blind have dreams that involve the senses of smell, hearing, and touch in place of visual imagery. Those who go blind after birth dream just as those with vision do.
  • During lucid dreaming, you have complete control and can manipulate your dreams.
  • All of the faces in our dreams are of people we know or have seen some time in our lifetime, even if we do not remember them.
  • Some people with normal vision only dream in black and white.
  • People experience more negative emotions while dreaming than positives ones, the most common being anxiety.
  • We are not able to dream and snore at the same time.
  • Vitamin B6, St. John's Wort, and nicotine patches have been shown to create more vivid dreams.
  • Children's dreams tend to be shorter than adults', with about 40% of them consisting of nightmares.
  • About 80% of neonatal and newborn sleep consists of dreaming.
  • Pregnant women tend to remember their dreams more than anyone else, largely due to very significant hormonal changes.
  • Dreams have inspired some great inventions. One example was a dream that Elias Howe had, which helped him invent the sewing machine.
  • The average person has about four dreams per night, though some can have up to seven.
  • Falling dreams are very common in humans, as well as many other mammals. They often are accompanied by muscle spasms known as myoclonic jerks.
  • Between 20 to 40% of people have experienced precognitive dreams. One of the most famous examples was Abraham Lincoln, who dreamt of his death just a few days prior to his assassination.
  • External stimuli can affect our dreams. For example, if a certain TV show is on or a song is playing while we are sleeping, it can be incorporated into our dreams.


Some Dream Symbols


Feet- Dreaming about feet can symbolize a wide array of things. A few of them include freedom, mobility, humiliation, and sex.

Water- Water in dreams is often the symbol of the subconscious. Calm, clear water means that you are content with your life, while dirty water indicates negative emotions and that your thinking and judgement is clouded and unclear.

Teeth Falling Out- When you dream of your your teeth falling out or being extracted, it often indicates some type of loss in your life or a fear of being helpless.

House- A house represents your own self and soul. Specific rooms also have different meanings, such as the attic symbolizing intellect and the basement being the subconscious. An empty house can signify insecurity, while an abandoned house means that you have let go of your past and are ready to move forward in life.

Being Naked- If you are naked in your dream, it can indicate fear of being found out and exposed over something you did, vulnerability, or feelings of shame.

Flying- Flying in a dream can symbolize either your hopes or your fears in life. It can also stand for freedom.

Cemetery- Being in a cemetery during a dream can indicate feelings of sadness or unresolved grief. It can also symbolize you leaving your past behind (hence, 'dead past').

Death- To dream of the death of a loved one may indicate that you are lacking a particular quality or aspect that the individual possesses. If you die in the dream, it can mean that you are engaging in potentially unhealthy and destructive behaviors or that you are in a painful relationship. On the positive side, it can signify enlightenment, self-discovery, and transformation.

Woods- Being in or seeing the woods in a dream, as with water, can symbolize the subconscious. It can also represent life and rejuvenation.

Falling- To be falling in a dream can indicate feelings of insecurity, loss of control, or that you are experiencing significant stress.

For many more dream symbols and interpretations, visit here.


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