People dream for an average of six years during their lives. Imagine, your six years spent in wonderful, fearful, thrilling, awkward, and sometimes completely illogical or unbelievable sensations. If you can record all your dreams, will prove how creative a person you are.
Why we dream the way we do may seem completely mysterious? The disciplines of dreams and sleep science have discovered quite a bit about what dreams are.
Here are 14 interesting psychological facts about dreams. This blog will give you some in-depth information about dreams. You will find a lot of information that will surprise you!
Psychological Facts About Dreams
When you awake just after sleep your brain is more active than during a dream. During sleep and dream your brain and body rest. After all, the primary reason we sleep is to recover our body from the day’s stress, repair muscle damage, and freshen up for the demands of the next day.
Sleep studies – where the brain’s electrical activity is measured – provide solid data documenting brain activity. But why is the brain so active when you’re sleeping?
Well, there’s a lot you experience during a typical day. When you’re awake, your brain is so busy taking in everything you see, hear, and feel that it doesn’t have time to process, categorize, and store all the information. When you’re sleeping, your brain finally has time to process it all.
There’s also evidence that your brain becomes more excitable when it has to deal with a new experience, or with a major change you’ve experienced – whether that change is good or bad.
It all happens in your subconscious mind. When you are sleeping your conscious mind rests, but your subconscious mind never actually sleeps. Your subconscious mind is where all those dreams come from when you sleep.
You see, your subconscious mind is busy processing your thoughts and worries – this processing produces dreams. Dreams speak the language of the subconscious mind and this language is made up of images, metaphors, and other symbols that your conscious mind usually has difficulty understanding.
This is the reason why most people have trouble interpreting their dreams. But you can be sure that your dreams don’t just come from nowhere – they come directly from your own, personal experiences.
Do you only see familiar faces in your dreams? All those weird happenings in my dreams? I know all those people. This is correct! Your subconscious cannot invent new faces. It only makes sense, since your subconscious only “remembers”. So, any face that appears in your dream is a face that you have already encountered. However, this does not mean that you know the person.
Well, just think about it. Your eyes see and take in things that your conscious mind doesn’t notice. Just think of all the people you pass by throughout the day, there may be faces in the crowd that you’ve glanced at. You may not recognize any of these faces, but your subconscious stores them all.
However, most of the main actors in your dreams are people you recognize – simply because they occupy more of your thoughts. But sometimes, your dreams can concoct a strange mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar.
For example, a friend of yours may appear in one of your dreams concocted and your personality may appear to match reality. Yet, upon waking up, you may realize that a person with a different face played that friend.
You can’t read in your dreams. You are usually engaged in a lot of activities in your dreams, but one thing you are not doing is reading! Yes, books and signs may pop up, but you won’t be reading any of them because you won’t be able to form any words or letters. This is because reading is a conscious activity.
However, humans have been reading for only about 5,000 years. Your subconscious is not equipped for this. When you are sleeping, your conscious mind is taking a break. You cannot even read a clock in your dreams. And it gets weird… you can’t see yourself in the mirror. If you see one in your dream, the image will be blurred or resolved into another person.
Sensory Involvement. This may sound weird, but it actually has to make sense. For you to dream, your body needs rest. If your body is disturbed by some external sensations such as heat or noise or internal sensations, such as blood pressure or any internal problem, your subconscious will be affected by this.
Nothing like this will bring you out of a dreamy state. To get it back, your subconscious has to be completely unhindered. Therefore, you must turn off the noise or go to the washroom – before your mind can start dreaming again.
Research shows that Men and Women Dream Differently. They dream about different things!
Many studies have shown that men dream about things like vehicles, and weapons. On the other hand, women dream more about things like clothes, their accessories.
Furthermore, men’s dreams tend to involve fighting, a lot of aggression, and physical activity, while women’s dreams often deal with emotional themes.
Women’s dreams also tend to be slightly longer and include more people than men’s dreams. Somewhat surprising it may seem, is that men appear in men’s dreams twice as often as women. Women’s dreams, for some reason, tend to be more balanced: men and women appear roughly more often.
50 % of Dreams are negative. According to research, negative feelings emerge in many of your dreams. Your dreams are reasonable about all of this in a sense: about half of them are positive, but half are also negative. Negative dreams include feelings such as anger, fear, insecurity, and sadness.
Dreams can be a sign of anxiety or underlying stress. Our dreams show that humans everywhere have a lot in common! Other common themes are feelings of being frozen or stagnant or of being late.
Sometimes we even dream of appearing naked in front of others! While the meaning of such dreams can vary depending on a person’s particular circumstances, these dreams can often be associated with feelings of anxiety or stress. If you have unpleasant dreams, try to pay more attention to taking care of yourself. Also, try to deal with the situations that are giving you stress.
Premonition Dreams. There are some really amazing examples in which people have foreshadowed things that will happen to them in their dreams. These dreams often turned out to be surprisingly accurate.
Were these dreams glimpses of the future? Or was it just a matter of circumstance? Well, history has recorded some very strange cases of precognition! For example:
- Many of the 9/11 victims dreamed about the coming terrorist attack
- Mark Twain dreamed about his brother’s death
- Abraham Lincoln dreamed that he would be assassinated
- 19 people Verified dreams predicted the sinking of the Titanic
Dreaming in black and white. Your dreams can be very vivid and colorful. But many people have black-and-white dreams. Why? Studies have established that ‘age and media exposure’ can play a role in what colors people dream of. For example, older people grew up with black-and-white television and photography.
Many people have solid-colored dreams: the way they see events and things outside of themselves. Young people, on the other hand, know nothing but color photography and television.
Dreams recharge our creativity. There may be some subconscious messages in dreams, but how we can use those messages? Dreams can help us in various aspects of our lives.
Researchers suggest that dreams are particularly helpful in developing our creative abilities. Artists often comment on how useful their dreams are to their creative processes. But dreams can help anyone – by channeling creativity toward solving everyday problems.
Just as you use your waking imagination when you’re trying to be creative, dreams do the same thing when you’re asleep. While you sleep, your subconscious mind is dealing with problems and working on them. This process is very similar to the creative process you use while you are awake. I
n other words, the creative process continues while you’re sleeping, and your dreams help you improve your creativity. As you may know, dreams can also provide you with direct inspiration.
Suppose, you’ve just had some amazing dream, or you’ve experienced something challenging, or you’ve experienced some emotional event. These types of dreams can help you connect with strong emotions and thus help you become more creative.
Dreams Changed History. So, now you know that dreams serve to refresh and support the creative process. History tells us that many dreams lead directly to ideas that change the world!
- Larry Page came up with his idea for Google
- Dmitri Mendeleev came up with the periodic table of elements
- Elias Howe was inspired to invent the sewing machine
- James Watson visualized the DNA double helix
- Tesla got the idea for an alternating current generator
It is possible to control your dreams. Have you ever had a dream while sleeping and you knew that you were dreaming at that moment? This type of dream is called a “lucid dream”.
Lucid dreaming is believed to result from a state that combines both Consciousness and Sleep. When you are in such a state, you can often control the content of your dreams!
About fifty percent of people remember having a lucid dream at least once in their lives, and some people have frequent lucid dreams.
You always dream you don’t always remember. Yes, always – even if you don’t remember a single dream. Most people have multiple dreams every time they fall asleep. These dreams can be related to any scenario and can vary in intensity. Yet, many people do not remember them once they wake up.
More than half nearly 60% of people don’t remember anything from their dreams five minutes after waking. After only ten minutes, most people forget 90% of the details about their dreams. So whatever you remember about your dream is only a small fraction of what you dreamed.
But there is one exception. If you suddenly wake up from your sleep, you are often able to remember a lot of the content of your dreams.
Of course, dreams can also stay with you if you have a particular dream over and over again, or if it contains some very strong emotions.
If you want to remember more of your dreams, keep a notepad by your bed. Write down everything you can remember as soon as you wake up. Once you’ve recorded your dreams, you can look over your notes and see if there are any recurring themes. You can even try to identify any messages your subconscious mind may be communicating to you!
So these were the 14 Interesting Psychological Facts About Dreams. These psychological facts about dreams may be just the tip of a huge iceberg.
Psychologists and neuroscientists are still researching the purpose of dreaming and the meaning of dreams. Many are convinced that there is still much to learn! Share your thoughts and comments below! And, tell us about some of your most interesting dreams – if you remember any.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
Q1: Why do we dream?
The exact purpose of dreaming is not fully understood, but it is believed that dreams serve various functions, including processing daily experiences, and emotions, and promoting creativity during sleep.
Q2: How long do people spend dreaming in their lives?
On average, people dream for about six years during their lives. Dreaming occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.
Q3: Can you read in your dreams?
No, reading in dreams is challenging as it is a conscious activity, and during dreams, the conscious mind is less active. Words and letters may appear, but they are often difficult to form or understand.
Q4: Why do dreams often involve familiar faces?
The subconscious mind, responsible for dreams, cannot invent new faces. Any face that appears in a dream is a face that the dreamer has encountered in real life, even if they don’t consciously recognize the person.
Q5: Do men and women dream differently?
Yes, studies suggest that men and women may dream about different things. Men’s dreams often involve activities like vehicles and weapons, while women’s dreams focus more on themes like clothing and emotions.
Q6: Are dreams a sign of anxiety or stress?
Dreams can be influenced by underlying stress or anxiety. Common dream themes include feelings of being frozen, late, or appearing naked in front of others. Paying attention to stressors in waking life can help alleviate negative dream content.
Q7: Can dreams provide premonitions or glimpses of the future?
Some people claim to have experienced premonition dreams, foreshadowing events that later come true. However, the scientific community is divided on the validity of such claims.
Q8: Can you control your dreams?
Yes, lucid dreaming allows individuals to become aware that they are dreaming and sometimes control the content of their dreams. About 50% of people remember having a lucid dream at least once in their lives.
Q9: Why do people often forget their dreams?
People forget most of their dreams because, within minutes of waking up, they lose about 90% of the details. Keeping a dream journal and writing down dream content immediately upon waking can help improve dream recall.
Q10: How can dreams impact creativity?
Dreams are believed to recharge creativity by continuing the creative process during sleep. Artists often find inspiration in their dreams, and the subconscious mind can contribute to problem-solving and generating new ideas.
Q11: Are there historical examples of dreams influencing significant ideas?
Yes, several historical figures have reported that their dreams influenced significant ideas or inventions. Examples include Larry Page’s idea for Google, Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table, and Elias Howe’s invention of the sewing machine.
Q12: Do dreams change with age?
The colors in dreams can be influenced by age and media exposure. Older individuals who grew up with black-and-white television may have black-and-white dreams, while younger individuals are more likely to dream in color.
Q13: Why do some people have recurring dreams?
Recurring dreams may be influenced by unresolved emotions, stressors, or experiences. Analyzing the themes and emotions in recurring dreams can provide insights into underlying psychological processes.
Q14: Can dreams be a sign of mental health?
Dreams can be a reflection of mental and emotional well-being. Disturbing or distressing dreams may indicate unresolved issues, stress, or anxiety that may benefit from attention and care.
He is the Founder and CEO of the Training and Counselling Company ‘Brain Soul & You’. He is an NLP Wellness Coach, Life Coach, Brain analyst, and Trainer for Education, Corporate, and Entrepreneurship. For more than 7 years, he delivered presentations on entrepreneurship, mind programming, and motivation. He did his B.tech in IT and later chose to be a successful psychologist. He is helping people in various ways through his counseling and training sessions.