Although dreaming is done while you are unconscious and are created out of subconscious thoughts, there are plenty of researchers in the world who have worked tirelessly to uncover the secrets of this common act. There have been multitudes of theories about dreams since the dawn of time, even civilizations from thousands of years ago have attempted to decipher the true meaning of dreams. There have been theories of dreams being omens from the gods or being the key to special visions, regardless, dreams are mysterious events that happen to everyone every night.
Aside from the theories, the true question that remains is what exactly happens when we fall asleep? This is a list of 8 amazing facts about dreams that you probably were unaware of.
1. Dream Dictionaries
Dream dictionaries were established in ancient civilizations as these individuals paid an ample amount of attention to their dreams. There was a dream dictionary that was discovered in Thebes titled The Beatty Papyrus and it was created around 1350 B.C. This dictionary was comprised of the most common dreams that were experienced by a variety of people and it also described the possible meanings for these dreams. Ancient civilizations took their dreams extremely seriously, even to the point where they consulted senate officials about any dreams that they deemed note-worthy.
2. Forgetting About Our Dreams
Have you ever had an experience where you know that you’ve had an amazing dream, but you have forgotten all about it? Researchers such as J. Allan Hobson have noted that the majority of individuals forget at least 90% of their dreams, meaning that you could have very well experienced an amazing dream but would be unaware of it. This asks a very interesting question, why?
Although there are many theories as to why we forget our dreams, one theory is that while we sleep, the functions of our brain change. In comparison to when we are conscious, the brain is unable to change and store information from our dreams into our memory, therefore they are essentially forgotten. As per more in-depth research relating to brain scans, researchers have found that the frontal lobes are generally inactive while an individual is asleep. Considering that the frontal lobes are the most important components in regards to storing memory, this could be a valid reason as to why we are unable to remember our dreams.
3. Animals Have Dreams Too
If you have ever been a dog owner, you are aware of the fact that animals have dreams as well. Cats are also known to have vivid dreams that cause them to display unconscious physical behaviors. Dogs commonly move their feet and their tails while they are dreaming. Although the majority of animals are unable to process the same information as a human brain, there has been research to support that animals experience normal stages of sleeps such as NREM and REM, much like humans. During a study on a gorilla, researchers taught the subject how to communicate through sign language. As the gorilla began to communicate with the researchers, it commonly referred to several “sleep pictures”.
4. Vivid Dreams and the Blind
Being blind does not eliminate the possibility for dreaming due to the fact that dreams are comprised of mental information rather than sensory information. Blind people are known to have extremely vivid dreams, regardless of whether they became blind later in life or from birth. With that being said, blind individuals will not have the same type of dreams as those without visual impairments but their dreams are just as vivid. There have been several studies pertaining to how visually impaired individuals experience dreams about generic provigil without a prescription https://www.topcanadianpharmacy.org/product/provigil/, sound, smell, and touch. It is known that even fetuses can dream and considering that they are surrounded by the same environment for 9 months, this shows that the brain is able to create interesting information to entertain us while we are unconscious.
5. Profitable Ideas from Dreams
There have been thousands of self-made millionaires who have built their fortunes based on ideas that have come to them during their dreams. Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, received his inspiration for creating a sewing machine from a nightmare. It is said that Howe dreamt that he was being chased by cannibals, the needles that are commonly found in sewing machines were based on the weapons that the cannibals were using in his nightmare.
Many other historical figures completed pieces of work that were inspired by their dreams including Alexander Graham Bell and Isaac Newton. Next time that you get an idea from a dream, work on making it a reality as it could be the best decision that you’ve ever made.
6. Complete Body Paralysis
As one of the most common incidents that are blamed on paranormal experiences, body paralysis occurs while we are sleeping. If an individual wakes up from their sleep cycle and is unable to move, this is referred to as sleep paralysis.
The reason as to why our bodies become paralyzed during sleep is because our brain shuts down unimportant functions while we gain our rest as a safety mechanism. With the ability to paralyze voluntary muscles, the brain is essentially preventing us from injuring ourselves and others while we are asleep. In some instances individuals will continue to experience this paralysis, even after they have awoken. Although this experience can be frightening, it has occurred to at least 40% of the world’s population. Sleep paralysis may be terrifying but it only lasts for a few moments after consciousness.
7. Dreaming About New People
It is extremely uncommon – nearly impossible – for us to dream about people that we have never met before. Although this may be disappointing to individuals who are hoping to meet new people via their dreams, it is the fault of our subconscious. The characters in our dreams will not necessarily be people that we see on a regular basis, it may be the hot dog cart vendor that you pass on your way to work in the morning. The reason for this is because our subconscious picks up information about our surroundings throughout the day and interprets this information when we begin to dream. Even the most insignificant individuals can have one of the most important roles in our dreams and vice versa.
8. No Rules? No Problem
Our dreams are the one area of life where rules do not apply. With that being said, you may experience dreams where you are engaging in illegal activities or events that you otherwise wouldn’t engage in while you are conscious. You may also encounter dreams that are particularly taboo where you kiss a figure of authority or even an individual of the same gender, even if you’re heterosexual. The main reason for this is due to the fact that our subconscious is not governed by morals or standards. Therefore, it is free to allow us to temporarily enact in illegal or hedonistic behaviors without having to face any consequences.
Dreaming occurs on a daily basis and you may have noticed one of the aforementioned amazing facts about dreaming before. As one of the most interesting areas of research in psychology, many individuals have been working to determine the real reasons as to why we dream and if there are any concrete ways to analyze our subconscious mind. Next time that you find yourself ready to doze off into dreamland, consider the above facts and determine if you experienced any of them once you have awoken.