50 most interesting and surprising facts about dreams
Do you consider yourself a person who knows everything about sleep? Does it seem that this is just a natural need or some physiological process? Yes, it is, but only in part. Why? Because there are aspects that you did not know about. And we are sure of it. The material of the article presents interesting scientific facts related to sleep. Some of them are not only amazing but also scary in a way.
We will talk about dreams and sleep as a natural human need.
There are several interesting groups of dreams identified by scientists. They note that people see dreams in these groups most often. These are a case at work or study, protection from intruders, fall, death; flight; health problems, fail at something.
Dreams are rehearsals. Several studies prove that every dream has a biological meaning. It is through dreams that people survive. They are a large-scale training ground where you can pass various tests, even serious ones, without harming yourself.
A group of European scientists conducted a large-scale study, which showed that people are almost “programmed” at the mental level in different countries to sleep more or less. Spaniards, for example, sleep on average 40 minutes less than the French. The latter is almost the sleepiest group in the study, sleeping an average of 9 hours per night.
Under the direction of the Ministry of Defense of the country, British scientists developed a method that allows the average person to stay awake for 36 hours without consequences for the body. The essence of the development is simple – these are special glasses that project a luminous ring onto the retina. This makes the body think that all 36 hours awake is one big and long morning.
The longest period spent by a person without sleep is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records almost 19 days. Observers of the experiment noted paranoia, hallucinations, and a decrease in the activity of all body systems in the champion. To all this, he added a deterioration in the ability to speak coherently and think through actions, words, and phrases.
Good sleep is the best way to prevent psychosis. But we are talking here exclusively about dreams with dreams. If they are absent, the likelihood of developing conditions close to various forms of psychosis increases several times. People who dream regularly are the least likely to experience mental disorders.
You know the feeling when you get up at 7 am on weekends without an alarm, although you planned to sleep until dinner? This is the body’s natural reaction to the “developed” biological cycle. Thanks to its development, some people may never use an alarm clock. This biological mechanism works due to the “scheduled” release of the stress hormone by the body. Its release is a reaction of individual organs to regular negative experiences accompanying awakenings.
As a result of his experiment on himself, Nathaniel Kleitman – almost a pioneer in the study of sleep and dreams – proved that the human biological clock does not go astray. He spent almost a month in an underground cave, wondering if his “personal” clock would break without observing how night follows day and vice versa. Nothing happened. He went to bed at the hours he usually did. And woke up.
For newborns and children of early adolescence, the norm of sleep is 10 hours. At the same time, some older people can get by with 4-5 hours of sleep. Scientists explain this dependence of sleep on age by the fact that human development requires a serious expenditure of strength and energy. Older adults, more often pensioners, are people who not only stop developing physically but also get more peace. The result is a lack of need for a long rest.
There is an opinion that our usual sleep – 8 hours – is not normal. The probability of premature death is lower in those people who “give” sleep 7 hours a day. However, it would help if you did not deliberately force yourself to sleep less: sleep, the duration of which is 5 hours or less, leads, subject to the regular lack of sleep, to a high likelihood of developing mental problems.
Neptune is often referred to as the planet of dreams. There is no scientific explanation because this planet is almost like a large piece of ice and stones. It is “surrounded” by cold gases. It is inappropriate to talk about the analogy of “immersion in water,” “sedation,” and “weightlessness” in this case.
Some people experience the same sexual satisfaction in dreams they can experience in reality. An example is a male emission. During sleep, as men themselves say, in such cases, they experience sensations that usually accompany full-fledged sexual intercourse.
For some people of West Africa, dreams are almost a criminal article. This is not about the fact itself, for example, that a person had a dream, but about the following: if a man sees another woman in a dream, he may be subject to criminal punishment. For this reason, West Africans do not like to talk about dreams.
Children under three years old cannot dream with their participation.
In several situations, dreams are signals given by the body to one or another person, hints of health problems. The simplest example is tooth loss. If a person had such a dream once, it’s okay. If a person regularly sees such dreams in different scenarios, we can discuss a high probability of problems.
There is a phobia in which people are afraid to sleep. It often leads to serious consequences and terrible violations. Scientists poorly understand the mechanisms of its occurrence. It is generally accepted that it develops more often, as a person regularly sees bad dreams.
Do you think that flying and falling in a dream is a sign of the rapid development of the body, the body? No. Dream scientists believe this is a “subroutine” literally sewn into our brains and passed on by primates. Ancient primates who, after a good swing on their hands, could jump from branch to branch, from tree to tree.
And again, about primates: our distant relatives usually sleep 3 hours less. Than we, of course.
Man is not the only living being capable of dreaming. This ability is inherent in birds and warm-blooded mammals.
Many dreams have become real discoveries for humankind. A simple example of the fact that this is reality and not fiction is Mendeleev and his table.
Every act of sleep is a complex process. The brain processes colossal arrays of memories in one specific act, sorts them, and forms connections. For this reason, sometimes we dream of people, things we have not thought about for a long time during wakefulness.
75% of dreams in the average person are associated with negative experiences. Only 25% of dreams give people real joy.
In women over 35-40 years old, who are not self-confident, confirmed by some studies, a common plot of dreams is a betrayal of a spouse or unofficial partner.
Dreams are messages from the gods. So did the inhabitants of ancient Greece.
People who snore while resting cannot dream. 10% of snorers often experience choking attacks. It’s in a dream.
The dreams of the pharaohs of Egypt were once considered sacred. Innocent people sometimes suffered because of them, when, for example, servants were severely punished for things they did not do. The dreams of the pharaohs were considered the “evidence base” for bad deeds.
The last few minutes before sleep is a state similar to meditation. A person’s attention ceases to be distracted by anything as if he “moves” into a trance. Thoughts at the same time begin to “flow” more slowly.
In 80% of people, during dreams, especially active ones, the body falls into “paralysis.” It is literally “shackled” by the brain. What for? To protect a person, exclude the possibility of physical activity. An example of deviation in this context is any sleepwalker.
Some of us are so light sleepers that we can hear even the slightest noise. Someone immediately wakes up from this; someone “takes in information” and comprehends it in the morning. The same applies to “vision”: even a flash of lightning, the sound in the form of thunder, which will reach a person in 15-20 seconds, can wake him up.
In a series of experiments, scientists have found that in 4 out of 10 people, real-world elements are “woven” into dreams. For example, the ticking of a clock. A person can sleep, hear the clock, and see pictures full of clocks in a dream.
“Owls” and “larks” see bad dreams with unequal regularity. The former encounter them much more often.
Every person has had nightmares at least once. They shouldn’t be scared. Why? Because they are a kind of factor that harden us, our psyche. The main thing is to perceive and interpret them correctly.
You can learn to control and manage your dreams, but only with practice. Have you heard of controlled dreams? This is just about how people can be “scriptwriters” of what they see when they sleep.
The longest dreams “come” to us closer to the morning. Have you noticed that often the alarm clock does not allow you to watch something interesting? This is precise because of this “habit” of long dreams.
People who watched programs in black and white on old TVs in childhood and adolescence see 9 out of 10 of the same dreams. “Same” means black and white.
By the time of death, the average person manages to spend a little more than a quarter of his life in a dream. 4% of the lives, in this case, will fall on dreams.
There is one interesting opinion belonging to Plato. He believed that all dreams originate in the liver and other organs in the abdomen.
Do you know why we quickly forget many dreams? This is related to the fact already shown: the brain goes through tons of memories, resulting in most dreams being just incoherent pictures. It’s like trying to learn a song with words written backward that don’t follow a logical sequence.
Scientists believe that even human embryos can dream. However, they emphasize that due to the lack of “practice,” their “pictures” are empty. Embryos feel only “far-fetched” sounds and vibrations.
American scientists propose an opinion: they believe that only people with an outstanding mind are fully capable of remembering this or that dream.
Some acts of heightened imagination and concentration on certain things are commonly regarded as dreaming outside sleep. These are active dreams that do not require staying in bed or a cozy chair under a blanket. We can say that such dreams are almost the same as controlled ones; however, immersing a person in at least a nap is mandatory in the latter case. In the first one, there is no such need.
In one night, we can see several dreams at once. Some went through it and remembered separate fragments of different night pictures. However, many people forget about the “stormy” night spent and don’t think that sleep time is the most intense against the background of routine and Groundhog Day.
Women see peaceful dreams. Men, on the other hand, are often faced with the fact that their dreams are one continuous act of activity.
There is evidence that women are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Against this background, many begin developing psychosis and other disorders.
Sometimes people face the fact that their body is paralyzed during the first seconds after waking up. Scientists explain this by the already mentioned fact: the brain often “limits” the body in movements for a period of deep rest. This is a defense mechanism. Not all people have it turned off after waking up instantly.
One can determine his character by the position a person takes during sleep. Another interesting fact is connected with this – no matter what position we consider our favorite, a few minutes after “going” to sleep, the body assumes a position that is most convenient for it. From this position, one can determine what features are inherent in a person. It is generally accepted, for example, that the “ball” position is typical for squeezed people who value comfort.
Sleep can be improved with good exercise. But only on the condition that it is moderate. Being overtired is not always a good thing. A good example is going to the pool 3-4 hours before the planned sleep. A swimming session of 30-45 minutes will benefit the quality of a night’s rest.
Another way to improve sleep is to create a favorable atmosphere in the room. Favorable is considered to be one at which the temperature in the room will be low. In winter, for example, if you ventilate the restroom for 5-10 minutes before going to bed, you can ensure yourself a good rest.
This fact relates to a common myth about counting “jumping sheep.” Neither this nor anything like that will help you fall asleep unless it irritates the brain and increases activity. If counting rhymes help in your case, tell yourself that everything is wrong: sleep, in this case, is the result of the brain’s ” turning off ” from a boring activity.
The best way to remember something important is to sleep. A simple example is preparing for an exam. If you devote a day to preparing answers to exam questions, and just before going to bed, say (at least to yourself) the main theses for each item of the prepared list, you can count on success during the defense.