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99 Interesting Facts About . . .Dreams

  1. Philosopher and mathematician Ren? Descartes (1596-1650) struggled with the question of whether or not the mind?s perception of dreams represented reality.

  2. Common dream motifs that transcend cultural and socio-economic boundaries include falling, flying, nakedness in public, and unpreparedness. Such shared dreams arise from experiences and anxieties fundamental to all people.

  3. Psychologists speculate that falling dreams are rooted in our early experiences as toddlers taking our first steps on two legs. Some sociobiologists argue that our fear of falling derives from the experiences of prehistorical ancestors afraid of tumbling out of trees during the night.

  4. Flying dreams can express both our hopes and fears in life?we can be ?flying high? or ?risen above? something. Freud associated flying with sexual Hormonal changes during pregnancy increases both the number of dreams and the ability to recall dreamsdesire, Alfred Adler with the will to dominate others, and Carl Jung with the desire to break free from restriction.

  5. In general, pregnant women remember dreams more than other populations. This is largely due to the extreme hormonal changes during pregnancy.

  6. Until sometime during the sixteenth century, Chinese society expected prominent political figures to seek dream guidance periodically to maintain balance and objectivity.

  7. Nicotine patches and even melatonin (an over-the-counter sleep aid) are reported to increase the vividness of dreams and nightmares. The nicotine patch in particular is said to intensify dreams.

  8. Drugs that are used for regulating the endocrine system, for controlling blood pressure, and for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson?s disease can wreak havoc on form, content, and frequency of dreams.

  9. The link between hallucinogenic drugs and dreams has been recognized since the time of oldest societies. Belladonna was the drug of ancient oracles of Delphi, used to induce trances and dreams. The early Persians used Haoma for the same general purpose.

  10. The Egyptians had a male god of dreams, Serapis, who had a number of temples devoted to his worship. These temples housed professional interpreters or ?learned ones of the library of magic.? Serapis? likeness was often carved on the headboards and headrests of Egyptian beds.