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99 Interesting Facts About . . .Dreams

  1. Childhood dreams are shorter than adult dreams and nearly 40% of them are nightmares, which may act as a coping mechanism.

  2. The Romantic Movement?with its insistence on the unconscious mind as the source of all creativity, art, and even dreams?clearly foreshadowed Sigmund Freud?s groundbreaking work on dreams.

  3. South Asian Hindus developed the idea that this world is actually a dream and the ?real? reality is somewhere else. The Vedas, the oldest Hindu scriptures (3,000-4,000 years old) suggest that people are reincarnated back into this world, which is a dream, and it?s only after breaking the cycle of reincarnation or ?waking up? from this dream world, that they?ll understand the truth and become complete.

  4. The Raramuri people of Northern Mexico make their sleeping arrangements so that they can wake during the night to discuss their dreams with one another.

  5. The quality of dreams depends, at least in part, on the stage of sleep in which the dreams occur. Dreams during REM tend to be more bizarre and detailed and have story line. Dreams in stages 1 and 2 of sleep are simpler and shorter. Deep-sleep dreams tend to be diffused and may be about nothing more than a color or emotion.

  6. Night terrors, or parasomnia, are not the same as nightmares. They are episodes of extreme panic that occur in early sleep and affect from 1%-4% of children between the ages of four and 12. Night terrors are rare in adults and most often occur in those who abuse drugs or alcoholic or have a sleep disorders such as apnea.

  7. People who are born blind report no visual imagery in dreams, but they experience a heightened sense of taste, touch, and smell. Those who become sightless between the ages of five and seven may have visual images in their dreams, while those who lose their vision after age seven continue to ?see? in their dreams, though images tend to fade as they grow older.

  8. Men?s dreams are more often set outdoors, are more action oriented, and involve strangers more often than women?s dreams do. Women?s dreams usually happen indoors and involve emotional encounters with people they know and care about. Men are more likely than women to dream about aggression, misfortune, and negative emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety, or disgust. Women?s dreams are more often friendly and positive.

  9. For reasons that are unknown, males dream of males more often than females dream of males. This sexual asymmetry is universal and has emerged from at least 29 different comparisons of male and female dreams?and it holds true for children, adolescents, and adults in all parts of the world.

  10. The brain waves that occur during REM and non-REM sleep are found in mammals, birds, and reptiles, but not in amphibians and fish.