What are dreams?
Dreams are visual images or stories that we experience while sleeping. They can make you feel happy, sad, or scared. They may confuse you with totally irrational facts or make you believe in some of the things you were struggling about.
Dream interpretation is tough at times, especially when you hardly remember what you saw in your last dream. But you can come to a point where you can retrospect dreams and relate them to situations in your daily life. Dreams tend to last for approximately 20-30 minutes.
With billions of people living in the world, each person’s dreams can differ based on their daily routine, people who are connected to them, and the ups and downs of life.
Types of dreams:
1. Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams are dreams where the person is aware of what they are dreaming about. While a person lucid dreams, they may gain some control over the things that are happening in their dreams. Lucid dreams tend to occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep when your brain is most active.
2. Vivid Dreams
Vivid dreams are dreams that you can remember easily and can recall precisely how they appeared in your mind while you were asleep. They can be fascinating or sometimes totally bizarre. The reason you can remember them is that they occur mostly during the REM period.
Nightmares are bad dreams that ruin the snoozing period in children as well as adults. They occur in adults mostly because of stress, anxiety, trauma, illness, or medication.
Sometimes, nightmares may reflect specific situations related to your life. If you struggle with nightmares, you can connect with mental health care providers who can introduce you to some coping mechanisms to help find yourself at ease. While it is difficult to handle nightmares, you can rest assured that they are just a figment of your imagination.
4. False awakenings
Have you ever had the kind of dream where you have woken up, gotten ready for work or school, reached your destination, and instantly realized that you were dreaming? These dreams make you feel as though you are doing something, but you are in fact only dreaming about them in your subconscious mind. These dreams are called false awakenings.
Interesting facts about dreams:
1. Smell affects the quality of your dreams
Researchers did a study about how smell can affect our dreams. They isolated people in two rooms. One room contained roses while the other had rotten eggs. They found that people who were kept in the room with roses had better dreams than the unlucky ones who were kept in the room with the bad smell. They think that it may be a part of the sense that links two different parts of the brain that are linked to dreaming.
2. Dreams may help your brain in storing memories
Some researchers genuinely believe that dreaming is one of the features of sleep. It helps you save memories by recalling incidents. Also, it helps you in managing your emotions and solving problems by presenting various scenarios related to your thoughts.
3. Some medications can cause nightmares
Medicines affect the nervous system of our body and release various chemicals in the brain that can indirectly affect our thinking process. Some medications, such as sleeping pills, narcotics, and antidepressants, can affect your thoughts and lead to nightmares.
4. Women report having more nightmares than men
Some sleep studies also reveal that women tend to report having more nightmares than men. The research shows that this is because women continue to sleep by carrying more worries as compared to men.
5. It’s not easy to understand the meaning of your dreams
Dreams differ as per our life’s emotional balance. If we are happy, we tend to remember straightforward dreams. But, if we are upset, we struggle with fluctuating thoughts and dreams. Sometimes, dreams are also trickier, where you remember only a particular portion of your dream rather than the whole.
6. You can improve remembering your dreams
Sometimes after waking up, we try our best to remember what we dreamed about last night. But, we hardly remember anything except some little parts of our dreams. If you want to improve remembering your dreams, you can try noting the small things in a journal. If nothing comes to your mind at one point, it may come at a later stage.
7. Everyone’s dreams differ with their culture
People from different cultures possess different values, thoughts, and beliefs. So, the dreams they experience merely depend on their cultural values and beliefs.
8. Every person on Earth dreams
There is not a single human being who does not dream. Even animals tend to dream. The only thing is that your dreams fade away by the time you are awake in the morning. But, these faded dreams consume at least 2-3 hours every night from everyone’s sleep.
9. People who were born blind don’t have visual dreams
Studies show that people who have been blind since birth do not have visual dreams. People who go blind in early childhood also don’t experience many visual dreams. But, people who go blind at a later stage in their life or in adulthood do experience visual dreams.
10. People do not only dream during REM sleep
Your sleeping period is mainly divided into two parts: REM and Non-REM. Your brain is highly active during the REM period, but you have dreams in both states. However, sleep studies show that dreams that occur in the REM period are more vivid.
Dreams have come to you since your birth and will stay with you until your last breath. At every point in your life, they may vary according to your circumstances. Dream interpretation can possibly make you realize the reality behind your dreams and their importance in your life.