Dreams have been around for at least as long as human beings, and dreams are universal, experienced by men and women, young and old, and people of all cultures and ethnicities. In some ways, dreams are a universal language, and there are certain themes, such as falling, flying, taking a test and finding yourself naked, that show up in dreams throughout the world. Dreams, it could be said, represent a kind of universal human language.
Dreams have been studied throughout history, and dream interpretation is an old art form indeed, dating back at least as far as 3000-4000 B.C. Even today, dream interpreters are highly sought out for their help untangling the sometimes puzzling world of dreams.
You may think you know everything there is to know about dreams and dream interpretation, but did you know that:
Ø The average person dreams from between four to seven times every night. That means that by the time you reach the age of 80, you will have had between 116,800 and 204,400 dreams.
Ø That number may be even larger, since there is evidence that dreaming begins even before birth. No one deigns to know what unborn babies dream about, but there is evidence that they do dream.
Ø In the average lifetime, a person will have spent approximately six years in dream sleep, equivalent to more than 2,100 days of dreaming.
Ø There are records of dream interpretation, written on clay tablets, dating back more than 4,000 years.
Ø Those who could interpret dreams were held in high regard in Roman and Greek societies, and their counsel was sought before making significant political and military decisions.
Ø Everyone dreams every night, even though only a tiny fraction of those dreams are remembered upon waking.
Ø Many animals dream as well, although no one has been able to ask them what they dream about.
Ø People have to dream, though no one really knows why. What we do know is that preventing people from dreaming can cause irritability, mood changes and even hallucinations.
Ø The average person spends about one quarter of his or her sleep time in dream sleep, and dreams an average of four to seven times during that time.
Ø The average episode of dream sleep lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.
Ø Dreams slip away very quickly upon waking. It is estimated that as much as half the dream’s content is forgotten within five minutes, and after only ten minutes up to 90% of the dream can be gone forever.
Ø Men dream more about other men than about women, but women tend to dream about men and women equally.
Ø The brain is actually more active, not less during dream sleep than during wakefulness.
Ø People who are awakened during dream sleep are able to recall their dreams vividly and in great detail, while those who wake normally generally are not.
Ø Both men and women experience sexual arousal during most dreams, regardless of whether the nature of the dream was sexual or not.
Ø Smokers who are quitting often experience more intense dreams than either non smokers or current smokers.
Ø Babies and toddlers dream just as adults do, but studies have revealed they do not dream about themselves. Toddlers generally do not appear in their own dreams until they are at least three or four years old.
Ø It is not possible to dream and snore simultaneously.
Ø Nightmares are a common trauma of childhood, with the first nightmares usually occurring by the age of three, and typically lasting at least until the child is seven or eight years old.
Ø Many people report having experienced Déjà vu in their dreams, but dreams involving Déjà vu are more common in women than in men.