Thursday, 12 January 2012

100 Things You Need To Know About Dreams//Categorise & Communicate

100 of the most interesting facts and pieces of information derived from my body of research on dreams:


  • Lucid dreaming is when you are aware you are dreaming
  • To prove lucid dreaming was actually possible, an experiment was carried out on someone (who claimed they were a lucid dreamer) where they were instructed to move their eyes from left to right when a bright light was shone in their eyes during sleep, and lucid dreaming was thus proved possible
  • Lucid dreaming is a useful skill to have in order to experiment with situations, tackle nightmares, fears etc. with no consequences
  • Techniques to help you lucid dream include; Picture yourself falling asleep and entering a dream. Make the visualization as detailed as possible with vivid imagery. Look around and observe your dream surroundings. As you imagine yourself dreaming, visualize yourself performing a reality check and realizing you are within a dream. Picture yourself become consciously aware within your dream, imagine yourself remaining calm and lucid, and then picture yourself gaining control over your dream
  • State one of the following affirmations (mentally): I will become lucid in my dreams tonight/I am a lucid dreamer/I will have a lucid dream tonight/I will awaken within my dream tonight and realise I am dreaming...
  • As you fall asleep, on occasion you might remain conscious enough to notice patterns appearing in your visual range as if they are being projected onto the inside of your eyelids. These patterns may begin to take on the forms and shapes that become your first dream of the night, and can be used to help you achieve a lucid dream
  • se the statement "I am dreaming" to guide yourself into a lucid dream. As you drift off to sleep, repeat to yourself over and over, "I am dreaming." Continue on in that manner until you fall asleep
  • If your schedule permits, take a nap in the mid-afternoon. You will be more likely to slip quickly into the REM sleep state in which dreaming takes place. Before your nap, take steps to focus your intent on achieving a lucid dream. Use visualizations, affirmations, or the "I am dreaming" technique
  • Sleeping upright may help you remain consciously aware enough to become lucid within your dreams. At the same time, you also must remain comfortable in order to sleep well, so it is necessary to experiment with various positions to determine which position provides the highest level of comfort for you
  • Beginning a daily meditation practice is another effective way to increase your odds of achieving a lucid dream. Most meditators who spend at least twenty to thirty minutes per day in meditation report an increase in the vividness of their dreams, along with an increase in the quantity of lucid dreams they experience
  • 75.5% of people who took my dreams survey said they can lucid dream
  • Dream control has been reported to improve with practiced deliberate lucid dreaming, but the ability to control aspects of the dream is not necessary for a dream to qualify as "lucid" — a lucid dream is any dream during which the dreamer knows they are dreaming
  • Lucid dreaming occurs when there is a state of partial or complete awareness during the dream state. Researchers have begun to explore the possibility of using lucid dreaming for the treatment of nightmares and other therapeutic purposes. Anoneironaut is someone who lucidly dreams. The first reference to lucid dreaming is Aristotle’s On Dreams


  • While the content of most dreams is dreamt only once, many people experience recurring dreams—that is, the same dream narrative or dreamscape is experienced over different occasions of sleep


  • REM--> rapid eye movement, was discovered by Eugene Aserinsky
  • Using a polygraph, scientists can monitor the brain activity and even though during REM sleep, our body is in a state of paralysis, our mind is as active as if we were awake
  • In 1952, Eugene Aserinsky identified and defined rapid eye movement (REM) sleep while working in the surgery of his PhD adviser. He noticed that the sleepers' eyes fluttered beneath their closed eyelids. Later he used a polygraph machine to record the sleepers' brainwaves during the periods of this activity of their eyes. In one session, he awakened a subject who was wailing and crying out during REM and confirmed his suspicion that dreaming was occurring
  • REM sleep disorder is when people are not paralysed during REM sleep and physically act out their dreams
  • Experiments have proved that people also dream during non REM sleep, however they are two different dream states and so, are fundamentally different
  • Studies show that more negative emotions are present during REM sleep and positive emotions with non REM sleep. This is due to the part of out brain which is linked with our emotions, called the amygdala
  • Too much REM sleep can cause depression
  • Dreams resolve and process memories (without REM sleep, it's much harder to concentrate and remember stuff during that day)
  • Lack of REM sleep can lead to bad quality sleep and people often find that they wake up in the night during the times they should be in the stage of REM sleep
  • About 80% of neonatal and newborn sleep time is REM sleep, suggesting a tremendous amount of time dreaming
  • Your body is virtually paralyzed during your sleep – most likely to prevent your body from acting out aspects of your dreams. According to the Wikipedia article on dreaming“Glands begin to secrete a hormone that helps induce sleep and neurons send signals to the spinal cord which cause the body to relax and later become essentially paralyzed.”
  • In a recent sleep study, students who were awakened at the beginning of each dream, but still allowed their 8 hours of sleep, all experienced difficulty in concentration, irritability, hallucinations, and signs of psychosis after only 3 days. When finally allowed their REM sleep the student’s brains made up for lost time by greatly increasing the percentage of sleep spent in the REM stage
  • When deprived of dreams, individuals become irritable and disoriented, hallucinate, and show signs of psychosis. They will also dream excessively the first chance they get in a phenomenon known as “REM rebound
  • If a dreamer is awakened directly from REM sleep, he or she is more likely to remember the dream than if awoken during another stage of sleep or after a complete night’s sleep
  • 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


  • Pregnant women often have dreams about miscarriages, merely a symbol of their anxiety
  • The symbols shown within dreams can be interpreted generally however they are always personal to the individual and their situations, so it is always hard to interpret someone's dream
  • Common symbols could include...nudity: symbolising vulnerability or freedom
  • Standing on a cliff: afraid of failure, living on the edge
  • Forests: exploration, refuge 
  • A house: symbol of our body, future potential
  • The majority of people who took my survey said they dream about being 'unprepared for something'
  • 91.7% of people said their friends are commonly found in their dreams
  • 84% of the people who took the same survey said they would be interested in interpreting their dreams
  • The most common emotion experienced in a dream is anxiety and fear
  • A Dream tends to have two different types of meanings: a general meaning where the dream is told as a symbolic story and an individual meaning, which is specific to the dreamer
  • Our dreams are frequently full of strangers who play out certain parts – however, your mind is not inventing those faces – they are real faces of real people that you have seen during your life but may not know or remember.


  • In Ancient Greece, dreams were messages from the Gods
  • South Asian Hindus, this world is a dream and the dream world is the 'reality'
  • Some Christians believe that God is communicating to them through dreams


  • Dreams have helped inventions come about, such as; the periodic table, how a sewing machine could hold a needle (dream about being attacked by men with spears that had holes in the tops of them) and Frankenstein was dreamt by Mary Shelley


  • The idea that nightmares are beneficial was derived from ancient times when out ancestors lived in a dangerous environment, nightmares acted as a rehearsal for the daily struggle to survive
  • Nightmares can act as a simulation of scary or threatening events, they help prepare you for real life
  • Childhood dreams are shorter than adult dreams and nearly 40% of them are nightmares, which may act as a coping mechanism


  • Only 24% said they have had a precognitive dream


  • You dream for about an hour and a half- three hours every night
  • By the time we die (on average) we will have spent 25 years asleep, 6 of those years (at least) dreaming
  • We forget up to 90% of our dreams within 10 minutes of waking


  • Dreaming helps retain our mental health/psychological well-being
  • Dreams help us learn in our sleep, dreams help make connections with our memories
  • Dreams can be inspirational
  • Smokers who quit suddenly can experience more vivid dreams
  • Vitamin B and St Johns Wort have also proved to help dreams become more vivid
  • Our brain waves are more active when we are dreaming than when we are awake

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