Hey, everyone! Today, I want to talk about something everyone does, (whether they know it or not) and something we can all relate to -- dreaming.
Have you ever wondered why we dream? Why do those little movies play in our heads while we sleep? Scientists have tried to figure it out, and have been able to come up with a few theories. Let's look at some of them --
Theory #1: There has always been speculation throughout the scientific community that dreams are simply a side effect of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. However, since making certain discoveries about the psychiatric connection most people have to their dreams, this theory has been pretty much put aside.
Theory #2: Sigmund Freud, also known as the "father of psychoanalysis", was the first to suggest that dreams are outbursts from our subconscious. The things that you deny yourself -- the urges that you repress in the real world -- come to surface in your dreams, in order to protect your mind from keeping things 'bottled up.'
(For example, if someone who loves chocolate is not permitted to eat it, their brain will most likely allow them the pleasure of tasting it in their sleep.)
Theory #3: Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett recently presented evidence that dreaming is your brain's way of sorting out tough dilemmas while you sleep. Her research shows that our slumbering hours may help us to solve difficult problems, through symbols and deep meanings that only our subconscious can understand. (Hence the phrase, "Maybe you should sleep on it.")
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So now we know some of the possible reasons for why we dream... but have you ever wondered what your dreams meant? Every dream has some kind of hidden meaning behind it. For example, if you dream about running from something, it could mean that you're having trouble confronting a problem. If you dream that you're naked, it can symbolize vulnerability that you feel in a certain area of your life. And to dream that you are flying signifies a sense of freedom where you had initially felt restricted and limited.
What about dreaming about things before they happen? This is called precognitive dreaming, and it's one thing that scientists are unable to explain. Though the Bible says something about it. In Numbers 12, Yahweh says to His people that if there is a prophet among them, He will reveal it through visions and dreams. There are also several stories in the Bible where God sends a vision to His people when they're sleeping. By these examples, we know that some dreams can be sent by the Lord.
If you've ever had a recurring dream, it could mean that your brain (or Yahweh) is trying to tell you something important. Maybe something in your life is harming you, and your subconscious is trying to get you to pay attention to the problem, and confront it.
I did some research, and was able to come up with lots of facts about dreaming. You may already know some of these, but I bet others will surprise you...
1) You forget 90% of your dreams.
Have you ever had a really, really, really good dream... only to wake up and be unable to forget the details? This is because, in that time between being awake and asleep, your brain files all that stuff away again until the next time you dream. You only ever retain about 10% of the details from your dreams, if that. Imagine everything you're missing!
2) Night owls have more nightmares.
It's true. College research has shown that students who stayed up super late experienced more of those frightening, disturbing dreams than those students who went to bed early. Yet another reason to go to be when your parents tell you to... ;]
3) You can control your dreams.
I have actually tested this out before, and it's true. If you are thinking intently about something as you fall asleep, you will likely dream about it. Also, as long as you're aware that you're dreaming, you can do things like change the scenario, get out of bad situations, and control what you say to people while you're in the dream.
4) Animals dream, too.
Studies have shown that animals, especially mammals, dream just like humans. Their brain patterns when sleeping are almost exactly identical to ours. I've seen evidence of this by watching my dog bark in her sleep, her paws twitching as though she's chasing something. It's pretty cool!
5) So do blind people.
If someone is born blind, then they will dream in darkness, only experiencing smells, sounds, feelings and tastes. However, it's been proven that people who go blind, (at ages as young as five years old) can dream just like people who have perfect vision. Granted, they will only see so many faces... which brings me to my next fact.
6) You can only dream faces you've seen.
Did you know that your brain is incapable of creating faces? It's true. So if, in your dreams, you see someone you don't know, you must have passed them on the street or at the store, and your brain filed away their face at a glance. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces in our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brains to utilize during our dreams.
7) Some people only dream in black and white.
Only about 70% of people dream in color. The other 30% dream in black and white. I know that I've only ever had dreams (that I remember) in color. Have you ever had a black and white dream?
8) Dreams can cause incorporation.
How often do you dream of eating, drinking, or even going to the bathroom, and then wake up to perform the action? If music is playing near where you're sleeping, you'll dream that someone is singing the song, or that you're at a concert. If you're cold because you kicked off your blanket, you might dream that you're outside in the snow. Things in the physical world can most definitely take effect in your dreams.
9) Emotions are high.
The most common emotion to experience when dreaming is anxiety. Studies have also shown that men have more violent dream than women, and that most women have more sad dreams than angry ones.
10) Interrupted dreams can cause mental problems.
When someone wakes you from a dream, are you irritated? It can actually be dangerous to someone's mental health to wake them from a state of dreaming. Research was done on college students, in which they were woken during the REM phase of their sleep. It was noted that the students became irritable, hallucinated a lot, were affected by psychosis, and were finally disinterested in everything they did.
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So, now that I've filled your heads with a bunch of scientific theories and facts, I think I'll go take a nap ;) Thanks so much to the beautiful Raquel for letting me guest-post for her ♥ Sweet dreams, everyone!
About the Authoress
Hi, I'm Jessica, an eighteen-year-old girl with a passion for all things beautiful, and a bookaholic who's not looking for treatment. Some call me an artist. I love to blog, play the guitar, and design jewelry. A few of my favorite things include photography, poetry, chocolate, dogs, roller coasters, friends, laughter, and rain. Yeshua is my King -- to Him be the glory in all that I do.
Be sure to come and visit me at my blog, Diary of a Beautiful Soul. I'd love to hear from you!