Updated: May 8
Throughout human history, the subject of dreams has captivated people's curiosity. People have sought to understand why we dream and the meaning of our nighttime visions. Oneirology, which is the scientific study of dreams, seeks to uncover the truth about what really happens when we close our eyes and drift off.
In this blog post, we explore ten facts about dreaming that will help you gain insight into the mysterious world of sleep. From the gender differences of dream content to the power of dreams for divination, you'll be surprised at the fascinating facts uncovered about dreaming.
1. Dreams Tend to Last Anywhere From 5-20 Minutes
A person's dream lasts between five and twenty minutes on average, depending on which type of dream they are having. The length of each dream may vary depending on the individual and how deeply they are dreaming. People who experience lucid dreaming, or full control over their dream environment, tend to have longer and more vivid dreams that can last up to an hour. Even though a dream may seem like it lasted for hours, in reality, the amount of time a person spends dreaming is much less.
2. Everyone Dreams, Even if They Don’t Remember It
Everyone experiences dreams during sleep, even if they don't remember them in the morning. This is because most dreaming occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is a deep and restorative stage of sleep.
During REM sleep, the body and mind are highly active, allowing for vivid dreams to take place. It's estimated that everyone has four to six dreams per night, but most people don't remember them due to the short duration. Fortunately, by making a conscious effort to recall your dreams and write them down, it's possible to start remembering the details and meanings of your dreams.
If you are interested in knowing why some people can't remember their dreams, read the article "Why Can't I Remember My dreams".
3. Dreaming Can Help With Problem Solving and Creativity
Dreams can be a powerful tool for problem-solving and creativity. Studies have shown that people who recall their dreams are more likely to come up with creative solutions to problems.
One study that investigated the relationship between dreams and creativity was conducted by Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. The study found that people who wrote down their dreams and then used them to solve tasks were more creative than those who did not. The study concluded that when we have access to our dream content, we can use it in creative problem-solving.
4. The Average Person Has Over 1,460 Dreams a Year
The average person has around 1,460 dreams a year. Although the exact number may vary depending on the individual and their sleep patterns, most people experience several dreams per night. The total number of dreams reported by the participants in one study ranged from 1,200 to 2,400 a year, with most people reporting around 1,460 dreams.
5. Humans Spend Around 6 Years Dreaming in Their Lifetimes
Humans are estimated to spend around 6 years dreaming in their lifetimes. This is because the average person sleeps for about 8 hours a night, which equates to 2,920 hours a year. When multiplied by the average lifespan of 80 years, that comes out to around 232,800 hours of sleep, or about 6 years dedicated to dreaming.
6. Women Often Dream About Other People, While Men Often Dream About Objects or Tools
According to a study conducted by psychologist J. Allan Hobson in 1988, women tend to dream more about other people while men often focus on objects and tools. The study examined the content of dreams, as reported by 481 participants. The results showed that men's dreams were more likely to include objects such as tools and machines, while women's dreams were more likely to involve people. Furthermore, the study found that men tended to have more aggressive dreams than women. This research provides an interesting insight into gender differences when it comes to dreaming.
7. Dreams Can Be Used for Divination and Predictions of the Future
Dreams have been used throughout history for divination and predictions of the future. Ancient cultures such as Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek civilizations all believed in the power of dreams and used them as a form of divination. In more recent times, dreamwork has become more popular as a form of self-exploration and self-discovery. Through dreamwork, people can use the information gained from their own dreams to make decisions and gain insight into their current situation.
8. Dreams May Help Us Process Emotions, Such as Fear or Stress
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley in 2017, dreams may help us process emotions such as fear or stress. The study examined the content of dreams and compared them to participants’ current emotional states. The results showed that people who experienced negative emotions in their waking hours reported dreaming about those feelings more than people who experienced positive emotions.
Dreamwork, such as working with a dreamworker or through self-reflection, can be a powerful tool to help us process difficult emotions and gain insight into our emotional state. This can provide an opportunity for growth and healing.
9. Most People Dream in Color
Around 95 percent of people dream in color, while only 5 percent of people experience dreams in black and white. This finding was reported in a 2000 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. The results of the study showed that most people experience their dreams in full color, although the colors may be slightly different from reality. This suggests that our brains are hardwired to process and interpret color, even during sleep.
10. Stressful Dreams Can Lead To Lucid Dreaming
Stressful dreams can lead to lucid dreaming, a form of consciousness during sleep where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. This phenomenon was first explored by Dr. Stephen LaBerge in his 1980 paper "Lucid dreaming: An exploratory study of consciousness during sleep." According to Dr. LaBerge's research, people may become more aware of their dreams if they experience high levels of stress or anxiety. Lucid dreaming is thought to be a way for people to gain control and insight into their own emotional states, allowing them to explore and process difficult emotions in a safe dream environment.
Dreams can be a fascinating and mysterious world, full of possibilities for self-exploration and discovery. If you're interested in learning more about dreams, why not try an individual dream session or a group dreaming circle? Through these experiences, you'll gain deeper insight into the power of dreams and how they can help us better understand ourselves and our world.