Adults and babies alike dream for around two hours per night—even those of us who claim not to.
Researchers have found that people usually have several dreams each night, each one typically lasting for between five to 20 minutes.
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While dreams are often heavily influenced by our personal experiences, researchers have found that certain dream themes are very common across different cultures.
For example, people from all over the world frequently dream about being chased, being attacked, or falling. Other common dream experiences include feeling frozen and unable to move, arriving late, flying, and being naked in public.
REM sleep is characterized by paralysis of the voluntary muscles. The phenomenon is known as REM atonia and prevents you from acting out your dreams while you're asleep. Basically, because motor neurons are not stimulated, your body does not move.
In some cases, this paralysis can even carry over into the waking state for as long as 10 minutes, a condition known as sleep paralysis.
A lucid dream is one in which you are aware that you are dreaming even though you're still asleep.
Lucid dreaming is thought to be a combination state of both consciousness and REM sleep, during which you can often direct or control the dream content.
While most people report dreaming in color, there is a small percentage of people who claim to only dream in black and white.
In studies where dreamers have been awakened and asked to select colors from a chart that match those in their dreams, soft pastel colors are those most frequently chosen.
According to one theory about why dreams so difficult to remember, the changes in the brain that occur during sleep do not support the information processing and storage needed for memory formation to take place.
Nightmares are broadly defined as frightening dreams that result in some degree of awakening from sleep.
Nightmares themselves contribute to disrupted sleep not only by waking the sleeper but also because they can lead to fear of falling asleep and returning to a disturbing dream. According to research, nightmares may contribute to insomnia, daytime fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
People are compelled to talk about dreams. It is a natural impulse because dreams are emotional, affect moods, feel profound.
What is unusual is that we live in a culture where we’re expected to forget our dreams. We have this cliche that it is boring to talk about dreams.
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