11 Shocking Facts about Dreams that will Rock Your World!

Posted Jan 05, by Jose Duarte

The human brain is responsible for many complex creations, but it can’t invent the image of people. So the “strangers” that you meet in your dreams actually have the faces of people who you’ve once seen in your real life but forgotten, like your childhood mailman or that guy bumped into on the side walk that one time. 

Chances are that you’ve laid their eyes on more than a few individuals, and so the brain as a huge cast of characters to play with when you drift off to sleep. Except for in the case of extreme psychological disorder, every human being dreams. In fact, in a recent study, students who were awakened at the beginning of each dream but still allowed 8 hours of sleep, all experienced difficulty concentrating, irritability, hallucinations, and signs of psychosis in a span of three days. 

When they were allowed their REM sleep, their brains compensated for the lost time by increasing the percentage of the sleep spent in the REM stage. Dreams are a window into the subconscious. Even though most of the time, they’re completely random, disorganized, and we forget 90% of them within 10 minutes of waking up; many people have drawn inspiration from their dreams. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein was a based on a dream that she had. 


Scientists at UC Berkeley have achieved a major milestone in their quest to create a technology that would let us tap into our brain's imaging systems. They used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models and they succeeded in decoding and reconstructing visual experiences of their test subjects. 

The tests they ran had people watching a movie trailer. Then, they reconstructed the images using their new technology. While that's as far as they can do right now, it puts them one step closer to being able to tap into your dreams.

The more noble implications for this technology will allow some sort of understanding, and even communication with people who cannot communicate verbally. For example, stroke victims, and people in comas. Check out the source if you wanna learn more about how they achieved this great feat.


The Average Person Has between 1,460 and 2,190 Dreams A Year.

Most people over the age of 10 have 4 to 6 dreams every night. Those numbers times 365 days in one year makes for between 1,460 and 2,190 dreams every year. We dream during REM periods (which is when we have Rapid Eye Movement in our sleep) which can range anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour long. In the course of one night this happens multiple times.

\"Wait a minute!\" you might be thinking, \"I don\'t remember having 4 different dreams in one night, and I certainly don\'t remember having over 1,000 dreams this year.\" The fact of the matter is, you forget between 95% to 99% of all the dreams you have. That may seem kind of high, but most of your dreams don\'t really interest you enough to make you want to remember them.

Dreams are commonplace and don\'t require enough concentration to force you to remember them. In that sense, they are similar to other routine actions you do throughout the day like driving or tying your shoes. You don\'t remember most of the time you do those things either.

The method is called "lucid dreaming," which means that you're aware of the fact that you're dreaming. That way you have the freedom to choose how your dreams go. In most cases people turn nightmares into good dreams or fly.

A pipe dream is something typically regarded as an unrealistic hope or fantasy. The phrase can be traced back to the dreams experienced by opium smokers, which were very prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries by the highly literate. 

The earliest reference comes from The Chicago Daily Tribune in December 1890, where it is said “[aerial navigation] has been regarded as a pipe dream for a good many years.” 

In 1895, the first reference to opium smoking with the phrase is found in The Fort Wayne Gazette. Detailing a story of a man who predicted the suicide of another man, the reference says that if “reputable men had not verified it” it would sound more like “the 'pipe dream' of an opium devotee.” 


When you dream, your body is paralyzed.

In the first 90 minutes of sleep, you go through deepening stages ranging from light sleep to deep sleep.

Then you enter a phase called REM sleep (REM is short for Rapid Eye Movement) During REM sleep, the rest of your body essentially becomes paralyzed. The release of certain neurotransmitters are shut down and your large muscles do not move.

Some people have abnormal REM sleep in which those neurotransmitters do not shut down, and they act out their dreams. Most of the dreams we vividly remember happen during REM, as our brain has higher activity during this phase.

\"\" Women dream about sex as often as men do.

Regardless of whether men spend more of their waking hours thinking about sex, a 2007 study found that they are no more likely to dream about sex than women. However, the type of sex dreams that participants had varied by gender. Women are more likely to dream about sex with celebrities, exes, and current partners. Men are more likely to dream about having multiple partners, and 90% of men’s sex dreams involve women initiating sex.

A later study came to a much different conclusion. A dream study in 2009 found that men’s dreams feature more reference to sexual activity and more sexual intercourse, while women’s dreams feature more kissing and sexual fantasies about other dream characters. In addition to having fewer sexually explicit dreams, the women in this study were also stuck with having more nightmares!

Imagine being able to control your dreams? The REM Dreamer can get you pretty close! It’s a sleeping mask that allows whoever’s wearing it to become aware that they’re dreaming. The clever device does this through using infra-red sensors to detect when you’ve fallen into REM sleep and then uses light and sound to give you a reality check. This jogs you into becoming lucid in your dream setting!

The light and sounds will appear in the dreams as signs such as car headlights or sunlight. The really cool thing about the mask though is its ‘two way communication’ feature. This allows the wearer to actually signal back to the lucid mask that you have become conscious, so that it can stop giving you cues. The mask is likely to feel a bit weird at first. You can adjust the intensity, frequency and duration of the audio and light alerts though, to suit the varying sensitivities of different sleepers.

In the morning you can then check to see how many times it activated in the night! The REM Dreamer may not work for everyone, and can take some time to adapt to. If you stick with it though it can really enhance dream experiences and make sleep a whole lot more exciting! So, tempted? Check it out here.

It sounds like something out of Inception, but it’s true. Falling backwards while in a dream is a popular technique for awakening from an unpleasant dream, or changing the scenery of your unpleasant dream. 

There’s a whole guide to doing it correctly. It takes some time to learn to use well, and requires a few things to know beforehand. Falling backwards in a dream can sometimes cause a “false awakening,” where you think you’re awake but still dreaming. 

If you’re really committed to making the “falling backwards” technique work, you have to remember to do a reality check after falling backwards. It’s likely you’ll still be asleep, though. 

It’s important to make sure you’re thinking of a new “dreamscape” to fall into when you’re falling backwards, or else nothing will happen. Sometimes, a nightmare can be so bad that it wakes you up. 

But falling backwards from one nightmare into a better dream can ensure you won’t wake up. Closing your eyes is also recommended when falling backwards in a dream because it can help concentration.

It’s also recommended that you move intentionally when falling so that you can prepare yourself. The whole guide is very extensive, and if you’re interested, you can read moreat the source


Many people argue that Salvador Dali is the father of surrealistic art. His art elaborates on juxtaposition, disposition, and morphing of objects. His most famous painting, Persistence of Memory, is instantly associated with him whenever it is seen. 

Surrealism is the use of dreamlike imagery, or, by definition, any imagery that is "surreal." Dali’s imagery and imagination were both so vivid and wild that people often wonder how he came to create the art he did. It turns out he had an oddly elaborate method.

Fascinated with the images he got as he was drifting off to sleep, Dali would place a tin plate on the floor and sit beside it in a chair, holding a spoon above the plate. He would relax and fall asleep, and the moment when he did, the spoon would fall and clash with the plate, waking him up with the dream images fresh in his mind. 

The logic behind this is that Dali was bringing the unconscious thoughts to the conscious level. The unconscious state is like a fire hydrant outside, while the conscious state is like a faucet in the house. 

Once that fire hydrant turns on, a constant supply of images flows in. Bringing the unconscious thoughts to that level is simply a matter of turning on that "fire hydrant," which, in Dali’s case, was accomplished by waking himself the moment he fell asleep. There is a blueprint to the process you can view at the source


According to a study published in 2008, people under the age of 25 reported rarely ever dreaming in black and white, while those over 55 claimed to dream in monochrome about a quarter of the time. This is largely attributable to the shift from black and white television to full color back in the 1940s!

The New York Times explains more about the study that discovered this. No word yet on how many of the participants reported dreaming about penguins, which would likely affect the results.

View Comments