Why do people dream at night?

Dreams are stories and images that our minds create while we sleep. They can be entertaining, fun, romantic, disturbing, frightening and sometimes bizarre. Dreams can be vivid. They can make you feel happy, sad, or scared. And they may seem confusing or perfectly rational.

Every night when we sleep, we disconnect from our conscious thought processes. The lights go off and we're protected from external stimuli (like noise, temperature and pain). But our internal stimuli (like emotions and fears) are still rumbling around, seeking a way to be heard. And so dreams form.

Ancient civilizations saw dreams as portals for receiving wisdom from the gods. Modern theories suggest it's not as complicated as that.

Here are some key points about dreams;
1. Though a few people may not remember dreaming, it is thought that everyone dreams between 3 to 6 times per night.

2. It is thought that each dream lasts between 5 to 20 minutes.

3. Around 95% of dreams are forgotten by the time a person gets out of bed.

4. Dreaming can help you learn and develop long-term memories.

5. Women dream more about family, children and indoor settings when compared with men.

6. Recalling something from last week that has appeared in your dream is called the "dream-lag effect."

7. There is a difference in the quality and quantity of dreams experienced in rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep.

8. 48% of people that feature in a dream are recognized by the person dreaming.

9. Both sleep and dream quality are affected by alcohol.

10. Dreams are Symbolic. If you dream about some particular subject it is not often that the dream is about that. Dreams speak in a deeply symbolic language. Whatever symbol your dream picks on it is most unlikely to be a symbol for itself

11. Blind People also Dream. People who became blind after birth can see images in their dreams. People who are born blind do not see any images, but have dreams equally vivid involving their other senses of sound, smell, touch and emotion. Blind people dream more with other sensory components compared with sighted people.

12. In Our Dreams We Only See Faces That We already Know. Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces throughout our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilize during our dreams.

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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