Interesting facts about dreams

 Today, a little about dreams. Which surprised me too. 

Nine things you probably didn't know about dreams

Dreams are still a rather unexplained phenomenon, which many experts are studying in detail and trying to do as much research as possible to get to the bottom of. But some interesting information about dreams and sleep is already known.

1. Sleep can help you learn

Studying for a tough exam and don't even have time to sleep? Maybe that's the mistake that's causing you to fail to do well on difficult material. You'll study much better if you study with a rested mind. Sleep and dreams help the brain learn by finding ways to solve problems, according to scientists at Harvard University. In a study recently published in the scientific journal Current Biology, researchers found that dreams are a way for the brain to process information, make connections and increase understanding of new information. But the key is to get a good night's sleep. You can increase the quality of your sleep, and therefore your brain's ability to learn, by sleeping in a quiet, dark and not too warm room. Before going to bed, switch off all electronic devices and other devices that could disturb your sleep. 

2. Women can also orgasm while they sleep

If you think that only men can orgasm in their sleep, you are mistaken. Psychotherapist and sexologist Barbara Bartlik agrees: "Women can have orgasms in their sleep, just like men. Such orgasms are often associated with erotic dreams, but can also be triggered by non-erotic dreams. When women sleep, it can happen that their genitals become moist and swollen. This usually happens during REM sleep and is repeated several times during the night," says Dr Bartlik. "Similarly, men also experience erections during REM-phase, whether they have erotic dreams or not," he adds.

3. The most common dream is that your partner is cheating on you

Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat because you dreamt that your partner was cheating on you with your best friend? You're not the only one, according to dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, who specialises in dream analysis. She conducted a survey of more than 5,000 people and found that infidelity is the most common nightmare that plagues people. Such dreams rarely have any connection with reality, but are the result of most people's fear that their partner will leave them or that they will be cheated on.

4. You can dream as many as ten different dreams in one night

Although we often have only one dream in the morning, in reality we dream up to ten different dreams at night. This may seem unbelievable, but scientists say that the first dream we have is only about five minutes long, while the last dream can be up to 45 minutes long. "Overnight, we dream every 90 minutes, and each dream cycle is longer than the last," says Loewenberg. In a lifetime, the average person dreams 100,000 dreams.

5. When you wake up, you can stay "trapped" in your dreams

Have you ever woken up and wished you could go back to a pleasant dream? Scientists say it's not possible, but you can stay half asleep for a while and enjoy the pleasant sensations that the dream brought you. "The best way to remember your dreams and enjoy them for a while is to stay still for a few minutes after you wake up. So when you wake up, stay in the same place, in the same position, don't move your muscles. As soon as you move, you will automatically 'unstick' yourself from the dream you were dreaming," says dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg.

Are you plagued by a recurring nightmare that's making you feel a bit anxious? Loewenberg believes you need to recognise the secret messages in them to get rid of the nightmare. 

6. Even the most bizarre dreams can be explained

Even if you think that your off-centre dream about joining a circus or being caught in a snowstorm has no connection to reality, experts say that all dreams have a symbolic meaning that is connected to real life - you just have to look for it. The meaning of our dreams, they say, often relates to things that we have yet to discover about ourselves or that are connected to the world around us. So, when you want to uncover the meaning of your dreams, think about what events around you might trigger them.

7. Recurring dreams may be an expression of your subconscious mind

Are you plagued by a nightmare that keeps recurring, and so are you already a little anxious about it? Loewenberg believes that you need to recognise the secret messages in them to get rid of the nightmare. For example, if you often have dreams related to tooth loss or tooth grinding, you need to think about how you imagine your teeth. "In dreams, your teeth, like other parts of your body, are symbols of something. Nightmares about your teeth could mean that your subconscious is telling you that you need to pay more attention to what you say," says Loewenberg.

8. You can control your dreams

The idea that we can limit or otherwise control our dreams seems implausible. But the results of a new study of 3 000 people show that dreams can be controlled. 64.9 per cent of respondents said they had dreamt other dreams within one dream, and 34 per cent said they could control their dreams. "Not everyone has this ability, but the good news is that it can be developed," said scientist Kelly Bulkeley, who says the technique is extremely important for those who suffer from recurrent nightmares. "Before going to sleep, repeat the phrase to yourself a few times: 'If I dream this dream again, I'll realise it's just a dream', in which case you may wake up from the nightmare or start dreaming something else," explains Dr Bulkeley.

9. You don't have to be asleep to dream

Scientists say you can also dream at work, in the car or at your child's football game. "Dreaming while awake should not be confused with daydreaming, but it's not difficult to dream even when you're not asleep. The first step is to remember the last dream you had, preferably a good dream. Waking dreaming helps to create an interaction between the unconscious and the waking part of the mind," adds Dr Bulkeley.

So that was something new about dreams. 

Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter. See you again in 4 days!