Have you ever woken up from one of your dreams and thought "WTF was that?"
Dreams are one of those areas where nobody is quite sure how they work. Not even scientists can agree on why we dream.
Whether your dreams are full of rainbows and unicorns, give you unforgettable night terrors, or go totally noir like a black and white movie, here are some of the things we DO know about the Sandman's nightly deliveries.
You don't walk in dreams.
Next time you're dreaming, look down. Chances are you'll be floating or flying. This is because your brain doesn't recreate the physical sensation of your feet on the ground in your dreams.
Only some people's dreams are in black and white.
Studies have shown that, although not all of their dreams are, it's mostly seniors who end up having black and white dreams. Researchers suggest that this is because of the older generation's heavier association with black-and-white TV.
You can have dreams within dreams.
-like dreams of waking up to find you haven't really woken up is actually very possible. Experts are not sure why these occur, but the "false awakenings" are actually pretty common.
You can control your dreams.
The phenomenon is called "lucid dreaming," where your brain realizes you're dreaming and allows you to orchestrate what goes on in it. Ask yourself every few hours during the day, "Am I dreaming?" Then look at something tangible, like your hands, and tell yourself you're not. This helps train the brain to differentiate between dreams and reality.
Dreams get crazier as the night goes on.
The dreams you have early in the night help your mind sort out the day's thoughts, events and feelings. However, this makes it easier for your mind to wander into stranger areas later on after all that's taken care of.
Your real-life emotions are still very much active.
You feel the same emotions when you're dreaming that you do when you're awake, which is why sometimes you'll wake up from a dream laughing, yelling or crying. It's basically your brain's final step of sorting and organizing the data it gathers from your dreams.
The body often morphs.
The subconscious has some issues recreating the human form, which explains why body parts can look different in your dreams. Things like your hands and faces get rearranged, blurred or simply aren't there when you look closely at them in dreams.
You can fight off nightmares.
Want to end a recurring nightmare? This can be done through “image reversal therapy,” where you repeatedly imagine a happy ending to a recurring nightmare having a happy ending while still awake to help your brain rewrite how the nightmare will end differently.
Strangers in dreams might not be total strangers after all.
Our brain catalogs everything we see. Scientists think that people you don't recognize in dreams are actually all people whom you have somehow seen or interacted with whom your subconscious filed away, like someone who asked you for directions or the waiter who takes your order at lunch.
Wet dreams happen more than guys admit.
Yeah, it's embarrassing but 83% of guys have experienced the phenomenon, and some research suggests the average 40-year-old man has one every 5.5 weeks. Scientists believe that these dreams are most likely to occur when it has been a while since the man's last orgasm.
So keep these tips in mind before you close your eyes tonight. Who knows? Anything can happen!
H/T (Men's Health