What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.

WERNER HERZOG

Dreaming

Why Do We Dream?


We all intuitively know what a dream is but there’s no universally accepted definition of dreaming and nobody knows for sure why we have them.
 
Sigmund Freud suggested that dreams express forbidden desires but there are lots of other theories about what dreams might do.

The threat simulation hypothesis suggests that dreams may provide a sort of virtual reality simulation in which we can rehearse threatening situations.

There is also evidence that dreams could help to regulate long-term mood. For instance, a study of dreams in divorced women showed that those who dreamed about their ex-husbands more often were better able to cope with divorce.

People who were deprived of water before they slept but then drank in their dreams, felt less thirsty when they woke up.

 

Dreaming 


A study in Sleep and Hypnosis journal in 2004 studied 63 people who were asked to sleep on either their left or their right side. They found that people who slept on their left were more likely to have nightmares – 40.9% of those who slept on their left-hand side had disturbing dreams compared to 14.6% of those who slept on their right. 

A 2012 study from Hong Kong found that sleeping face down produces the most vivid dreams. Themes in the paper included 'being tied, unable to move' or 'having a sexual relationship with a big wheel or celebrity'.

There’s some anecdotal evidence that sleeping on an incline makes dreams more vivid – supposedly because it’s more like your posture when you’re awake. 

People tend to have pleasant dreams if nice smells are wafted at them in REM sleep and they have negative or unhappy dreams if stinky, unpleasant smells are sent their way.

The most-common nightmares include your teeth falling out, being chased and not being able to get to the toilet in time.

Lucid Dreams


Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon in which the dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming and can control their actions as well as the content and context of the dream.

VICTOR HUGO (1802-85)

There is nothing like dream to create the future. Utopia to-day, flesh and blood tomorrow.

AKIRA KUROSAWA (1910-98)

Man is a genius when he is dreaming.

Cheesy Dreams


A study by the British Cheese Board in 2005 showed that eating cheese before bed does not give you nightmares. This was not a controlled experiment and was carried out by a body that wants to encourage people to eat more cheese.

However, cheese does contain high levels of the serotonin-producing amino acid tryptophan, and so contrary to popular belief, it is likely to reduce stress and encourage peaceful sleep.

Prescient Dreams


The night before he was elected President for the first time. Abraham Lincoln had a dream in which he saw himself in a mirror, which showed two images of himself superimposed on one another, one being much paler than the other.  He told his wife about it, and she interpreted it as meaning that he would be twice elected President but would not live through the second term.
 
Before the colonization of Africa, King Sobhuza I of Swaziland, who had never seen a white man, had a dream in which he saw a vision of white-skinned people 'with hair like tassels of cattle' bringing with them a Book and some money. His dream told him to accept the Book (supposedly the Bible) but be careful about the money, and that if the Swazi were to shed the white man's blood, it would lead to the end of the Swazi Nation. Because of this policy, Swaziland managed to retain its independence from both Boers and British right up till 1902.

Explaining Dreams


Dreams and possible explanations:

Being trapped or lost – feeling trapped in real life 
.

Falling or drowning – feeling under pressure .

Unanswerable phones/computer crashes –struggling to connect with someone on an emotional level.

Being naked in public – this is about how you respond. If it doesn’t bother you that suggests you feel secure in what you’re doing in real life. If you’re embarrassed it suggests you’re uncomfortable about something and if you don’t notice that suggests a lack of self-awareness. 

By the time you reach the age of 75, you will have spent 50,000 hours dreaming, which equates to 2,000 days or six solid years.

At some stage in their lives, 40% of Britons will dream of meeting the Queen.

At some stage in their lives, 40% of Britons will dream of meeting the Queen.

Niels Bohr dreamt the fundamental principles of atomic theory.

The word fordreamed means tired out by too much dreaming.