Dreams are mystifying even to this age of modern science. Extensive studies have been made about this enigmatic human experience even in ancient times but still a lot of it is left unanswered and continues to be a subject of human exploration.
Here are some of the interesting facts about dreams:
- Etymologies point the word “dream” to a West Germanic word “draugmus” which means “deception” or “phantom” and from the Old Norse “draugr” which means “ghost.”
- Dreams have been known as a means of communicating heavenly knowledge such as those mentioned in the Holy Bible. Greeks also believe dreams to be messages from gods.
- The oldest known dream dictionary is written in Beatty Papyrus in Thebes, Egypt which dates back around 1350 B.C. It describes the process of dream interpreting as well as their meanings. Oneirocritica (Interpretation of dreams) by Artemidorus Daldianus was one of the best sellers second only to the Holy Bible.
- Our brain has a mechanism that causes paralysis when we enter the dream state. It prevents us from making physical actions when we dream. At times it may not function properly resulting in sleepwalking, parasomnias, and some rare accounts of “sleep murders.”
- 9 times out of 10 we forget what our dreams were even though we experience 4 to 7 dreams every night without consciously knowing it.
- Dreams are highly symbolic. One particular event in a dream can be entirely different from what it actually means. It also depends on what is deeply ingrained into a person’s subconscious as to what a particular event or object means.
- Animals dream too. Ever seen a sleeping dog jerking its paws and legs, yipping as though it is chasing something? Your pet experience dreams as much as you do.
- While some people are aware that they’re dreaming, most people do not. People who experience lucid dreaming are aware of it because the higher part of their brain is at work which is supposed to be offline during dream state.
It interesting to note that, like any other activity, lucid dreaming can actually be acquired through practice. Some people use this method to cure some sleep disorders, like in those people who experience frequent nightmares. The first step to lucid dreaming is trying to remember what you have dreamed of. You can try it for yourself.