7 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Dreaming

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Dreams elephantThink you know all there is to know about dreaming? Think again. There are lots of amazing little-known facts and plenty of myths out there.

1. JOLTED AWAKE? YOU’LL PROBABLY FORGET YOUR DREAMS

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Has this ever happened to you? You’re going along, enjoying a lovely dream and—bam! The alarm jolts you wide awake. Did you remember that kiss with Brad Pitt or floating through the cosmos? Probably not. Experts tell us that trauma like the shock of alarm clock can send dream recall flying out the window.

2. GOOD DREAM “RECALLERS” HAVE UNUSUAL BRAIN ACTIVITY

If you think people who remember their dreams are different from the rest of us, you’d be right. According to a new study, those with good dream recall have more voluntary activity in the temporo-parietal junction area of the brain.

3. WHETHER IT’S A DREAM OR REAL LIFE, YOUR BODY DOESN’T CARE

Ever felt anger at someone in your dreams only to wake up stressed out, with a pounding heart and high blood pressure? It’s not surprising. Your body reacts the same way to a dream as it would to real life anger or a fight. The experience registers practically the same way in your brain, nerves and muscles.

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4. WE DON’T JUST DREAM DURING THE REM SLEEP STAGE

Most of us have been taught that only REM equals dreams, but that is not actually the case. We are constantly dreaming all night long. REM gets all the attention because that’s where we’re more likely to “see” the dream and remember it.

5. MOST ANIMALS HAVE REM SLEEP

If you notice Fido or Fluffy twitching while sleeping in their beds, they’re having dreams too. With the exception of insects, fish and some birds, most animals have REM sleep.

6. NIGHTMARES DON’T ALWAYS EQUAL FEAR

Sure, nightmares are scary, but having one doesn’t always mean you’re afraid or react fearfully. According to one study, people with nightmares reported feelings of confusion, guilt, sadness and worry rather than fear. Bad dreams comprise a wealth of complex emotions.



7. NO DREAM IS WEIRD

You might think that dream of you partying in Las Vegas with Abraham Lincoln and a purple elephant is weird, but it’s not. Dreams are like a totally different language. No dream is weird, unless you label it as such.

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