The images, scenes, or stories that play out in your mind during slumber are always present during REM sleep. We have dubbed them dreams, and they can make our nighttime rest periods exciting, confusing, mystifying, and even terrifying at times.
While you are trying to interpret what your dreams last night meant, here are 11 fun facts about the incredible dream activity that you experience each night:
1. You can learn while you dream.
While you dream, your brain is busy honing problem solving skills and learning. If you are perfecting a new skill or studying new information, then good sleep, complete with dreams, can help you learn more quickly.
2. Some people dream only in black and white.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 percent of people only dream in black and white. Age plays a factor in this phenomenon, as people 25 or younger say they almost never dream in black and white, while people 55 and older claim to dream in color about 75 percent of the time.
3. The faces you see in your dreams are probably those of people you already know or have seen before.
While it is very difficult to prove scientifically, according to the journal, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, there have been studies showing that the areas of the brain most active during REM sleep are also responsible for facial recognition.
4. Blind people experience more sensory dreams.
People born blind experience dreams, but not through the sense of sight. Instead, they have dreams that are reliant on the other senses, and their dreams are still as intense as those with sight. Those who become blind later in life will experience visual images in their dreams however.
5. Animals also have dreams.
Humans are not the only species that dream. Many animals also experience heightened brain activity and dream while they sleep.
6. There are differences in how dream characters are casted, based on your gender.
The majority of men tend to have all male characters in their dreams. However, when women dream, they have a more even mixture of males and females in their dreams.
7. You always have multiple dreams each night, but you won’t always remember them.
While you may not remember most of them, you have multiple dreams each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people forget 90-95 percent of their dreams.
8. Both men and women experience arousal during dreams.
While it is often perceived that men experience more sexual arousal during dreams, both men and women experience arousal equally during REM sleep.
9. Dreams recharge your creativity.
Sleep recharges your body, and dreams recharge your creativity. According to the American Psychological Association, this is because dreams actually resemble creativity. As the brain problem solves during dreams it actually mimics the creative, waking thought process. For this reason, many artists are more likely to be stimulated by their dreams, and think with more creativity while awake.
10. You cannot read or tell time in your dreams.
While dreaming, most people are not able to read or tell time in their dreams with accuracy.
11. Your mind is more active while you are dreaming than when you’re awake.
Even though your body is resting while you sleep, your mind is more active than when you’re awake. During dreams, your mind is learning, solving problems, and also filing, sorting, and making sense of all the information you absorbed in your waking hours.