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Frequently asked questions about dreams
Frequently asked questions about dreams

Frequently asked questions about dreams

Given that we spend around six years of our lives in a dream state, it’s no wonder people want to understand why we do it. In this article I have answered frequently asked questions about dreams. You will discover a lot of information that will truly astonish you! 


Now, some of you might be saying, “I don’t even dream” but the truth is everybody has about 3-7 dreams a night. Dreaming is something we all do and some of the world’s greatest discoveries have come from ideas during the dream state. If you ask someone what did they dream? The results are almost unreliable. Yet many people just don’t remember them once they wake up. In fact, it is estimated that people tend to forget 95% of their dream after 10mins of waking up. So, what you remember of your dreams is only a small fraction of what you actually dreamed. 

Why do we forget our dreams?

There are about 10,000 trillion neural connections within the architecture of your brain. Dreams are created by everything you think and everything you do. A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called reverse learning, holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles, your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones. Without this unlearning process, which results in forgetting of dreams, your brain could be overrun by useless connections and parasitic thoughts could disrupt the necessary thinking you need to do while you’re awake. Hence your dreams are not stored in your long-term memory and you tend to forget them.  

But there is an exception, if you happen to wake up suddenly while you are in the REM phase of sleep, you are often able to remember quite a lot of your dreams content. Of course, dreams can also stick with you if you have a particular dream repeatedly or if they contain some very strong emotions 


The hardest part about answering this question for scientists is that well animals perhaps can’t tell us about their dreams. Basically, everything we do know about whether or not animals dream, comes from what we know about human dreams. Many scientists have looked at the brain activity of sleeping animals in order to try and solve the mystery once and for all. What they found is that overall mammals and birds have a REM stage when they sleep but cold-blooded animals like reptiles, amphibians and fishes don’t. But their research didn’t stop there. 

Dog dreams

Researchers put rats on a track and they measured their brain activity while they moved towards food at the other end of the track. Once the same rats fell into the REM stage of sleep, they measured their brain activity once again and saw identical patterns. This led scientists to believe that rats were dreaming about running for food on the track. Many experts believe the same thing is true for dogs. Just like rats, pups likely dream about their day-to-day lives and experiences, pretty cool right !! even cooler the smaller the dog the more it dreams.  


Dreams provide a world in which we escape from reality into the mind. But what if you could know you were dreaming, and subsequently control the dream? Lucid dreaming is more like playing a video game than watching a movie. The term lucid dreaming was coined by Van Eden way back in 1913. Although people were writing about this kind of experience as far back as the 1800s Lucid dreaming is simply the act of knowing that you’re dreaming and some can actually control the direction of their dreams. This might seem a little superstitious to you, well this superstition has become a scientific fact.  

Lucid dreams

In 2012 at the Max Planck Institute in Germany they were able to show once and for all that lucid dreaming is testable, reproducible and it is real. Here’s how they did it.

They took a person who was about to go to sleep and asked them to dream about clenching your right fist and then your left fist. Later the doctors asked the person to clench his fist while he was awake and took an MRI scan of his brain while he was clenching his fist. Like I have mentioned earlier that when you dream you are paralyzed. Otherwise we would be able to carry out all sorts of horrible things and destroy ourselves. But when the person when into its dream state doctor observed similar patterns of MRI scan of his brain which they observed earlier. So, you can clearly see that the brain-initiated orders and he was able to clench his right fist and then left fist in his dream. In other words, he was conscious while he was dreaming. Hence this is how it was proved that lucid dreaming is possible.  

It is thought that lucid dreaming arises from a state that combines both consciousness and REM sleep. When you are in such a state, you can often control the contents of your dream. At least 50% of people remember having a lucid dreaming at least once in their life. With practice some people can have lucid dream over and over again.  

People actually think of lucid dreaming more in the sense off actually beginning to control what you are dreaming, so you gain volution control and you can decide what’s going to happen during your dream. Frequent lucid dreamers claim that they can control many parts of the dream such as teleporting themselves to another location, learning to improve real life skills or even eating fire. Lucid dreamers have also reported frightening reports that they have trouble distinguishing reality from the dream. In some cases, this can be a sign of mental illness and should be taken seriously. 

 Lucid dreaming comes naturally to some but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With practice people can actually become capable of lucid dreaming. Now the question is why do only some people have the ability of lucid dreaming and not everyone? what is happening to our subconscious that triggers this experience? there’s still a lot to learn about the causes and effects of lucid dreaming. 

It seems only around 20 to 30% of the population are actually natural lucid dreamers. Perhaps if it was so beneficial, Mother Nature would have had all of us being capable of lucid dreaming and the fact that we’re not, means that it’s not necessarily beneficial. Maybe those 20 to 30% of people who do lucid dreaming are at the forefront of hominid evolution and they are going to be the next species of preference. These are just few ideas and much researches are yet to be done. 


There are some really astounding instances in which people have foreseen things in their dreams that would happen to them. These dreams often turned out to be surprisingly accurate. These dreams are known as premonition dreams. Were these dreams a glance into the future? Or were they just a matter of circumstance? Well, some pretty strange cases of premonition are recorded in history! 


For example: 

  • Many of the 9/11 victims dreamed about the coming terror attack in US 
  • Mark Twain dreamed about his brother’s death 
  • Abraham Lincoln two weeks before he was shot dead in 1865. He had a dream about a funeral at the White House when he asked someone who was in the casket. They replied the president. He was killed by an assassin 
  • The verified dreams of 19 people foresaw the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Several people apparently canceled tickets and decided to not travel based on their dreams. 

It’s not because you dreamed it then it became a reality but maybe it was already a reality hence it has happened. Now you imagine something and then you make it a reality tomorrow that is also possible. It is necessary to assume that the future consists of many possibilities and which one becomes reality is determined by the choices.

At this stage in your life don’t attach any importance even if a few of them come true but not all of them are going to come true, just a few are coming true. Even if they do come true, don’t attach any significance to your dreams because it’s like a Pandora’s box, if you open it you can’t handle it, it’s better it’s shut. Just with your logical mind and a bit of spiritual you can handle your life quite well you don’t need visions to handle your simple process of life.  


Everyone at one time or another has wondered what their dreams mean. Some believe that dreams have no meaning and serve no function. Others believe that they’re one of the most important things that human biology has allowed to happen. There’s in fact many theories of why we dream and what purpose it serves.

If you wanna know what does our dreams mean and why do we dream then just click on the link mentioned below

 How do we get dreams? DREAM INTERPRETATION

For more such article do checkout our website.

Author : Easminara Shaikh

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  1. Pingback: How do we get dreams? - Medicoved

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