There are many, many questions about dreams, dreamers and dream interpretation, and just about everyone who has had a dream has one or more questions about that dream. This article contains some of the most frequently encountered questions about the world of dreams and dream interpretation.
How many dreams do most people have in a night?
The average person has between four and seven dreams every night. Between 15% and 20% of the average night is spent sleeping, therefore an eight hour night of sleep will contain up to two hours of dream sleep.
Do I dream every night?
Yes. Every human being dreams every night, whether they can remember their dreams or not. The dreams that are easiest to remember are those that take place closest to waking.
Do people dream the entire night?
No. The entire night is not spent dreaming, and it usually takes a person anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to reach a sleep state deep enough for dreams to occur. During the final and deepest stage of sleep, the sleeper will cycle in and out of REM sleep.
How long do dreams last?
The average session of dream sleep lasts from 10 to 20 minutes, after which the sleeper cycles back into the deepest stage of sleep. After a time, the sleeper will reenter dream sleep. Each session of dream sleep will contain its own unique dream.
Do the dreams of children have the same meaning as adult dreams?
In many cases, dreams are reflections of the concerns and experiences of the waking world. Since those concerns and experiences are different in children than in adults, the differences are reflected in dreams as well. Studies have shown that the dreams of young children do not have either strong emotional content or a real storyline. Children between the ages of 3 to 7 are often troubled my nightmares as well. These nightmares are often reflections of their own real world fears, like noises, monsters, etc. The dreams of older children and teenagers more closely match those experienced by adults.
Do young children dream about themselves?
It is interesting to note that children generally do not dream about themselves until they reach the age of three. Children younger than three do not usually dream about themselves, and are not characters in their own dreams. This may reflect the fact that most children do not develop a strong sense of self until the age of three.
Can dreams predict the future?
While many people feel that their dreams can predict the future, there is no scientific proof that dreams are predictive. What many people mistake for prediction may actually be the fact that the subconscious notices many things that go totally unnoticed by the waking mind. When the dreamer sleeps, the items noticed by the subconscious are incorporated into the dream, and the dreamer may notice many things the dreamer missed during the day. These unnoticed clues may be misinterpreted as predictions of the future, when in fact they were simply missed clues to present events.
Why do we dream?
The exact function of dream sleep is still a matter of contention among scientists and dream researchers. One popular theory holds that dreams are a way for the subconscious mind to cleanse itself and make sense of the sensory inputs gathered during the waking hours. Another popular theory is that dreams are a sort of release valve. For instance, many people hold back or repress their feelings of anger and resentment during the day. Dreams, the theory goes, are a handy and safe outlet for those repressed feelings to express themselves
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