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8 strange facts about dreams you probably didn't know

Mad stuff happens when you sleep, mad.

YOU LOVE TELLING everyone who’ll listen about your dreams, but how much do you really know about them?

Did you know that you can control your dreams with a bit of effort? That you can’t read or tell the time in a dream?

No? Read on, find enlightenment.

1. The phrase ‘pipe dream’ originates from opium smokers

A Pipe Dream is defined by as

An unrealistic hope or fantasy.

Your hopes of flying is a pipe dream. Directioners, marrying Harry Styles is a pipe dream. As you could probably guess, the phrase originated from the illusions and dreams experienced by opium smokers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The earliest coining of the phrase was found in a Chicago newspaper, the Daily Tribune in December 1890:

It [aerial navigation] has been regarded as a pipe-dream for a good many years.

Big Dreams - Imgur Source: Imgur

2. You can control your dreams

Lucid dreaming is when you’re aware you are dreaming and can choose how it goes. There are a lot of skeptics surrounding the practice, but scientists have carried out many tests with subjects giving pre-agreed ‘signals’ that they’re conscious while they are sleeping.

tumblr_lpfs9iVBB31qg6og6o1_500 Source: Weheartit

Sure, we’d all love to control our pleasant dreams, but one hint of a realistic nightmare and we’re out. If you wake up during a particularly interesting dream, rubbing your hands together could be the key to staying asleep.

If you want to give it a go, allow Asap Science to give you a few tips.

Source: AsapSCIENCE

3. You may be able to watch dreams back like a movie some day

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley are working on new technology that would allow them to decode and deconstruct people’s visual experiences. Subjects were tested watching movie trailers, while their brain activity was recorded and measured with fMRI. Right now, it can only be used on previously seen things, but they’re working on memories and thoughts that nobody else can see. Professor Jack Gallant of UC Berkeley says:

We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.

Terrifying. However, the technology could be useful for coma or stroke patients unable to communicate verbally.

Check out the accuracy below, with more info on the study on the UC Berkeley website.

Source: Jack Gallant

4. Care to control them?

You can, in theory. The REM Dreamer uses infra-red sensors to detect when you’re in an REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage. During this stage, our brains become as active as they are during waking, though not all areas are activated. Sound and light cues become part of your surroundings to help you enter lucid dream, wherein you have an element of control. The light may manifest as the sun, a siren, or any sort of light, it’s up to you to recognise it.

Sounds difficult, and you have to wear this.

81kvsaE9L0L._SL1500_ Source:

It’ll only set you back  £274.99. Bargain.

5. Some people dream in black and white

Older people can tend to dream in black and white. Most people dream in colour, with those aged 25 and under almost never experiencing a monochrome dream.

People over 55, however, are more likely to have grown up with black and white television and media, and were shown to have had similar dreams about quarter of the time.

tumblr_m4a5xg9V9o1r0orgpo1_500 Source: Tumblr/ibeautifulfriday

6. Most people over the age of ten have at least four to six dreams every night

According to, you dream during REM or non-REM sleep in the hour or two before waking up. 365 by four and six, means that we have between 1,460 and 2,190 dreams every year.

So why can’t we remember most of them? Well, we forget 95-99% of all dreams cause we er, sleep through them.

awesome-dream-memes-6 Source: World-of-lucid-dreaming

7. Salvador Dali woke himself up during dreams to capture them in his art

The surrealist artist would sleep on a sofa with a tin plate on floor and a spoon in his hand so that when he would relax, it’d fall and wake him up to sketch what he had dreamt.

mind-racing Source: Tumblr

Other lucid dreamers include James Cameron, Chris Nolan (director of dream-within-a-dream movie, Inception) and Stephen King.

Dreams were also responsible for the initial idea for Google, the sewing machine, DNA’s double helix and Twilight. You’re welcome world.

8. Men dream more about sex than women

Well you may have known this one. Women dream more about fantasies, fiction, and intimacy outside of sex itself. Men also had much more aggressive dreams and tended to have less nightmares than women. Holy stereotypes.


How bad a sleeper are you? Take this quiz to find out…>

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