13 Bizarre Facts About Dreams to Know Before You Go to Sleep Tonight

What happens to your brain when you sleep? Read on to learn these fascinating facts about your dreams and what your dreams mean.

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1. Dreaming is a natural brain function, and all human beings do it. But some people never remember their dreams, according to experts.

2. The longest dreams—up to 45 minutes long—usually occur in the morning.

3. Average amount of time spent dreaming per night: 11⁄2 to 2 hours.

4. Negative emotions, such as anxiety, are more commonly felt during dreams than positive ones are.

5. Psychologists say that both men and women become sexually aroused while dreaming (even if the dream has no sexual content).

6. People who have quit a longtime smoking habit report having very vivid dreams for several weeks after stopping.

7. Scientists believe schizophrenics suffer from irregular REM sleep, and that the hallucinations and delusions they experience may actually be “waking dreams.”

8. Studies show that women who experience nightmares during pregnancy have easier births than women who don’t.

9. The Old English word dream, which etymologists believe is the origin of our word dream, meant “joy,” “mirth,” or “music.” Do you ever dream of weird sea creatures? These facts about jellyfish will mystify you. 

10. The Raramuri people of northern Mexico believe that dreams are the result of one’s soul “waking” or “sobering,” and seeing the world more clearly than usual. (Raramuri families often wake up and discuss their dreams during the night.)

11. Birds, like humans, experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, during which they experience brain wave activity similar to that of humans. This suggests that birds dream.

12. Reptiles also experience brain activity during sleep that suggests they too may dream. (Fish do not.)

13. For most of his life, President Lyndon Johnson had nightmares that he was paralyzed.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest