Dreaming has fascinated the human mind for thousands of years. Let’s explore 5 weird facts about dreams based on years of scientific research. At the end of the post is a video of 25 more facts you will not believe. If you are one who is tired of dealing with those spooky nightmares, research may have provided an easy and fun way to help treat them (especially if you love to play video games).
In our previous post Weird Dreams And Their Meanings, we explored the different types of weird dreams and what they may mean (based on information gathered by experts). Today, we will share detailed information on 5 mind-boggling dream facts. Each is based on extensive research from a wide range of respectable websites. Let’s begin with our first fact: TV’s influence on dream color.
#1 Not Everyone Dreams In Color (the reason may shock you)
Do you dream in black-and-white, or color? The majority of us will dream in color. But some of us dream in black-and-white. Approximately one person in eight dreams black-and-white. So, why is that? First of all, this wasn’t always the case. According to dream research gathered from the first half of the 20th century, most people used to dream in black-and-white. But in the 1960s, more people were buying color TVs. This lead to the decline in dreaming black-and-white, and the incline in color dreaming. According to a study that was carried out by psychology student Eva Murzyn, the type of television you watched as a child has a profound effect on the color of your dreams.
Were People Dreaming Color Or Black-And-White Before Television?
According to Murzyn, before TV came out, evidence suggests that people were dreaming in color.
When Did The First Color TV Come Out?
The very first color TV wasn’t put on the shelves until the summer of 1950. But the first color broadcast did not occur until the summer of 1951. It wasn’t until the end of 1953 that major color TV sales had began to jump up in the United States. Color television sales started to pass up black-and-white sets by the mid-1970s. By the 1980s, black-and-white sales dropped virtually for good.
#2 Night Owls Are More Likely To Have Nightmares
About 80% of adults report to having at least one nightmare per year. But for others, the numbers are much higher. Are you one who loves to stay up late on a regular basis? According to a study from Yuzuncu Yil University in Van, Turkey, night owls are more likely to experience nightmares. So, if you are one who regularly stays up late, you may want to reconsider another sleep pattern.
The study was conducted using 264 surveyed university students. They were surveyed about their sleep habits and also the frequency of their nightmares. They were also asked to rate the intensity of their dreams by using a measure called the Van Dram Anxiety Scale. So, why does a night owl experience more nightmares than an early bird? The exact reason is still unknown, but experts mention that it may be due to a possible connection to cortisol (the primary stress hormone).
In the morning time, cortisol will usually peak in the body (this is also right around the same time that REM sleep cycles spike). Therefore, if you are asleep during the time that cortisol is elevated, your chances of experiencing a unwanted nightmare (or weird and lucid dream) is a lot higher.
#3 Women Have More Nightmares Than Men
According to a study that was performed at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, women have more nightmares than men. So, why is this? Women carry their worries into their dreams. They will continue processing emotional concerns even during their sleep. Psychology educator Jennifer Parker believes that women use their dreams as a subconscious coping strategy.
Here is how the study went down:
The study was carried out for five years. It is said to be the first to test the difference between the nightmares of men and women. The results were based on 193 male and female volunteers who were asked to record their most recent dream (their emotions were recorded in a diary). The women had almost twice as many nightmares. The results: 34% of the women had nightmares, with only 19% for the men. The results clearly show that women experience more nightmares.
#4 Playing Video Games More Frequently Can Help You Control Your Dreams
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to control our own dreams, therefore get rid of those unpleasant and frightening nightmares? Well, according to a 2008 study (told to LiveScience), those who frequently play video games are better able to influence their dream worlds than non-gamers.
The link is that dreaming and playing video games both represent alternate realities (according to psychologist Jayne Gackenbach at Grant MacEwan University in Canada). The hours spent playing your favorite video games, are hours spent in a virtual reality. Gackenbach also added that since gamers are used to controlling their game environments, they get practice. When they are faced with a nightmare, their practice from playing video games gives them a better chance at controlling it. You can turn your worst nightmare into an entirely different world. A content and fearless world.
#5 Many Of The Famous Attribute Their Ideas To Their Creative Dreams
Some of the greatest ideas have been owed to dreaming. Below is a list of successful ideas attributed to dreaming and creativity. These are four anecdotal accounts from well-known people.
1. The novel called Frankenstein was written by English author Mary Shelley. It was inspired by a dream at Lord Byron’s villa (an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement).
2. To capture and paint surreal dream images, Salvador Dalí (well-known Spanish surrealist painter) would wake himself up the moment he fell asleep to capture and paint surreal dream images. Hypnagogia is defined as the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep. During the “thresold consciousness” phase, mental phenomena will occur. This includes sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming and hallucinations. Dalí obviously knew about the benefits of his clever strategy.
3. Beatles Paul McCartney (English singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer) had a dream that lead him to the discovery of the tune for the popular song “Yesterday” (released in August of 1965).
4. Jack Nicklaus (retired professional golfer) had a dream that allowed him to correct his golf swing.
25 More Weird Dream Facts
So, now that you read through our mind-boggling list of facts, is there one that surprised you more than the rest? If this is the first time you’ve learned about the influence playing video games has on controlling dreams, hopefully you will share it with a friend who regularly deals with nightmares.
With more scientific research performed by the best researchers from around the world, we will continue to learn a lot more about the mystery of dreams. It is an extremely fascinating topic that has always excited the minds of humanity. As researchers stay on their toes to find answers to the most mysterious questions, more weird facts about dreams are bound to blow our minds away.