Dreams are one of the most fascinating and mystifying aspects of sleep. Since Sigmund Freud helped draw attention to the potential importance of dreams in the late 19th century, considerable research has worked to unravel both the neuroscience and psychology of dreams.
Despite this advancing scientific knowledge, there is much that remains unknown about both sleep and dreams. Even the most fundamental question — why do we dream at all? — is still subject to significant debate.
While everyone dreams, the content of those dreams and their effect on sleep can vary dramatically from person to person. Even though there’s no simple explanation for the meaning and purpose of dreams, it’s helpful to understand the basics of dreams, the potential impact of nightmares, and steps that you can take to sleep better with sweet dreams.
Fast facts on dreams
- We may not remember dreaming, but everyone is thought to dream between 3 and 6 times per night
- It is thought that each dream lasts between 5 to 20 minutes.
- Around 95 percent of dreams are forgotten by the time a person gets out of bed.
- Dreaming can help you learn and develop long-term memories.
- Blind people dream more with other sensory components compared with sighted people.