7 Facts about dreams that will blow your mind

Have you ever woken from a ludicrously whacky dream a thought to yourself, “How the HECK did my brain come up with that?”
Like, you were walking around inside a giant plastic nose with your colleagues, all wearing tuxedos and looking at the nasal walls like it was artwork. Or maybe you have the same recurring dream where you’re sprinting through a jungle that’s got a zillion snakes hanging from the branches and slithering all over the ground, and you just have to keep running.

Dreams are weird, and even though there’s a lot of research based on this phenomenon of sleep, there is still much that we can’t explain. But here are some things we do know, and some of it sounds pretty freaky, to be honest. Have a look, and learn something new about how and why we dream up some of that crazy weird stuff we do.

1. You can’t walk in your dreams

According to Men’s Health sleep advisor W Chris Winter, MD, your brain has difficulty recreating the physical feeling of your feet hitting the ground when you’re sleeping. He says that if you were to look down while dreaming, you’ll probably see yourself flying or just floating (you creep you).

2. The “strangers” in your dreams aren’t strangers at all

Many scientists believe that the random people in your dreams are probably people you’ve encountered before. Even if you feel like you’ve never seen them in your life, the theory is that you’ve probably walked past them on the street or seen them on some kind of commercial or something. It looks like our subconscious stores their images for whatever reason.
sleep bed dream man Credit: Pexels

3. You probably dream up mutant people

Just like walking, your brain also struggles to recreate hands and faces as they should be when you’re unconscious, says Winter. The people in your dreams are probably missing fingers or have deformed hands and faces. Really – if you look closely at someone in your dreams, Winter says they’ll probably look blurred or have their noses/eyes/mouths in slightly different spots or even completely absent (*shudders*).

4. Your dreams get wilder later in the night

Research has shown that when you first doze off, your dreams are pretty logical and are basically just you going through everything that happened in your day and making sense of it. But later on, and especially right when you wake up, that’s when your dreams get really weird because your mind is now free to think about anything and everything unbridled.

5. You can control your dreams

Yes, this means you can fight off nightmares too. All you have to do is think of whatever recurring nightmare you have when you’re awake, but imagine it with a happy ending. Alternatively, you can try your hand at the thing called lucid dreaming, which is when you train your brain to stay conscious during dreams. Sounds weird, but it really can work.

6. Not everyone dreams in black and white

A British study found that it’s mainly just older people who dream in black and white, contrary to popular belief that everyone does. They believed that it’s because older generations watched black-and-white TV for a portion of their lives, which is why they struggle to dream in colour sometimes.

7. It’s possible to have dreams within dreams

Inception-like dreams are actually quite common, and often people have a “false-awakening” when they think it’s time to start the day, but only realise they’re still dreaming after stepping into the bathroom and purple goop starts coming out of the taps.

Think you’ll have trouble sleeping tonight after learning all that? Never fear, at least you know that you can control what your unconscious dreams up – if you really put your mind to it.