“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come…” Hamlet
Hamlet was worrying about eternal dreams (of the bad kind) if he gives up and dies. Turns out, only 50% of people report having occasional nightmares. Those of us who do, understand Hamlet’s fear. Eternal nightmares would be…er, a nightmare.
Researchers believe that fear is not the main emotion in most nightmares. Rather, sadness, guilt, and confusion take center stage. FACT: These researchers have not checked with me. When I have that awful dream about being late for an exam in a class I’ve never attended, my main emotion isn’t sadness, it’s fear and panic. I’ve had nightmares where confusion reigns, but not all that often.
Turns out, most people generally dream about normal situations with familiar people. Uh, huh. I sometimes dream about normal stuff. Like finding myself back in college and not having gone to class for an entire semester, or working with people I no longer work with. But I also dream about really weird stuff too. Don’t most people?
Do you dream in black and white or color? Before color TV, most people dreamed in black and white. I have no idea which I do. I have a hard enough time remembering the dream, I don’t have a shot at remembering whether there was color or not. According to researchers, within 5 minutes of waking up, people forget 50% of their dreams. After 10 minutes, they have forgotten 90%. No word on how long it takes to forget whether you dream in color.
Scientists used to believe we dream only in while in REM sleep, but now they think we dream the whole time we’re asleep. We just don’t remember most of the dreams. Which is unfortunate, because I’m pretty sure there is some weirdly interesting stuff going on in dreamland.
Sweet dreams whenever you find the time to sleep.