Believe it or not, most of you dream every night, even though the details might slip away the moment you wake up.

Most dreams are pretty mundane. Some people dream about the person they miss, or about the things they desire deeply. While a few stories in your head can be funny or frightening, others may be too bizarre to make any sense.

Often you might have wondered whether these dreams are real or merely a fragment of your imagination being visualized.

When it comes to dreams, one might get caught up in the myths. But most recent studies converge to the idea that there is a big possibility our dreams are real.

Before we dig into this phenomenon further, let’s first explore when dreams take place while we are asleep.

What is REM Sleep Cycle?

You go through five stages during your snooze cycle, each lasting for 5 to 15 minutes. A complete sleep cycle lasts 90 to 110 minutes, which is repeated at least four to five times during a single night.

Adults experience two phases, NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Both are equally necessary for your physical and mental well-being.

Around 20 to 25% of a healthy snooze consists of REM sleep. Every complete cycle ends in the deep sleep phase after which you experience brief wakefulness. Dreams occur at the cusp of REM sleep and this waking period.

Dreams and adult REM sleep have a very interesting relationship. Let’s look at it closely!

Dreams and Adult REM Sleep

Despite all the advancements in science, dreams are still much of a mystery to many of us. These seemingly random images, sounds, and sensations have inspired many theories.

Since decades, scientists have been looking for clues to understand how we dream and what they mean. The info right now may be limited, but it sure gives us an idea about the basics.

Dreaming is a state of emotional and intellectual awareness during sleep which is out of your conscious control. During this time, you may be sleeping, but your brain is actively processing present and past info, while producing various sensations, sounds, and images.

Your brain needs this dream sleep phase to regulate moods, enhance learning ability, and sort the accumulated memories.

That’s why, most dreams may seem tied to real life events happening around you, or might have occurred in the past.

If you have experienced something similar, you might have wondered,
“Why are my dreams so real? Are they trying to tell me something? Am I even dreaming?”

Yes, you’re dreaming. Don’t freak out! There is a perfect explanation for this feeling, which we’ll discuss next.

Can Dreams Be Real?

The short answer is yes, dreams can be real.

They show you how you truly feel about different people, places, and things in your life and help you find direction in your life.
While you’re in a deep sleep, your mind consolidates your memories and helps you cope with your buried emotions and insecurities.

Famous psychologist Carl Jung states that dreams are a way your subconscious mind “uses symbols to convey messages.”

Many people have tried to associate specific meanings to these symbols, which is actually not ideal. Your dreams and their interpretations are unique to you!

People often report seeing similar dreams, like being naked in public, falling off a cliff, or being chased by something or someone. But they don’t mean the same for everyone.

Studies show dreams are often logical outcomes to a problem you’re facing in real life. Professor Blagrove explains that dreams prepare you for the upcoming events in real life through the experiences gained over time. In fact, threat simulation was how our ancestors played out real-life threats in the safety of their dreams.

That’s why these realistic symbolic dreams have a different hidden meaning for everyone.

At this point, one might ask, “So do dreams tell us something about the future?” Let’s see if that’s true.

Do dreams predict the future?

The truth is, you can’t rely on your dreams to wait for the future to unfold. There is no guarantee that whatever you dream about, will 100% happen in the time to come.

Once in a while, what you see in your dreams might play out precisely in your real life. That is why many people associate psychic powers to dreams. They believe that keeping track of your dreams can foretell about your future.

However, while a faction of people assume our dreams have a relation with mystical powers, it is actually related to our own unique minds and thought processes.

Sigmund Freud first coined the idea that “dreams are tied to our inner conscious.”

Studies show that your brain uses the most recent thoughts or long term memories to create dreams.

Dreams have access to deep knowledge buried inside your brain, things you already know but have forgotten. When you’re awake, you select the information you think is important. When you’re asleep, your mind is free to show you what’s really important to you — your true calling!

Perhaps that’s why some dreams come true; because they inspire us to change the course of our future.

In fact, many great inventors like Nikola Tesla and Larry Page attribute their eureka moments to their dreams. The ideas they got while snoozing changed the shape of the world forever.

Lucky them!

Did you know that stranger’s face you saw in your dreams is someone you’ve actually seen in real life? Learn some more interesting facts about dreams by experts in this video.

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What Makes Lucid Dreaming Seem Real?

Have you ever dreamt in a dream or experienced that odd feeling of knowing you’re dreaming? Or even better, did you ever create your own dreamscape?

Well congrats, you’ve experienced lucid dreams!

They feel real as they blur the difference between the dream world and reality. According to Aristotle, “it forms a moment of self-awareness during sleep.”

Lucid dreams occur during the REM phase too. However, interestingly, lucid dreamers immerse into the REM stage as soon as they fall asleep.

Lucid dreams seem convincing and usually occur spontaneously — and they are quite common! A study in Brazil found 77% of participants had experienced lucid dreaming at least once in their life.

You can also train yourself to get lucid dreams and control them. This practice allows you to turn the bad dreams into happy ones.

Why do Nightmares Occur?

No matter how scary, a nightmare is just a dream, and most likely won’t happen in your real life. Nightmares are mostly bizarre, confusing, and utterly fearful.

Various studies show that nightmares usually represent inner stress, fear, or some kind of conflict. Some drugs also cause nightmares.

You see bad dreams usually later in the night when the REM sleep stage becomes longer. Scientists believe that nightmares are your body’s way of coping with stressful life events such as divorce, insecurity, or major illnesses.

Although nightmares are pretty harmless since they’re not real, if you frequently get bad dreams, they weigh on your mental and physical health.

You can practice ways to calm your body and mind. Aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, journaling are tested ways to help you tackle the bad thoughts before sleep.

Hopefully, this blog helps you understand the science behind vivid dreams. With better know-how of the REM sleep and your thought processes, you can easily decide whether your dreams are real or not.

Author's Bio: 

Do you know dreams could change your life? Yes, It is true that a personal dream could change life as many dreams are based on reality.