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Dreams

Is What You’re Eating Affecting Your Dreams?

Have you ever eaten a rich, cheesy dinner (hello, ravioli in Alfredo sauce!), gone to sleep, and had an absolutely horrible nightmare? If so, you might have wondered: Could the food and the bad dream be related? While there is no scientific proof that what you eat can affect your dreams, that doesn’t stop some people from believing that specific foods, like dairy products or spicy dishes, lead to bad dreams. And it isn’t that hard to see why there might there be a connection. After all, food impacts a lot of areas of your body besides your stomach. For instance, what you eat can affect your mood, how awake or sleepy you…

Why Do We Dream?

Four theories on why we dream   Even though you know plenty about how sleep works, what happens to your brain while you’re sleeping, and what exactly dreams are, it sure would be nice if scientists could also explain exactly why you dream. Unfortunately, that explanation doesn’t currently—and might not ever—exist. There are, however, lots of fun theories that take stabs at what the answer might be, and those are explored in more interesting detail, below Theory #1: Dreams Act As Therapy Often your dreams force you to face an emotional circumstance that’s actually happening in your real life, and that allows you to deal with those emotions in a safe and protected environment (dreamland!)….

What Causes Nightmares?

Five surprising reasons for your dark dreams If you had hoped to grow out of your nightmare stage, but find that you suffer from them as an adult, too, you’re not alone. While nightmares are more common among kids, 50 percent of adults have nightmares. These frightening, too-realistic dreams can leave you feeling rattled, and in more severe cases, they can cause sleep deprivation—which is linked to heart disease, obesity, and depression. There are a number of reasons why you may have nightmares, including: Eating Before Bed: A pre-bedtime snack can increase your metabolism, which causes the brain to become more active and can possibly lead to nightmares. If you notice that you have…

What Are Dreams?

Find out how, when, and what we dream. Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so vivid and lifelike that it actually seemed real? It’s such a surreal experience that it may make you wonder: What exactly is a dream, anyway? Scientists have long tried to figure that out. The basic definition is that dreams are subconscious imaginings that contain sounds, images, and other sensations while you sleep. Below, find out the answers to other frequently asked questions. When Do You Dream? Dreams happen most often during REM (rapid eye moment) sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep. This stage makes up about 20 to 25 percent of adult sleep and occurs in…

The Meaning Behind Your Dreams

Decode your dreams to understand what’s really going on inside your head. Ever wake up after a vivid dream and wonder: What did it mean? You’re certainly not alone! Lots of people are stumped by confusing or mysterious dreams and long to interpret them in order to better understand themselves. While there’s no exact science that can tell you exactly what to make of, say, a recent nightmare or erotic dream, psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud have devoted much of their careers to exploring this fun and intriguing topic. Learn more, below, about the potential meanings behind some of the most common dreams. 1. The Dream: Being naked in public What It Feels Like: You’re…

How Often Do We Dream?

You may be shocked to discover exactly how many dreams you have while you’re fast asleep. Dreams may be a secret window into your feelings, act as inspiration for a creative project, and even help you solve problems.Whether you recall many of your dreams or none at all, read on to find out how many dreams you’re actually experiencing during any given night. How Much You Really Dream Each Night Just because you don’t remember dreaming doesn’t mean you’re not doing it! You generally dream at least four to six times per night, usually during the most active REM stage of sleep if you’re over 10 years old. (Kids younger…

Bad Dreams, Nightmares, and Night Terrors: Know the Difference

Some are more severe than others. Sometimes dreams are a long way from sweet. They can, in fact, be quite the opposite—haunting, distressing, or worse. But when you or your kids have an unpleasant or scary dream, there may be times when it’s hard to tell if it’s actually a bad dream, a nightmare, or a night terror. Let this insider’s guide on how to tell the difference come to your rescue. Bad Dreams A step down in intensity from nightmares, bad dreams can be disturbing. The main difference is that you’re likely to continue sleeping through them. You may remember a bad dream’s storyline, themes, or images right when you wake up or even later…