Sleeping acts like a way to escape reality, and we all enjoy taking long naps and imaginating things through our dreams. Sometimes our dreams can seem like forever, and sometimes we feel so disappointed that they have ended so quickly. This depends on type of dream we just had, and the overall emotion that followed after.
Dreams can sometimes seem like reality and it can be very to distinguish those two. So, if they are bad, you hope they end as soon as possible. If you have ever wondered how long have you been dreaming, and are they really as long as your sleeping time, we will be answering this question in this article.
What are dreams exactly?
Dreams are pretty much still unknown field for researchers. They can’t be completely sure about their true meaning, but from the scientific point of view we will be explaining their opinion on dreams.
Dreams are created in our brain. They are a combination of many different things combined together, to form a reality of it’s own. They are a mix of different toughts, smells, feelings, images and even audio that we collect through the day and through our whole life. when we are sleeping our brain sorts all of these informations, and creates a special enviroment, similar to our reality.
Phases of dreams are also different, and we don’t go into our dreams suddenly. This happens slowly and there are few steps until we get to that stage. We first experience light dreaming, where we can be easily awakened from our dream, and this is only the beginning of our dream.
In the next stage our eyes stop moving and we go into the more deeper phase of our dreaming. In the third phase brain waves increase and in the forth phase we are sleeping pretty tight, so it will be hard to wake someone up during this phase.
And as the last stage we have the REM phase, where we are 100% asleep. The point where dreams get created is the point during REM sleep. This part of our sleep is the time when our eyes move rapidly, and in this time our brain is working overtime. You have probably noticed this if you have ever seen a person sleeping. Their eyeballs will be moving rapidly beneath their eye sockets, and that is when they are experiencing REM sleep.
Many studies have been conducted on the subject of dreaming. People have been examined during their sleep, and their brain waves have been carefully watched over so that the changes in their movement can be detected.
There are also different views on dreams from a scientist and psychoanalyst poin of view. While scientist explain them as a normal brain function that occurs due to our brains overtime work, psychoanalysts see dreams as something paranormal and something that has a deeper meaning. Whatever your aproach is, there is no doubt they are something remarkable and extraodrinary on our lives.
In our dreams our memories and feelings, images and other informations are not the reflection of our previous day. They can be collected through many days beforehand, and then reflected in our dream that night. Most of the informations from our dreams, come from very recent events, but some can also be a reflection of our long term memory, stored informations.
How long do our dreams last?
Even though it might seem to you that your dream has lasted the whole night or for a very long time, this is not quite true. Some of us don’t veen remember our dreams, or the ones they do remember don’t really come to them as too clear. For the ones that do remember their dreams, it is important to know that during the night, we can experience several dreams.
They can be mixed up, and come one after another or after a while, but they can go up to 6-7 different dreams at night. They can last for a longer or shorter time, but the maximum time is about 50 minutes. These are extreme cases, since we normally dream only for few minutes during our REM phase. The average number, to be exact, is about 15 minutes per dream.
The longevity of the dream depends on your character as well. If you are a more imaginative person, or an introvert, scientists have proven that you will most probably dream longer, and you will be able to remember your dream clearer than an extrovert for example. During your sleeping phase, your dreams will be separated within those few hours, and their longevity can vary. Some of them will be longer and other can even last for only few seconds.
After every sleep cycle (about an hour long cycle), you will experience another dream. Your health is also connected to these cycles, since you need at least 4 of those cycles to keep yourself healthy.
The biggest problem with dreams, is the the time lag. So, what seems like an eternity in your dream is actually only a minute or second in real time. This lag is not yet explained by scientists, and it is not easy to actually understand all of the brain functions to the detail.
How to make your dreams last longer?
There is no proven way to make your dreams last longer, but you can improve your lucid dreaming tehnique, which means you will be able to be more connected to your dreams, and possibly even affect them. There are a lot of tehniques that can be applied, and some of them work and other not quite.
These tehniques all try to actually awake your sense of being asleep, so that you are conscious of the fact that everything around is only make believe. This can be done by looking at your limbs while dreaming. Try to convince yourself to look down or look at your hands, sincethese parts of our body are mostly invisible. We often experience dreams as we do our reality, and that is by observing the world through our eyes, and not seeing ourself like other see us.
Other actions like speaking or yelling are also a good method. You will then realise that you are in a dream, since these actions can’t be done, and everything else you do in your dream will be more lucid and clearer to you. This way you can in a way control the longevity of your dream.
Spinning and rubbing your hands together are another way to prolong your dreams. All of these actions will stop you from experiencing your real body, and you will be able to dream longer, especially a certain dream. When it comes to controling your REM sleep phase, this is impossible since there is no way you can do that. You will wake up when this phase is over, and you can’t do anything to fight it.
In the end no it doesn’t matter how long your dreams last or do you remember them or not, it is imprtant that you know these important facts about dreams. They will help you to understand them, and enjoy them more. When you think that you have been in dreamland for the whole night, remember that that feeling is only an illusion, and the amazing reality you have experienced is only your brain playing tricks with you.