What we see most in dreams and their possible causes
Chasing, falling from height, getting lost… We are sure that this happened to you often in your dream. Do not worry you are not alone in this regard.
Recurring nightmares that bother you every night. Constant nightmares that awaken your sleep. Or toddler nightmares. All of them have a reason. According to the large-scale dream reporting and content analysis studies stated by cognitive psychologist Antti Revonsuo in his book Consciousness, the most common content in dreams was reported to be chase. This dream, which is universal for people from all different countries and cultures, has 80% of people at least once in their lives. Likewise, chase themed dreams are the most frequently seen and frequently recurring dream content.
Other most common content are physical attacks, falling from a high place, trapped, lost and drowned, respectively.
As all these universal and repetitive dreams show, negative-themed dreams are predominantly more than positive-themed dreams. The rate of negative dreams is from 2/3 to 4/5. The most frequently reported negative emotion is fear and anger.
According to a statement accepted by some scientists, often dreaming with negative themes especially simulates potential dangers and threats. Thus, in case of vigilance, they empower us through practice to survive in such events and to be more prepared. It has been suggested that such dreams may have been chosen during the evolution process.
The most common positive themed dream content is flying. The dream is seen in the form of its body floating in the air rather than flying in an airplane.
We do not seem to be able to simulate cognitive activities such as reading, writing, and calculating in a dream. Technological devices unique to the modern world such as watching TV, using phones and computers, driving in cars or using elevators are among the uncommon dreams. This is due to the fact that these modern tools have existed for a very short time compared to the biological process that has passed since the beginning of the human species.
Another important topic of the study is that five sensory experiences are felt in dreams. Visual experience (70% of which is colored dreams) is by far the most common. Hearing, physical and tactile dreams are accompanied by this. The fragrance and taste experience constitutes only 1% of dreams. Sometimes pain experiences that are felt very realistic and intense were found to be less than 1%.
Approximately 80% of dreams have a central person or a self-representing the dreamer. The self that represents the dreamer in the dream, usually like this “looks through the window,” feels or seems to be the same as the person in our life. In more than 50% of dreams, this dreaming self is a victim rather than an aggressive position.
Most of the dreams are scrappy and meaningless, because there are “usually” memory states (especially autobiographical memory) in the dream realm, or because these regions are not active as they are in our daily lives, there is no overall integrity. There is confusion about time and space. And since the relevant cortex regions are not active, we have lost our ability to reason.
Because of all these deficiencies in memory and the access of memories, they tend to “make up” stories in falsehoods and produce false memories. For this reason, dreams that are incompatible with reality (such as seeing a pink banana, hosting the Queen of England at home) or dreams involving people who have died in real life are among the most common dreams.