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  • Writer's pictureAnita & Sheila

Can Sleep Position Really Affect Your Dreams?

Sleep is the best meditation. ~ Dalai Lama

Sleep and meditation have a few things in common. Both are examples of altered states of consciousness. Both are considered to be forms of meditation, and both are known to induce hallucinations.

In a recent study, Dr. Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, an associate professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan University, examined the sleeping patterns of 700 adults. “Sleep position—whether you sleep on your back, belly, or side—can affect what you dream about,” says Dr. Yu. He found that sleeping on your belly evokes the strangest, creepiest, and sexiest (yes, sexiest) dreams.

Results of a study captured in Sleep and Hypnosis show that people who sleep on their right side generally have happy, calm, and comforting dreams. People who tend to sleep on their left side are prone to more nightmares.

Photo courtesy Natasha Capstick

Here are some interesting facts about dreams that you may or may not be aware of:

  1. Half of your dream is forgotten within five minutes of waking. Within 10 minutes of waking, 90% of your dream is forgotten.

  2. Every single person on this planet dreams—except in cases of extreme psychological disorder. If you think you don’t dream, it’s just that you are simply forgetting them.

  3. Most people dream an average of one to two hours per night. During, this time, a person will dream anywhere from four to seven dreams.

  4. Not everyone dreams in full colour. Those who dream in black and white make up 12% of the population.

  5. The emotion we most commonly experience in dreams is anxiety. Positive emotions are not as common as negative ones.

Photo courtesy Natasha Capstick

People generally change positions as they sleep throughout the night but sleeping on your side is “by far the most popular, followed by back, and then belly,” says Dr. Yu.

So, if you fall asleep on your belly, you may find yourself … running through an open field at night, storm brewing in the skies above, while holding hands with an alien that looks like Matthew McConaughey!

If you haven't already listened to Season 1, Episode 13 of our podcast, now is as good a time as any. It's the perfect pairing for this article. We take a Deep Dive into Decoding Dreams with certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. And, if you are familiar with the content of this episode, you may want to hit replay. Lauri gives some great tips to help you remember your dreams.

For more interesting facts about dreams, check out Bored Panda.

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