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  • If our dreams are a reflection of reality, how does someone who experiences a different reality dream?

  • Hey folks, Laci Green here for DNews.

  • Here's something I had never really thought about: How do the blind experience their dreams?

  • It's a perspective that‘s completely removed from my own, having been able to see my whole life.

  • Well, minus when I take my glasses off and knock into things, but that's a slightly different story.

  • A new study published in the journal Sleep Medicine took a little look-see at how the blind dream.

  • For sighted people, dreaming is primarily a visual activity.

  • You remember images.

  • But if you don't have the sense of sight, other sensory information-- the information you rely on the most -- takes the lead.

  • The researchers looked at groups of people who were blind from birth or congenitally blind, those who became blind later in life, and those who can see.

  • Immediately after a dream, they were asked about their sensory experiences: What did you see? Did you taste anything?

  • As well as how they felt emotionally in the dream, and if there were any themes, like falling, or being able to fly, for instance.

  • Amongst the blind participants, most of the content in their dreams was made up of things they "heard".

  • 86% of them experienced sounds and voices, as opposed to 64% of the seeing group.

  • The scientists basically said that the longer the person was able to see during their life, the more visual content there was in the dreams.

  • The blind also experienced more sensations of "touch" in their dreams.

  • 70% versus 45% of the seeing group.

  • The blind were also much more likely to taste and smell than the seeing group.

  • In terms of emotional and thematic content, all the groups reported similar results, but the congenitally blind group did stand out in one way....they had more nightmares.

  • They were 4 times more likely to report nightmares than the late onset blindness and seeing groups.

  • So, why might those who are congenitally blind have more nightmares than everyone else?

  • The scientists aren't really sure, but they have a theory!

  • Nightmares are one of the ways that our brains process and cope with threats to our safety.

  • So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the blind tend to have nightmares about things like getting hit by a car, getting lost, losing a guide dog.

  • It's unclear, though, if this means that the blind experience more fear overall in their lives.

  • Just generally speaking.

  • So folks, what parts of your dreams do you remember most? Or do you dream at all?

  • Let me know down below and don't forget to subscribe for more DNews!

If our dreams are a reflection of reality, how does someone who experiences a different reality dream?

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