Earth & Conservation

7 Insane Things We Got From Dreams

Some creative pursuits of some of the most influential people in history can be credited to dreams. Inventions, stories, movies and more!

Related on TestTube:
Why Do We Get Nightmares?
Why Can't We Remember Our Dreams?

Related on TestTube:
Why Do We Get Nightmares?
Why Can't We Remember Our Dreams?

This week on TestTube Plus, we're discussing dreams: yesterday talked about why we get nightmares. Today, Trace is discussing some interesting and unexpected things we've gotten from dreams.

Reports of alien abductions, for example, are probably just people having a condition known as sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is still relatively unknown. It seems to occur when the body is in REM sleep but your brain starts to become semi-awake.
Its causes the inability to move, speak or react. It usually happens during the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep characterized by muscle weakness, and it's often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (like an intruder in the room). There are a number of cultural alternatives to Americans being abducted by aliens.
In Newfoundland, they call it "Old Hag" because it is associated with visions of an old witch sitting on the chest of a paralyzed sleeper. Chinese folks call it "gui ya", or ghost pressure, and believed that a ghost sat on and assaulted sleepers. In the West Indies, it's called it "kokma" and meant a ghost baby who jumped on the sleeper's chest and attacked the throat. In Japan, it's associated with a giant devil whose foot came down on the sleeper's chest.

That's just one crazy thing that we have thanks to dreaming. Check out this episode of TestTube Plus to find out the rest! Have you ever had sleep paralysis? Tell us about them in the comments below, and don't forget to tune in tomorrow when we talk all about nightmares.

TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on topics like drugs, space travel, the history of science, viruses, gender, aliens, and many more. TestTube Plus is also available as a podcast--click here to subscribe!

Learn More:

Sleep Paralysis Culture and History (The Sleep Paralysis Project)
"The phenomenon of sleep paralysis can be recognised in reports across different cultures and throughout history. Perhaps the most famous historic example of sleep paralysis in art is Henry Fuseli's 1781 painting "The Nightmare"."