"Last night, I had the strangest dream!" How many conversations in your life have started that way? People are fascinated with the movies that play in their head while they're sleeping. Some believe that dreams can predict the future. Others say that dreams depict real life. Still others believe that dreams are a manifestation of what we want to be.

Interpreting dreams has evolved over the years to what some consider an art form. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. In the average lifetime, six years is spent dreaming. That's more than 2,100 days spent in a different world! Every night, we dream an average of one to two hours dreaming and usually have 4-7 dreams per night.

Consider some of these other facts about dreams and dreaming:

Everybody dreams. EVERYBODY! Simply because you do not remember your dream does not mean that you did not dream.

Dreams are indispensable. A lack of dream activity can mean protein deficiency or a personality disorder.

Men tend to dream more about other men, while women dream equally about men and women.

People who are giving up smoking have longer and more intense dreams.

Toddlers do not dream about themselves. They do not appear in their own dreams until the age of 3 or 4.

If you are snoring, then you cannot be dreaming.

Blind people do dream. Whether visual images will appear in their dream depends on whether they where blind at birth or became blind later in life. But vision is not the only sense that constitutes a dream. Sounds, tactility, and smell become hypersensitive for the blind and their dreams are based on these senses.

The dream world is fascinating full of speculation, hope, and sometimes even fear. We can wake up from a good dream feeling refreshed and hopeful. On the other hand, we can wake up from a bad dream feeling tense and apprehensive.

Ever since Freud's Interpretation of Dreams was published, there has been recognition of the importance of dreams. But even before that there were dream interpretations. People had superstitious notions about dreams - for example, "Something is going to happen because I dreamed it was going to happen".

This is a common misconception. Regardless of what some people might say, if you dream you are falling and don't wake up before you hit the ground in your dream, you will not die. If you dream that someone close to you dies, that's not an omen to warn you of their death. Dreams do not predict the future.

What dreams can do is provide a sense of insight into ourselves. They can help us cope with situations we're unsure about. They can guide us in a certain direction when faced with uncertainty. They can simply give us an overall good feeling as we dream of something pleasant.

The dream state is an experimental playground which gives you a chance to explore and express emotions without the usual inhibitions you may display in your waking life. Dreams provide an avenue of expression for that part of yourself that knows both your history and your potential as a spiritual being.

They are another way the universe provides guidance about relationships, careers, and health problems. Through dreams you may find answers to your spiritual questions and even receive encouragement to some challenge in your life. While some dreams may allow you to release bottled emotions from your day's activities, others can lead to profound insights in a psychological or spiritual way.

Acquiring the ability to interpret your dreams is a powerful tool. In analyzing your dreams, you can learn about your deep secrets and hidden feelings. No one is a better expert at interpreting your dreams than yourself.

In this book, we'll look at dreams and dreaming as a science as well as the various meanings that dream content can have. This is not meant to be a definitive guide to dreams. It is simply a starting point for you to look at what "movies" your sub-conscious is creating at night and how you can apply it your life and affect change if needed.

Remember that a dream unifies the body, mind, and spirit. It provides you with insight into yourself and a means for self-exploration. In understanding your dreams, you will have a better understanding and discovery of your true self. So stay awhile explore, discover, have fun, and find out what's in your dreams!