facts about dreams

Photo: Thinkstcok

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The Planet's Gentle Pull
Research finds a connection between magnetism and melatonin: The fewer fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field (geomagnetic activity), the more dream-inducing sleep hormone the body produces. Inspired, Darren Lipnicki, a psychologist formerly at the Center for Space Medicine in Berlin, recorded his dreams for eight years—he then looked up the records of geomagnetic activity closest to where he lived and found a statistical correlation. After two or more days of an unusually calm magnetic field—and (presumably) higher melatonin—his dreams were much more vivid and bizarre than they were following stormier phases (when melatonin may have been suppressed). As oddball as this preliminary study sounds, it's not alone.