Researchers now believe that the average daydream is 14 seconds long, and we have about 2,000 of them each day (11). Scientists used to believe that humans dreamed in a story-like way only during their REM sleep cycles; it’s now thought that story-like dreams occur independent of REM and across the whole sleep cycle. Without even trying, we spend a lot of time engaged with stories. Nothing so essential to the human condition is so incompletely understood, writes Jonathan Gottschall. In this book, he calls for the sciences and humanities to come together to explore how narrative makes us human.
Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (Boston: Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013), 3.