What are Dreams?
Why Do We Dream?
Depending on the night, dreams can be a fantastic source of entertainment and fun or can be the worst 8 hours of any person’s life. Dreams are fickle; they change at random and don’t seem to follow any sort of pattern for many people. Many people have theories about what dreams mean. Very few people even remember their dreams; even though virtually everyone dreams, there are millions of people that feel like they don’t dream at all simply because they do not remember their dreams.
Dreaming is an aspect of sleep that still remains a mystery in many aspects; however, there are many things that we do know about dreams. We know about the brain’s process in creating dreams and about why we have certain dreams.
What Is A Dream?
Simply put, a dream is a hallucination. It occurs only during certain stages of sleep; dreams are strongest during REM sleep; however, these dreams are the least likely to be remembered because your body will normally exit REM sleep before waking up.
Dreams are thoughts that your brain has while sleeping. While awake, the logical regions of your brain trigger thoughts that make sense and fit the location that you’re at; while asleep, the emotional aspects of your brain control your thoughts, which is why you might find that your dreams don’t make a lot of sense.
Usually, dreams are thoughts based on your recent activities or conversations. That’s not always true, but you might have noticed that in your own life. For example, often after watching a scary movie at night, you might have experienced a nightmare related to that particular movie. Your brain remembers what it saw and thought during the day and will try to piece those thoughts together while you sleep in the form of dreams.
What are Dreams?
The meaning and purpose of dreams is still constantly debated to this day. Researchers and scientists are yet to agree on whether or not dreams really have a purpose. However, some theories make more sense than others and can be good to keep in mind.
Do Dreams Have Meaning?
One common theory held by researchers is that dreams are a sort of therapy for the brain to release emotional feelings or trauma. Your sleeping brain is far more emotionally based than your “awake” brain, which means that you might have strong feelings during your dreams, and you might make connections you wouldn’t have made while awake.
Nightmares are frightening dreams that can be brought upon us through a variety of reasons. Some people think that nightmares are triggered by the foods we eat, our health conditions, or our daily activities. These are all influences in all of our dreams, both positive and negative. Another large driver of nightmares can be past traumas that our brain hasn’t resolved.
Either way, whether good or bad, dreams are inevitable. As scientists discover more and more about the purpose of dreams, you can find out what your dreams mean to you and find purpose in them for yourself.