Dreams are all a part of our life, whether we like it or not. While we all dream, there is still a bit of mystery about dreams in general. If you have ever wanted to know more about dreams then you have come to the right place. Scientists and researchers around the globe haven’t been able to understand dreams entirely, but we at TABIIB would like to shed some light on the existing knowledge.
Why We Dream
Dreams are believed to be a “series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep”. Most of us dream, whether we remember them or not. But have you ever wondered why we dream?. Interestingly, researchers and scientists have different explanations for why we dream. Here are some interesting theories and explanations about dreams:
- Activation Synthesis: Psychiatrists and researchers from Harvard University believe we owe our dreams to our cognitive capabilities. As per the Harvard University research, human beings dream when their brainstems are activated and their emotional motor system is stimulated.
- Story Telling Instinct: Researchers also believe that dreams could be caused due to human beings’ storytelling instincts.
- Threat-stimulation: A study conducted in 2000 explains that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events and rehearse survival strategies.
- State of consciousness: A research believes that dreams are a state of consciousness that “incorporates 3 temporal dimensions: experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future”.
Types Of Dreams
The exact reason for why the mind creates stories every night is still unknown. As of today, dreams are usually classified into different types and themes.
- Standard dreams– These are the types of dreams that offer insights from real-life experiences or the unconscious mind.
- Nightmares– Every one of us might experience a scary and disturbing dream at some point of time in our life. There is not always a good reason for such dreams. However, research shows that people experiencing stress or mental health disorders might often experience nightmares more often than many.
- Lucid Dreams– Lucid dreams are the kind of dreams where you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming.
- Recurring dreams – Recurring dreams are dreams that repeat themselves often. As per data many of the neutral recurring dreams are harmless. However, the recurring nightmares could be caused due to an underlying mental condition. So if you are suffering from recurring nightmares, it might be best to consult a doctor.
What Do Dreams Mean?
Similar to the reason behind why we dream, there are various opinions surrounding dreams interpretations.
Sigmund Freud, the world-renowned psychologist suggested that dreams represent an unconscious desire, thought, wish, and motivation of human beings. Based on this ideology dreams help the dreamer confront the repressed feelings by bringing all of the deepest desires and wishes to the surface.
How Often Do We Dream
Most of us don’t remember 90% of our dreams. However, just because we don’t remember dreams, it doesn’t mean that we don’t dream. According to the National Sleep Foundation on average, we dream at least four to six times every night during REM sleep.
Even though we don’t remember most of the stories and images in our heads, dreams can be both fun and entertaining or bizarre and scary. To date, we don’t exactly know why we experience a series of thoughts in our heads when we are asleep. Most of the time, we don’t pay too much attention to our dreams because they cause no harm. However, if your dreams start to interfere with your sleep patterns or if you suffer from issues such as sleep apnea it is best to speak to a healthcare professional.
Also, if you have ever had a weird or interesting dream, do share your dreams with us in the comment section down below.