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Why do we dream? – 5 top theories

Night dreams can be amazing or scarry. Learn why we dream and what those visions mean in our lives.

All people get night dreams. Some dreamers have amazing and colorful visions, while others have only occasional ones. The thing is, no one really knows why do we dream. Surely, scientists have come up with a range of theories, but none of them is proven. Let’s fish out some of them and get a better idea of what is going on in our bodies and minds while dreaming. So, why do we dream

why do we dream

Now, night reveries tightly relate to the sleep process. It breaks down the sleep into 5 main and distinctive stages. Each cycle (5 stages each) lasts for about 90 minutes. First three stages are non-rapid eye movement (REM).

Night sleep stages:

night sleep stages

  1. A state between sleep and wakefulness (drowsiness)
     
  2. Light sleep (up to 60% of all the night’s sleep)
     
  3. Deep sleep  
     
  4. Delta sleep (up to 30 minutes)
     
  5. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
    You dream and move your closed eyes quickly during this stage, lasts around 10 minutes. Your body “knows” it is just a dream, although the brain becomes as active as it is in real life. So, the body gets temporarily paralyzed to prevent you from running, jumping and acting out the vision in other forms.

Every night you may get up to 7 full cycles of sleep and every time you enter the REM one, you make the upcoming session a little longer. So, that is the anatomy of sleep and its stages. The truth is scientists do not really know why we sleep. Of course, they have discovered some of the useful functions of this process. Let’s take a look at some of them and at some interesting sleep and dreaming facts.


Facts on dreaming: 

facts on dreaming

  • An average person spends over 36 percent of their life sleeping
  • Lucid dreaming is when you know you are asleep, but can control what you see in the visions
  • Many inventions, such as Google and Periodic table of Mendeleev were made in sleep
  • Dreams actually can come true and in some cases they warm or predict the future events, so they can be prophetic
  • “Lunatics” are the ones with REM sleep disorder. Their bodies do not get paralyzed and they simply act out their dreams
  • Your brain gets even more active when you sleep, then when you walk awake
  • Even animals can see dreams
  • We forget 95 percent of all the dreams we see
  • Most dreams are negative, they are the nightmares
  • A person may see up to 7 dreams per night
  • Most men see other men in their dreams, but women see people of both genders equally
  • Some people (up to 12%) see black and white dreams
  • People can take short naps even with the open eyes
  • Lack of sleep and alcohol have pretty similar impact on human performance ability

These are some amazing facts on sleep and dreaming. Do not forget to share them with your friends. Now, why do we dream? What need does that function meet? And how scientists measure the dreams and sleep?

For a very long while they had no clue of how to measure the dreams or slumber, so they did not really study it. However, with the invention of Polysomnography this problem was partially solved. Scientists use electroencephalogram and attach electrodes to the heads of people and let them go to sleep. They measure the waves and brain’s activity. That is how they discovered that during the sleep our brain stays very active.


Dream theories: 

main dream theories

  1. The work of the subconscious

    Freud believed our subconscious gets the better of the brain and manifests the hidden wishes of a person. Many scientists believe it really is at work, when we see the dreams. The subconscious mind sorts out the information gotten during the previous day. It stores the key elements and gets rid of the trash.
     
  2. Warning

    As most dreams are negative, some researchers believe they sort of get you tuned up for the upcoming trouble. They do not predict any problems, but as life is unpredictable and is often times harsh, your brain gets you trained to cope with it.  It’s a sort of virtual gym for your inner man to get prepared for the real thing.
     
  3. Giving you a went

    You get tons of negative emotions and impressions during the day. You need to deal away with them. Some get processed during the waking time, but you dispose of the rest of them in the dreams.
     
  4. Solving problems

    Many great inventors, such as Edison used a state of slumber to find new solutions. During the sleep your mind shifts from known and well-trodden patterns into the infinite abilities and that is when you get the revelations.
     
  5. Side effect

    Some believe the dreams are just the side effects of the brain work. The subconscious gets control and starts implementing its strategies (whatever they are), but the brain panics and does not know what it is and how to handle it. So, it produces some bizarre vision with no meaning as its reaction.

READ ALSO: Interpretation of dreams – 10 best hints for Nigerians.

So, what is the meaning of dreams? Can we fathom them out? Perhaps not yet. It’s a mystery and for some people it works like a prophecy. We see that in the Bible, when the Lord has talked to people in dreams. Others just have fun or tormenting night visions. They remember some of them and forget the others. What do you do with the dreams? Just stay tuned to your own self and to God to see, if they really have any meaning. If they do, take heed and use them for good. 

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Expert
3 comments

It was very interesting to learn some facts from this article. I have not even think about some of these facts. Psychologists say that our dreams is just reflection of our everyday thoughts and troubles, and the dreams, which come true are just the result of the containous work of our brain, which works even when we sleep and creates all the possible variations of our everyday actions. But I do believe in dreams, which may come true, and sometimes only from my dream I can get such information which I don't even can suppose and don't know.

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Student
Answered 1 year ago.

Good informative article. I think that sometimes dreaming is even very good. Dreaming of you at least for some time forget about the problems, think about the good life. Dreaming before sleep, sometimes the dream passes and in the dream, the dream to become very rich, pleasant and colorful. But sometimes that acting and strange dreams that are hard to solve. People on sleep spends one third of their time in my life. Yet some people believe that color dreams to be people who have a mental disorder, but according to statistics, most to act it is colorful dreams.

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Student
Answered 1 year ago.

That was pretty interesting to read. Nice information. I did had colorful dreams before, also, i had a lot of nightmares but my dreams seem never have any deep meaning. I heard that food enfluence of dreams as well, not sure if it's true though. But one thing is for sure, it is all about our subconscious. Sometimes we can have a bad day and only after a week or so, we starting having bad dreams about what we went through, it is not necessary to have a bad dream right away.

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Student
Answered 1 year ago.
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