What and why we dream?

Have you ever woken up from sleep in cold sweats, feeling super anxious? How about waking up feeling super great ready to take on the day because you had the perfect dream? If you said no or I don’t have dreams, then you just don’t remember your dreams. Everyone dreams whether you are conscious of it or not.

Dreams are imaginary thoughts that get materialized into pictures and sounds while you are unconscious. The most vivid dreams happen between REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and being awake. You have different levels of dreaming, you have first and foremost nightmares, a casual dream, vivid, lucid dreams, and night terrors.

A dream or nightmare can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to maybe more, but the typical dream lasts 30 minutes. I know for me I fall back to sleep after my alarm and dream, which I feel lasts a long period of time, but in reality, it only lasted 15 minutes.  So, dreams can feel like they last a lifetime, especially if they are particularly bad.

Why we dream, I can’t really say because scientists still haven’t figured that out, but there are theories to why dreams exist.  The most common theory moving around today is that dreams are for our emotional, mental, and physical health. If you don’t go into REM sleep you are more likely to be:

  • Anxious
  • Depressed
  • Full of tension
  • Lack concentration
  • Gain weight
  • More perceptible to hallucinations

Experts say that dreaming helps solve problems or help us to at least come to an understanding with them to lessen the impact on our mental state and to process emotions. Why else do you think that if you go to bed sad you wake up the next day feeling better or at least calm.

No one knows what dreams mean because dreaming is specific to the person having the dream. There is no ‘I dreamt of playing basketball so according to this website I am good at teamwork and cooperation’ see dreams may have a meaning, but there is no general meaning of a specific object or activity in a dream. Your dreams though might be telling you something serious, if you are having frequent nightmares there must be a reason for this. If you are having frequent nightmares you should go to your doctor and have some tests run.

You are open to your own opinion; I mean if you believe that your dreams mean something follow your heart. I have also fallen victim to dream dictionary sights searching up what my dream meant if it was concerning or really vivid, but dreams as of research now, they have no meaning.

DerSarkissian, Carol. “Dreams: Why We Dream, Nightmares, and Lucid Dreams.” WebMD, WebMD, 5 Nov. 2019, www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/dreaming-overview.

“Dreaming.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dreaming.

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