Why do we dream
The human mind is a complex structure that would forever remain a mystery in spite of countless attempts by several scientists to unscramble it and find the underlying cause of certain mysterious details like dreams. Everyone has dreams while sleeping! Many even tend to remember their dreams vividly even after waking up. And while the frequency of occurrence of these dreams would vary from individual to individual, the basic question of ‘Why do we dream?’ remains unanswered!Several researches conducted in the matter reveal several theories for the same, the more common of which are given below.
Dreams and memories
One theory suggests that the brain uses a dream as a way to group our memories into two slots, short term memories and long term memories. The theory indicates that the more the brain works during the waking hours, the more dreams it would cause during sleep. Some also associate this as a way for the brain to unload itself after a day’s hard work.
Dreams and emotions
Individuals who are emotional tend to get more dreams when they sleep. This indicates the possible connection between psychological factors and dreams.
The brain remains busy throughout the day, making connections to several parts of the body in order to enable certain bodily functions. At night though, the body relaxes and so the brain tends to make loose connections. And this would probably be the time when it brings out its emotional side and reflect them as dreams.
Let’s take a small example. You are studying for an important examination but are concerned about performing well. Even though the emotional side of the brain would be bogged down with your worries, the other sides would work together to curb this effect so that you can concentrate on studying for your exam during the day. When you go to sleep at night, the emotional side of your brain is let free. And your built up emotions are released in the form of dreams.
Dreams and brain firing
Another theory suggests that dreams actually mean nothing and are simple byproducts of a rather active brain during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The brain unloads itself by so-called brain firings, which are interpreted as dreams.