Have you seen yourself staring at the blank space in your ceiling after waking up, thinking of what you’ve just dreamt and wondered why it occurred? Do you ever aim to know the reason behind dreaming? Be informed with this article so keep on reading!
Dream Interpretation | Why Do We Dream?
Theories Explaining Why People Dream
There are different human interpretations of dreams from different cultures around the globe. Way back, ancient civilizations saw dreams as portals for gaining and receiving vital wisdom and prophecies from the gods. Shamans use dreams to diagnose sickness. They are regarded as psychoanalysts. It is thought that the unconscious brain has a recognition to the malfunctions of the body long before the conscious brain becomes aware of it. Moreover, age-old Egyptians used their dreams to make predictions about the future.
Likewise, people in the Western world in the 1900s used dreams to look for games, predict the weather and even the future. Also, Sigmund Freud from the Western psychology mightily theorized that dreams were the “royal road to the unconscious.”
Yet, modern beliefs started to emerge to give answers to questions about dreams’ existence in our mind. There are many theories about dreaming. Some intertwine with each other while some are just strange and extraordinary. Here’s are some core theories studied by a dream research team to resolve those undying wonders about dreams.
Dreams to Systematize the Brain
Sometimes, we may dream to jumble and disorder our brain. As we start our daily endeavors, loads of information, either consciously or unconsciously, come in to our minds.
This modern theory indicates that dreaming is a way of segregating vital information from worthless data. Through dreaming, our brains are kept organized and are set right for new learning. However, this theory hasn’t been proven and accepted by dream research.
Evaluators and analyzers of this theory also distinguishes the difference between our brain and computers. They also made a comparison about filing, processing and storage space of the two which is likely to be inaccurate.
Dreams due to Random Impulses
Back in 1977, John Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley initiated some dream research that would determinedly challenge Freud’s theory on dreams. According to them, dreaming is the result of random impulses created from the brain stem.
With the help of an Electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, the researchers were to track down the normal Rapid Eye Movement (REM) states of people when sleeping. They created a foreseeable mathematical model using the data they gathered and made a conclusion that dreaming is more of a physiological circumstance instead of a psychological activity.
According to them, the certainty of seeing images and hearing sounds in our dreams is basically the brain’s way of perceiving noisy electrical signals. In addition, they also stated that dreams are random and absurd.
Nonetheless, many scientists cited that dreams often are sensible. In fact, they can follow very complex plots, however irrational. This indicates that our higher brain is playing a part. Hobson’s theory tries to reconcile this by having an emotional and neuro-chemical basis for dreaming.
Dreams to Recover from Trauma
Dreams can also be a way of surviving traumatic events. Based on the height of our emotions, we tend to create dreams to cope with certain happenings.
Let’s take this scenario. Your house was eaten up by a blazing fire and it was almost burnt down before you were able to get out. Having this experience, most likely, you will dream about it that night. The more alarming and traumatic the situation is, the more emotions get involved and the more important it is to get over and move on from it. Having dreams about fire will help you come to points of what happened and equip you if ever it will happen again.
But take note, this doesn’t justify our dreams about fantasy. Only nightmares can be a kind of a practice for trauma.
Dreams to Aid in Solving Problems
There are a number of studies from researchers that dreams are meant for emotional and mental problem solving.
One study claimed that our dreams help us to register very delicate hints that tend to be ignored during the day. This also explains why “sleeping on it” can give possible answers to a problem.
Unluckily. arguments also made their way to this theory. One point is that most people only remember a very small number of their dreams so as its details. So if we consider dreams as carriers of important solutions, shouldn’t we be able to recall or remember them better?
Here’s a video about dreams from Vsauce. Check it out!
So back to the main question, why do we dream? Though dream research suggests many theories, there is still no definite answer to the question. Scientists universally seem to admit that dreaming is a way of thinking while sleeping, even that may be causal consequence of random electrical impulses.
It is widely accepted that dreams have at least some psychological essence but this doesn’t necessarily validate a purpose, like problem solving. Predominantly, our scientific understanding of dreaming is still a bit uncertain and ambiguous.
Though Freud led us to an understanding that dreams are associated with psychological issues and dilemmas, looking at the real world, most of our dreams appear to be healthy and and appealing, right?
To top it all, dreams can be assorted ideas and impulses combined and jam-packed in our minds. The truth is, science still doesn’t have the complete answer to this undying question. But, it may be a useful practice to remember your dreams and look for interpretations for self-fulfillment. So watch out for your next dream! Who knows, luck may be within those castles in the air.
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Originally posted on June 6, 2016 @ 9:38 AM