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Do you ever wonder why you dream? Are you puzzled about its meaning?
Well, you are not alone. Most of us have the same questions.
So, here are some studies and facts that can help explain one of life’s (sometimes) pleasurable and greatest mysteries.
What is a dream?
According to a recent research, “our dreams are our mind at work, organizing and making sense of memories, sort of like overnight therapy.
It can contain happy, sad or frightening emotions. It may also be focused and understandable or unclear and confusing.
Dreaming is also defined as “a symbolic language designed to communicate your inner wisdom to you while you are asleep.” Your subconscious processes your dreams, sends messages as symbols and images, and conveys ideas or situations in a visual language.
Why do we dream?
Researchers do not still know the concrete reason why we dream. Some believe that dreams don’t have specific purpose, while others suggest that it is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being.
“A possible (though certainly not proven) function of a dream to be weaving new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events,” Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts said.
Here are some more interpretations from psychologists, researchers and scientists.
- Renowned psychologist Carl Jung believes that our dreams are methods of compensation for events that occur in our waking lives. For example, you have a sad experience in your waking life chances are you will have a happy or pleasant dream, so your spirits won’t fall into complete misery. A successful person may also dream of failure or defeat to compensate for feelings of invincibility and power.
Jung added that our dreams can also mirror our personalities that are not yet fully developed. This is why our dreams consist of behaviors that are completely distinct from our actions and conditions in our waking lives.
- Psychiatry professor Ernest Hartmann, M.D. suggests that dreams are directed by particular emotions, like stress and worry.
When we deal with stressful situations, our dreams reflect our inner feelings by displaying significant symbols and issues connected to our waking life.
- Researchers suggest that our dreams play an important role in memory consolidation. Most often, our dreams consist of events and occurrences we have experienced in the recent days. It can be the accident that we saw or the party we attended last week.
Experts explained that these dreams might actually be our brain processing and organizing the conscious and unconscious stimuli it receives throughout the day. It serves as a “rebooting system” that refreshes our mind for the next day.
- Some scientists believe that our dreams can help us resolve our issues of concern in our waking lives. They explained that while we sleep, our brain processes all these issues of concern and try to come up with answers and solutions.
It is then suggested that when you have problems that need to be resolved, sleeping on it can help.
- Some psychologists also believe that dreams reflect one of our deep desires. Quoting Sigmund Freud’s influential book, The Interpretation of Dreams, he suggests that “dreams are the direct result of repressed emotions and they might represent unconscious thoughts, wishes or desires.”
Therefore, when we dream, our subconscious can unearth the wishes that our conscious mind has learned to inhibit.