Why Do We Dream? – Science behind Dreams While Sleeping

What is Dream?

A dream is nothing but a succession of ideas, images as well as sensations occurring involuntarily in our mind as we go into deeper sleep. 

It can be looked upon as a report produced by our memory on the subject of a cognitive experience which happened during certain stages of sleep. 

Science Behind Dreams

The most striking aspect of a dream is that when we dream we are not aware that we are dreaming; on the contrary we are made to believe that it is out and out a reality no matter how illogical or bizarre it might be in nature.

This is because of the fact that the functionality of the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain accountable for reasoning and planning) gets decreased during REM sleep a sleeping stage in which dreams take place. 

Read the article about 7 Tips and Habits to have a Healthy Sleep.

There has been endeavor for centuries to find out the true meaning of dream and why we dream. And people have come up with different interpretations in different ages. In older days people had various superstitious beliefs regarding dream.

With gradual development in the field of science there have been more scientific approaches to explore causes of dream. 

Still there are varying opinions and theories even in the age of unprecedented scientific advancement. 

Some theorists believe that there is no specific reason as such behind our dreams as dreams are simply electrical impulses of our brain which collects random imagery and thoughts from our memory. And as we wake up we try to make a meaningful story out of those imageries.

Another doctrine called “Threat Stimulation Theory” says that dream should be looked upon as a biological defense instrument which frequently stimulates possible threatening events and alerts the cognitive mechanism against that that potential threat to take up protective measures.

Simply speaking our dreams reminds and alerts us against different threats which we already have in our mind and suggest us to defend or avoid them whatsoever is feasible. And this is why we should pay heed to our dreams and should not take them in a frivolous manner. 

There is yet another theory as to why we dream. It argues that during our wakefulness our brain remains constantly busy focusing on whatever we are engaged in doing. But things are different when we are asleep. It has virtually nothing to focus on at that time.

Hence it concentrates on whatever it has received throughout the day – good or bad. And images of those experiences arise in form of dreams. However this seems too simplified a cause for such an intricate matter as dream. 

Another commonly accepted theory of dream suggests that the content of our dream often reflects our unconscious minds specifically the unfulfilled wishes and desires and the desires could be both prominent as well as latent.

And this is the main reason why we dream. And interestingly most of the contents for latent dreams are sexual in pattern. 


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