There have been many so many questions regarding the subject of why we dream. Of course, the question of why we dream is also connected to why we sleep, because of the functions of the brain.
No one really knows exactly why we dream but even as of this date the reason is unknown. Although the reason has not been discovered, studies have shown that all humans dream. Researchers Aserinsky and Kleitmans say that we dream during REM sleep. The definition of REM sleep is called rapid eye movement. It is defined as such since there is rapid eye movement as you dream. Experiments completed have proven that over 80% of the individuals who participated were dreaming when they were awakened during rapid eye movements.
One article indicated that we probably all dreams but might not remember it . Within an eight-hour time frame of sleep, the results of the studies completed by researches determined that we are in REM for approximately two hours during our sleep .
It also would appear that dreaming, or the lack thereof, seems to affect how we are able to function on a daily basis. Two researchers by the name of Webb and Bonnet completed a sleep experiment. They used individuals to participate by dramatically changing their sleeping habits and only allowing them two hours of sleep a night. It was obvious the lack of sleep, with or without REM, along with such an abrupt change greatly affected how we function as humans. They level of efficiency was impaired and they were not very pleasant.
Researches have not been able to agree on the reason for the need to dream yet there have been some ideas. Some researchers believe that dreams help to maintain the functionality of brain during sleep. The stimulation of noise and even television is absent during sleep; it is therefore believed that dreams produce this stimulation which is missing. Though this does not appear to be a fact that has been proven at the moment, just the negative impact of the reduction of sleep and dreaming as mentioned above.
There are a few specific theories that have been proposed by some Sleep Researchers. J. Allan Hobson believes that sleep plays a restorative role. Wilse Webb however believes that sleep provides a protective role rather than a restorative role.
Though these researchers may differ, experiments have shown that as long as individuals achieve two hours of REM sleep during their rest hours, we as humans appear to be able to function on short periods of sleep.
Just keep in mind, that dreaming is very important even though we don’t really know why at this time.
The Meaning Of Dreams
Researchers have identified two types of sleep: rapid-eye-movement (REM) and non-rapid-eye movement (NREM) sleep. Sleep is first entered through NREM stages, during which dreams may occur. These dreams are usually brief, and can occasionally be recalled but lack the vivid visual imagery and are more like daydreaming. Unlike NREM sleep, dreams that occurs during REM sleep is said to be quite vivid and are more “like watching a play.” In many cases, the person may not be able to recall a dream when they are awakened while in others; the person can give a detailed account of the dream experience. In the early 1960s scientists believed that the period of sleep most associated with dreams was the rapid-eye-movement (REM) period. Today, after years of researching REM sleep and dreams, scientists now believe that the two are in fact not associated. Research now show that dreams come from the part of the brain that releases dopamine neurons.
There are many theories on the meaning of dreams. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, stated that the interpretation of dreams was the understanding of the human mind as a whole. Freud believed that dreams were inspired by a hidden wish, he even suggested that while we are awake and dreaming (daydreaming) this is an indication of our wish fulfillment. Jung who disagreed with Freud’s theory offered us a theory of his own. He believed that dreams carry a meaning although not always of desire. Many of Freud’s theories still stand true today, but many researchers have formed theories of their own one of which suggest that dreams are just a refection of our daily events and concerns.
According to Freud the content of dreams has two level: The manifest content which can usually be recalled by the dreamer and the latent content. It is the latent content, which include thoughts of a sexual nature and recognition of these thoughts can be unacceptable to the mind, so in dreams this unconscious material cannot be directly expressed. This may explain why our dreams often seem to have no connection with our current life, when in fact they do.
The true meaning of dreams still remains a mystery, but through modern technology like computers and sleep laboratories, researchers have a greater advantage of discovering new dream phenomena.
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