Why do we dream?I was just curious, because some people say we dream things we've seen before, but I've dreamt of places and people I've never even seen in my life, nor do I have any chance of...

Why do we dream?

I was just curious, because some people say we dream things we've seen before, but I've dreamt of places and people I've never even seen in my life, nor do I have any chance of seeing..

And also, sometimes I almost instantly forget what i've been dreaming and it never returns..

Any thoughts?

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28 Answers | Add Yours

pacorz's profile pic

Posted on

Previous posters have touched on most of the current ideas about why we dream; I just wanted to address your statement that you forget dreams as soon as you wake. Many people find that if they keep a notebook next to the bed and immediately write down their dreams as soon as they awaken, over time they begin to remember their dreams better.

There is also a lot of literature indicating that you can solve problems in your sleep or steer your dreams by meditating on what you wish to dream about while you are falling asleep.

Here is a link to an article about it; there are many links at the bottom of the article if you would like to learn more.

Thanks a million for giving me a solution to my problm of forgetting dreams.. And also thanks for the link!

You are very welcome!  :)

trophyhunter1's profile pic

Posted on

Dreaming is a way of releasing tension from the day. It is a way of further processing something you saw, experienced or learned. Dreams can be frightening or pleasant. If you wish to remember your dreams, try documenting them. You can even set an alarm clock for during the night and abruptly write down whatever is in your thoughts, before you lose them. You can read your journal in the morning.

pacorz's profile pic

Posted on

Previous posters have touched on most of the current ideas about why we dream; I just wanted to address your statement that you forget dreams as soon as you wake. Many people find that if they keep a notebook next to the bed and immediately write down their dreams as soon as they awaken, over time they begin to remember their dreams better.

There is also a lot of literature indicating that you can solve problems in your sleep or steer your dreams by meditating on what you wish to dream about while you are falling asleep.

Here is a link to an article about it; there are many links at the bottom of the article if you would like to learn more.

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Posted on

We are really still learning why we dream.  While I agree with the scientific theories discussed above, my personal thought is that it is the mind's attempt to impose a narrative on what has happened to us.  We have a deep human need to make sense of our experiences and to give them meaning, and I believe that dreams often do that for us. 

bandmanjoe's profile pic

Posted on

There are two separate divisions of your mind, the conscious and the unconscious.  This is similar to your nervous system, where there is a thinking part and a nonthinking part.  The conscious part is the part we are in control of, where we process incoming stimuli and make appropriate responses.  At night, when we go to sleep, the conscious mind relaxes, while the unconscious mind is still active.  The unconscious mind has access to all  the incoming stimuli the conscious mind has, so maybe that is where dreams come from.

literaturenerd's profile pic

Posted on

There are many different ideas behind why a person dreams. Researchers have come up with a few different accepted ideas. One idea is that dreams are the dumping grounds for the bits and pieces of "things" which are in our mind at the end of the day. Other researchers believe that people dream nonsensical things which their conscious buries. Another reason for dreaming is the mind simply running through our day as a way to repair and replenish the body.

pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted on

No one knows this for sure.  I watched a TV documentary once that claimed that we dream scary dreams, at least, as a way of rehearsing for how we would evade danger if it were to occur.  That scientist claimed that it was a survival mechanism.  But I don't know how we could possibly know for sure.

williambred's profile pic

Posted on

I think we dream because sometimes we need to exteriorize some feelings and emotions, and sometimes we are embarassed by something that still haunts us even at night. it happens with me sometimes but it's not all the reason, it could be more than this.

jjrichardson's profile pic

Posted on

Freud said that whether we intend it or not, we're all poets. That's because on most nights, we dream. And dreams are lot like poetry, in that in both things, we express our internal life in similar ways. We use images more than words; we combine incongruent elements to evoke emotion in a more efficient way than wordier descriptions can; and we usewe use unconscious and tangential associations rather than logic to tell a story.

Freud essentially called dreams those poems we tell ourselves at night in order to experience our unconscious wishes as real. Dreams allow us to be what we cannot be, and to say what we do not say, in our more repressed daily lives. For instance, if I dream about burning my workplace down, it's probably because I want to dominate the workplace but am too nervous to admit that aggressive drive when I'm awake and trying to be nice to the people who might give me a raise.

Freud certainly had a catchy theory about dreams, but it was also limited. For him, every single dream was the picture of an unconscious wish. But people who have had boring dreams or nightmares might feel something missing from that formulation. In turn, recent theorists have tried to give a more accurate account of why we dream. In the following post, I'll list some of the current theories on why, at night, our brains tell strange stories that feel a lot like literature. I'd like to know if any of these theories resonate with you, or if you have your own belief about why we dream.

celestinehanrocks's profile pic

Posted on

we cannot be exact. but mainly, that is just how out minds works. a poosible reason could be that during the day, you could have been thinking of it...

crazykitty3's profile pic

Posted on

this is how brain works. it mother nature. dreasms can be nice and bad. sometimes when u wake up u will forget it all.

 

vanekenstein's profile pic

Posted on

Dreams have fascinated philosophers for thousands of years, but only recently have dreams been subjected to empirical research and concentrated scientific study. Chances are that you’ve often found yourself puzzling over the mysterious content of a dream, or perhaps you’ve wondered why you dream at all.

First, let’s start by answering a basic question – What is a dream? A dream can include any of the images, thoughts and emotions that are experienced during sleep. Dreams can be extraordinarily vivid or very vague; filled with joyful emotions or frightening imagery; focused and understandable or unclear and confusing.

Why do we dream? What purpose do dreams serve? While many theories have been proposed, no single consensus has emerged. Considering the enormous amount of time we spend in a dreaming state, the fact that researchers do not yet understand the purpose of dreams may seem baffling. However, it is important to consider that science is still unraveling the exact purpose and function of sleep itself.

 

 

truthseekah's profile pic

Posted on

We still have no clue of our consciousness origins or function. Many believe our subconscious mind is a reflection of our conscious mind but I don't think we are on the cusp of any real understanding of either.

simran56's profile pic

Posted on

Well I believe that dreams are based around our thoughts. For example when we watch a horror movie which is extremely scary, its likely that we will have nightmare as we are thinking about that movie. On the other hand say if we go to sleep thinking about something positive, we may have a good dream. There are many myths involving dreams, such as dreams which take place early in the morning will come true. I personally don't believe this as I think dreams just occur around our emotions and thoughts. 

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