Why we Dream? Interesting Facts About Dream
In the 3rd millennium BC, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. A thousand years later, the ancient Egyptians wrote a dream book in which they recorded over 100 common dreams and their meaning. And millennia later, we still try to understand why we dream. After many scientific studies, technical progress and tenacity, we have at least been able to put forward some interesting theories.
Interesting Facts about Why We Dream.
We dream to fulfill our wishes.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud believed that all our dreams and nightmares are not just a collection of images from our conscious everyday lives, they also have a symbolic meaning associated with the fulfillment of our subconscious desires.
According to Freud, everything we remember after we wake up is a symbolic representation of our unconscious primitive thoughts, drives and desires.
He believed that the analysis of these remembered elements would reveal to the consciousness of these unconscious things and heal the psychological damage stemming from their repression.
We dream to remember.
To increase cognitive performance, sleep can be useful; dreaming about it is even better. In a 2010 study, subjects found it easier to navigate through a complex 3D labyrinth if they dreamed it before their second attempt.
They were even up to ten times better than those who stayed awake and thought about the Labyrinth, and those who slept but did not dream of it. The theory is that certain memory processes only take place when we sleep, and our dreams are a sign that these processes are taking place.
We dream to forget.
There are up to 10 000 trillion neuronal connections in the structure of our brain. They arise through everything one thinks and does
According to a dream theory from 1983, the “Reverse Learning” theory, these neural connections are checked by the neocortex during sleep, and especially during the REM phases, and unnecessary connections are cut off.
Without this process of losing our dreams, unnecessary connections could overburden the brain, and parasitic thoughts could disrupt our thought processes while we are awake.
We dream to keep our brains on their toes.
According to the Continual Activation Theory, our dreams arise from the fact that our brain has to permanently create new long-term memories in order to function.
If external sensory impressions decrease enough, for example during sleep, new data automatically originates from the memory centers in the brain, which then appear in the form of the thoughts and feelings that we experience in our dreams. In other words, our dreams are like any screensaver that our brain activates so as not to shut down completely.
We dream to prepare.
Often we dream of threatening situations, and according to Primitive Instinct Rehearsal Theory, the content and purpose of our dreams are closely related.
Whether we are being tracked by a bear through a forest or fighting a ninja, we can dream-train our fight-or-flight instinct so we can rely on it in real life. But the scenario does not have to be dangerous. So dreams about our attractive neighbor can stimulate our reproductive drive.
We dream to recover.
During REM sleep, neurotransmitters that cause stress are much less active in the brain, even when dreaming of traumatic experiences. This led to the theory that dreams can be used to process bad experiences and heal the soul. When dealing with traumatic experiences in a dream, where the psychological burden is less, you can treat them with a clearer mind and in a more healing way.
People with mood disorders and PTSD are often struggling to sleep, which is why it was suspected that missing dreams contributed to their illness.
We dream to solve problems.
Detached from reality and the principles of logic, our minds can dream up infinite scenarios to help us tackle problems and possible solutions other than waking.
John Steinbeck called this the “sleep committee,” and further research confirms that dreams can help solve problems.
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on itJohn Steinbec
Thanks to this method, the chemist August Kekulé discovered the structure of the benzene molecule, and for that reason sometimes it takes nothing more than a cap to sleep to solve a problem. And these are just some of the better known theories.
As technology continues to deepen our understanding of the brain, we might at some point find a clear explanation.