Why Do We Dream When We Sleep?
Why We Dream
Have you ever wondered, why do we dream? Why do we dream during sleep? Well, believe it or not, dreaming is a result of what we experience while awake.
Read on for information on the reasons or explanations for dreaming…
The brain receives stimuli from many different sources all day long. There are far too many stimuli for it to process. The mind prioritizes the stimuli and makes you aware of those that need immediate attention (the crying baby, the out-of-control car, your boss’ request) so that you may act accordingly throughout your day.
The stimuli that you are not consciously aware of are nevertheless noted by the brain, but on a subconscious level. Examples of this could be the drip of the bathroom water faucet, the remark by a coworker at the water cooler while you were on the telephone.
Dreaming – Psychology
Likewise, you feel emotions all day. Some you acknowledge and act on – you say “thank you” and smile when you are complimented. Some you repress or do not allow yourself to act on – you don’t punch your boss in the nose when he tells you the report you worked on for a week is no longer needed.
Then there are also traumatic experiences that occur. There are ones that you face – example, you call the police. Or if the experience is too painful, you deny it happening and send them deep into your subconscious – repression.
Reason for Dreams: For Body Functioning
In addition to all these emotions and stimuli the brain must process daily, it also keeps your body functioning; it remembers names and faces; it allows you to talk and walk and chew gum (sometimes all at the same time); and performs numerous other activities that you take for granted.
You must admit — that’s a lot to do. At night, when your body must rest, the mind continues working. When no longer called upon to type letters and do the grocery shopping, the brain concentrates on processing all of those subconscious stimuli and emotions (while still maintaining body temperature and breathing, etc.)
And this is why we dream. Because you are not awake to receive the signals at a conscious level — you can not hear or see or touch (at a conscious level) while you are sleeping, the brain must resort to other means to get the signals through to your conscious mind. This is why we dream the way we do. To process the experiences that have occurred throughout your day.
The mind uses everything at its disposal (which is everything it has ever been exposed to) to get the message across. Simply put, dreaming is the mind’s way of sorting out all of the stimuli and emotions it has received during the day or repressed over time, so that you may act on them – in other words, process them. Without dreaming, we literally cannot function.
All in all, it’s a pretty neat system.
Remembering Your Dreams
Do you remember your dreams? Not everyone does. Just because you cannot remember your dream, does not mean you are not dreaming.
If you are one of the lucky people who does remember their dreams, this can often be a great opportunity to learn about yourself and experience life to its fullest.