The Phenomena of Dreams

Have you ever been so exhausted that the only thing you wanted to do was sleep, just because dreams are better than reality? Honestly, same. The concept of dreaming is simply surreal. Why do we see these bizarre scenarios in our heads when we are sleeping? Shouldn’t our brains be asleep too? These questions all lead to the same main question: why do we dream?

Why Do We Dream?

There’s actually no definite answer to this question. There have been several theories put forward in an attempt to explain the reason behind why we dream, but none of them is 100% correct. One proposes that dreams work with sleep to help the brain sort through everything it collects during the day. That actually makes sense; sometimes when we face a difficult problem, we may be able to solve it once we get some sleep. While we sleep, our brain goes through all the information we absorbed and decides what’s relevant and what’s not.

Dreams typically reflect our emotions. Have you ever been really worried and stressed about something and decide to get some rest, only to dream about it during the night? That’s usually because your brain is focusing on that one thing during the day, and continues to focus on it during the night, too.

Some scientists think that dreaming doesn’t have a function and that dreams are just random meaningless images that occur because our brain is working during the night. Although there is some evidence to back up this theory, I personally think this is not the case. If there really was no purpose behind dreaming, would we spend a portion of every night doing it?

Photo Credit: nerdcoregirl Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: nerdcoregirl Flickr via Compfight cc

Interesting Facts About Dreams:

  • You forget 90% of your dreams within 10 minutes of waking up.
  • In your dreams, we only see faces we already know. It may seem that it was a complete stranger in your dream, but in fact, it’s a person that you met at some point in your life.
  • You can have four to seven dreams per night, and you spend an average of one to two hours dreaming each night.
  • Our mind takes external sounds while we are asleep, and makes them part of our dream. For example, if music is playing near you while you are sleeping, you may dream you are at a concert or party.
  • Dreams are symbolic, so it is usually difficult to interpret the real meaning behind a specific dream.
  • 4.4% of the dreams of under-25-year-olds are in black and white, while the remaining number of dreams is in full color.
  • The three most common emotions felt during dreaming are anger, anxiety, and fear. Therefore, dreams are more often negative than positive- I know, it sucks.

What are your thoughts on the function of dreams? Do you think they have a vital role, or do you think they are just meaningless images? Are you one to remember most of the dreams you had during the night?
~~Ola