Adults dream about two hours at a night average that make 1/12th of their whole life making 6 years of dreaming of 80-years of life. Dreams have been the focus of attention since centuries and interpreting them is still in financial business. Literature is stuffed with theories about dreams and scholars talk about them rationally. There are religious stories and cultural myths about dreams as well. Joseph interpreting the dreams of the king and becoming a kind of Egypt is one of the most famous tales.
In history, dreams have been used to predict illnesses, pregnancy, to expose adultery or onset of different circumstances. But the revolution hits the ground with the rise of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. He described dreams as demonstrations of hidden unresolved issues or suppressed childhood needs and traumas. Interpreting dreams now fall for the profession of psychiatry and people with specific degree interpret dreams of their clients. This practice is not very common but beliefs are still intact. An ancient idea from literate even defines dreams as just “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard”. Its correct emotional and physical changes affect dreams but the question is why do we dream? Do dreams serve some purpose? Do they always mean something?
Why do we dream?
There are four stages of human sleep which switch themselves four to five times a night. It includes one Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage and three Non-Rapid Eye Movement stage. We dream during REM stage when our eyes are rolled under the lids. About why dreams occur, there are different theories. Some say it is a way to communicate with gods, to predict the future or the weather or they might represent a suppressed unconscious feeling as Carl Jung, a dream theorist and psychologist, say dreams are the small hidden doors in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul.
But there is no certain and authentic answer for why do we dream. As some studies have found that REM stage of sleep, during which we always dream, help people reorganize and consolidate the memories that surely help them perform their cognitive tasks better when they wake up. Further studies reveal that REM sleeping stage might help people reduce their stress by limiting the production of norepinephrine, a stress-related hormone.
What does dream Mean?
Everybody dreams different things under different circumstances and nobody can predict their meaning without proper knowledge. Sigmund Freud wrote a book Interpretation of Dreams at the end of the nineteenth century that received massive criticism worldwide as did his other psychosexual theories. But students earn diplomas in psychoanalysis and practice dream interpretation in current world as well. More of, many religious and spiritual people tend to have knowledge about dreams and can talk about it.
Do everyone dream?
Yes, most probably every human being experiences REM stage and them more likely dream in the period. People who claim they don’t dream actually don’t remember them. A study was conducted on people who claimed that they don’t dream. They were analyzed during their REM and their behaviour and physical movements evidently showed that they were dreaming.
Do dreams disrupt sleep?
No, dreams don’t disrupt the sleep. They happen during the sleep. You can improve your dream memory by keeping a diary and writing about your dreams right after waking up instead of getting up and being distracted. It is also evident that medications affect dreaming.