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Dreams: What Is a Dream? Why do we dream?

, December 17, 2021 WAT
Last Updated 2021-12-17T10:27:45Z

what is dream in life what is dream in psychology spiritual meaning of dreams what causes dreams why do we dream psychology the study of dreams dreaming articles about dreams
What is dream in life?


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


What is a dream?

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 images; focused and understandable or unclear and confusing.


Why do we dream? What purpose do dreams serve?

While many theories have been proposed, no consensus has emerged. Considering the 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 unravelling the exact purpose and function of sleep itself. Some researchers suggest that dreams serve no real purpose, while others believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Next, let's learn more about some of the most prominent dream theories. Consistent with the psychoanalytic perspective, Sigmund Freud's theory of dreams suggests that dreams are a representation of subconscious desires, thoughts and motivations. According to Freud, people are driven by aggressive and sexual instincts that are repressed from conscious awareness. While these thoughts are not consciously expressed, they find their way into our awareness via dreams. In his famous book The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud wrote that dreams are

' ... disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes.' 

Freud's theory contributed to the popularity of dream interpretation. Following his paths, many theorists came up with their own ideas about dreams. The following are just a few of them:

Some researchers suggest that dreams are a subjective interpretation of signals generated by the brain during sleep. Dreams are not meaningless. Instead, during dreams, the cognitive elements in our brain produce new ideas.

One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream.

Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to 'clean up' clutter from the mind, much like clean-up •.....• ~ operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day.

Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.

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