Sleep and dreams: Why do we need to dream when sleeping?

Why we dream
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In many previous articles, we have talked about sleeping and the benefits of sleep, of adjustable bed bases and of sleeping disorders. How about we go further than that and try to explore what comes after falling asleep: dreams.

Dreams and Sleep

If you are anything like me and happen to have a rich oneiric world, then you must for sure look forward to going to bed every day in order to go back to that blissful world you can travel to only when asleep. Some people however dread going to bed every night because that would mean yet another night where they would have to face nightmares and cold sweats and drown in anxious feelings.

If people like me think dreaming is a blessing, some others are convinced dreaming is nothing but a curse. And while opinions on dreaming may differ, scientists have affirmed that dreaming is necessary for your brain, body and emotions.

Why dreaming is both necessary and useful?

Dreaming brings unconscious desires and wishes to the surface

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You have probably heard about interpretation of dreams before, or how your dream can be some sort of premonitions. While it may be true that figuring your future out might be too good to be true, you have to know that our dreams are nevertheless a huge source of self-knowledge as well as the largest door to your subconscious.

Dreaming is a way for your brain to express all your inner desires. That is what dreams’ interpretation is all about. Interpreting your dream simply means to decipher and understand what you are truly wishing for deep inside, but unable to express openly, consciously.

Common desires and wishes dreams can express

We dream for a reason. Almost every dream you dream of can be interpreted by dream experts.

  • Books: You are looking for knowledge and power in life.
  • Jumping really high: You want to be free and run away from your current situation.
  • Talking to aliens: You want to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
  • Sex: You’re looking for more sex or better sex with your current partner.
  • Killing people: You want to kill the part of yourself that represents the personality of the person you are killing in your dream.
  • Demons and monsters: You want to change some aspects of your personality that you don’t like.
  • Death: You are looking for a new beginning.

Why do we dream?

Dreaming is a therapy in itself as it prepares you to face threats and helps balance your emotions

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Dreaming is also a way for your brain to heal itself and to keep you emotionally healed and stable. Basically, when you are dreaming, the production of the molecule inducing anxiety, also known as noradrenaline, is stopped. At the same time, your brain replays all of your memories during the dream itself. That is how you get to live the same events you lived before, but in a much more peaceful and in a calmer state of mind. That way, your body is able to associate new less chaotic emotions to the same scenes you may have went through during daytime.

This is a crucial characteristic of dreams that plays an essential role in the recovery from PTSD or any anxiety disorder, as it helps you learn from your dreams and progressively move on and carry on with your life.

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Dreaming enables you to process your memories and stock in your mind what should be remembered from your days

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You may have noticed how in those dreams you have been able to remember, many things that appeared in them have occurred earlier in the day. Scientists are still making researches about this, but it has been revealed that the reason for your dreams to make you re-live parts of your day is that your brain needs to organize all the information gathered during the day through your sense and your thoughts. While doing so, many flashes of your day may emerge in your dreams, without necessarily meaning anything, while other scenes may appear because they mean something particular about your personality or about your desires.

Other reasons why we dream

There are other reasons as to why we dream, such as:

  • Preparing your mind and your body for upcoming threats by making you go through eventual events you may have to face in the future.
  • Helping you learn how to cope with your emotions.
  • Training you to the fight-or-flight response you may have in real life situations.
  • Interpreting the different forms of stimuli received by the brain during sleep.

With how dreaming seems to be helpful in many ways for the well-being of the brain, it only adds on to how important sleep is for the body.

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