Answering "Why Do People Dream?"
Learning how to remember and interpret your dreams
How Dream Interpretation Can Help YOU!
Have you ever thought about the question, "Why do people dream"? Dream study is not something new. The curious nature of humans makes us wonder why things work the way they do - and why things happen the way they do. Just think about the money that has been spent on space exploration - to find the answers to the "whys".
Everyone dreams - it is a normal part of your sleep cycle. To understand why we dream, it is important to understand a little about the sleep cycle. Sleep is the how we rejuvenate and restore many of the body's functions.
Sleep helps in the following areas:
Memories - sleep helps to recover lost memories as well as organize current memories.
Learning - sleep helps your brain to retain the knowledge you gain each day.
Moods and social behaviors - REM sleep allows the parts of the brain that control your emotions, social interactions, and decision-making to slow down and recuperate from each day. This allows you to face each new day in a good mood rather than being cranky and easily frustrated as when you don't get enough rest and begin the day tired.
Immune System - Not getting enough sleep can cause your immune system to weaken which makes you more vulnerable to diseases and infections.
Nervous System - Some experts believe that neurons used during your waking hours repair themselves as your sleep. Not getting enough sleep causes these neurons to perform ineffectively and your nervous system becomes impaired.
Growth and Development - While you sleep, your body releases growth hormones that are vital to your physical and mental development.
There are two types of sleep - NREM (non-REM) and REM. Non-REM sleep is divided into four stages which include drowsiness, light sleep, and two stages of deep sleep. REM sleep is the stage in which you dream. You go through the stages of sleep several times during the night. As the night progresses, though, you experience longer periods of REM sleep.
During REM sleep, you muscles are immobile - even though you are actively dreaming. Your brain is as active during REM sleep as it is during your waking hours. While you are experiencing REM sleep, you breathing becomes rapid, irregular, and shallow; your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure rises. You do not physically act out your dreams because your major muscles do not move.
You benefit from each stage of sleep. The deep sleep stages are the most vital and deep sleep is the first stage your brain tries to recover if you are sleep-deprived. The deep sleep stage allows your brain complete rest which allows it to restore the energy used during the day. During the stages of deep sleep, blood flow decreases to the brain and blood flow increases in the muscles, restoring the physical energy used during the day.
Just as deep sleep restores your physical condition, REM sleep restores your mental condition by helping you to process emotions, retain memories, and relieve stress. And, just as your body tries to recover lost deep sleep time, your body will also try to recover lost dream sleep time. That is why it is important that you get the required amount of sleep. You sleep patterns work together to restore both your mental and physical energy.
Now, we have answered the question "Why Do People Dream?" - let's take a look at how it can help us. As discussed above, the stage of sleep in which we dream helps our body to recover the emotional and mental energy expended during our waking hours. We process emotions, retain memories, and relieve stress. This is a natural occurrence and happens whether or not we realize it or take not of it.
But, you can expand on your body's natural functions by learning how to remember and interpret your dreams. Dream interpretation is way for you to take the natural resources that your body provides and use these resources to change your life for the better.
Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are an extension of our unconscious selves. If we learn to remember and interpret our dreams, we can learn to take a look at our innermost feelings and desires. We may also have to face events and feelings that we have tried to suppress. By facing these things, we can find effective ways to deal with them and put these events and emotions behind us and "get on" with our lives.
Dreams also give us a chance to look at the things that we may not like about our "real" selves and find ways to change these. By improving the way we interact with other people and the way we react to different situations, we have a higher chance of leading a happy and successful life. And, a happy and successful life is usually what we desire the most!
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