Dreams, if said in literal terms, are the successive thoughts, images or any sequences that we come across while we are sleeping. We may or may not be able to understand their true meaning and the underlying reasons behind our dreams, if only they mean something. It all starts with what we had dreamt. If it is relatable, we will find a conclusion to it. If not, it all depends on your curiosity to go after them.
There are various stages to our sleep. One of them being Rapid-Eye Movement (REM). Dreams occur mainly at this stage as the brain activity is very high at this stage. It is next to being awake. The reason behind the dreams is hard to state though the process behind the occurrence of the dreams can be explained in scientific terms. From there only we can get an idea of the reasons of our dreaming. The happening of the two and the conclusions drawn hence is quite debatable though. Through the process, we are reasoning the occurrence. Instead, it should be vice-versa that we must work.
Science Behind Dreams:
There exist various theories about our dreams as to how they occur. The studies have gathered the evidence from the very early ages, as early as 5000 years ago. Earlier, before the dawn of Science & Technology, people interpreted the dreams in their very own way. In Greek and Roman periods, they considered them as the messages from the deceased person. Some culture thought it as the directions of the God in a hideous way.
In the early 20th Century, Sigmund Freud wrote about dreams as the disclosure of one’s deepest desire and anxieties. He acclaimed them to be very much relatable with the persons daily life. Further, he stated that there are various natures of the dream such as exciting, adventurous, frightening, depending on the way an individual’s mind works and the way he/she interprets it.
In a breakthrough study conducted by J. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley asserted that the signals, that we interpret as dreams originate in the brainstem making the circuits active. The areas of emotions, sensation, and memories become active. The synthesis and interpretation of the activities happen in the brain and in an attempt to make a meaning of these signals, results in dreaming.
In a research by Jie Zhang, he proposed that the dreams are a result of brain activation and synthesis. There is a ‘continual-activation’ mechanism at work that makes data flow from memory stores to the conscious part. This pulse-like brain activation induces the dream.
What Do We Dream:
Our dreams have very much to do with our daily life activities ; the people we meet and the thoughts that we process. Your dreams will consist of the people, places, things and happenings from your daily life. While you are asleep, the information stored in one part travels to the other via neurons. Also, this is Zhang’s theory stated in simple language. Now since this information is directly related to your life happenings and events, you dream of the things, people, places, incidents that are relatable.
There are theories countering the belief that dreams occur in REM stage alone. Dreams occur in Non-Rapid Eye Movement(NREM) stage too. It is just that we only remember the dreams that occur in REM. It is so because we are almost awake at this stage. But let’s not fall into the trap of REM & NREM to draw a conclusion or understand the meaning of our dreams. It remains on an individual the way he/she perceives the dream. You can go with aforementioned theories which are convincing enough. Else, just see them as a natural brain process, inevitable to your living.