Behind Our Dreams

November 30, 2020

Dreams surround our daily life and can keep us thinking throughout the day. A big question that has circulated through many people is, “what is the meaning behind dreams?” Some people may have weird dreams, while others may understand their dreams clearly. Also, some individuals may not remember many of their dreams but others may remember every dream clearly. Many factors go into remembering our dreams including sleep patterns and learning patterns.

Dreaming can occur in many stages of sleep, although it happens primarily during the REM (rapid eye movement) part of sleep. This sleep stage can occur multiple times throughout the night and it consists of rapid eye movement, increased body movement and rapid breathing. This is because the brain wave activity during this stage of sleep is similar to when someone is awake, and it usually begins about 90 minutes after someone falls asleep. Dr. Kryger, sleep medicine doctor at Yale Medicine, explains, “dreams are thoughts, images, ideas and emotions, and it is part of our mind sorting through essential and nonessential information. Dreaming is a necessary part of the human brain, but not everybody remembers their dreams.”

Some individuals can remember almost every dream, and this is typically due to a consistent sleep pattern. To do this, they have an easy time memorizing things in general, and their brain is confident when sorting through the nonessential and essential thoughts. On the other hand, brains may purposely block out a dream. This is because the dream is so real and intense that our brain decides to hide it so we don’t get confused between real life and dreams. Some dreams can seem so real that it seems strange and unsettling. This is the reason why our brains block out some dreams. In the night, we typically have 4-6 dreams, but we are most likely to remember the last dream we have before waking up. 

It has not been scientifically determined what dreams mean. Some individuals believe each dream has a specific meaning, while others believe dreams are entirely spontaneous. The problem that is blocking this question from being completely answered is the fact that dreams are very personal because they are based on the person’s life experiences. With no evidence being stated, some people have discovered connections between dreams and their meaning. For example, dreaming about water symbolizes emotions. Muddy water represents sadness, tidal waves represent stress, and clear water represents clarity. Also, dreaming about fire associates with anger, and wind can represent changes happening. It is more important what the individual gets out of a dream than telling them what it means.

Although the answer may never be established, we can use the observations to help us understand our dreams. Consistent sleep patterns help us remember our dreams better and picture them to be more clear. When looking back on dreams it is important to remember that all of the images are thoughts from our mind no matter how weird they are. Take time to reflect on a dream, and use this information to understand the meaning behind it.

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