Before we attempt to answer this question, we should have a look at the meaning of dreams. A dream can be described as a state of consciousness and is characterized by sensory, cognitive and emotional occurrences during sleep. The person who is dreaming has reduced control over the content and activation of memory.
There are a lot of theories which try to explain this phenomenon. Some scientists assume that dreaming has no direct function while other researchers suppose that there are some special functions and causes of dreaming.
One theory is that a dream is a component and form of memory processing, aiding in the consolidation of learning and putting short-term memory to long-term memory storage. So while we are sleeping, we process the things we already learned and try to deepen skilled contents. Therefore, dreaming is important to deepen new learned issues and put them into long-term memory storage.
Another view looks at the cause in our mind. Therefore, the mind works through difficult thoughts, emotions, and experiences, to achieve psychological and emotional balance. Dreams are necessary to survive and to regenerate the brain while asleep. We need the sleep to reduce stress and to have a balanced life.
Other researchers focus on the future. According to this point of view, dreams are a form of consciousness that unites past, present and future in processing information from the first two, and preparing for the third. It is a kind of protective act by the brain to prepare itself to face threats, dangers and challenges in the future.
Summarized dreams provides us with insight about what’s preoccupying us, troubling us, engaging our thoughts and emotions. Dreams are often mysterious and at the same time fascinating.
– Laura Remmel is a Masters student at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich, Germany. She completed her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in January 2016. She is interesting in furthering her studies is psychotherapy, PTSD and military psychology. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness.com.mt.