Does everybody dream every night. We may not remember dreaming, but everyone is thought to dream between 3 and 6 times per night. It is thought that each dream lasts between 5 to 20 minutes. Around 95 percent of dreams are forgotten by the time a person gets out of bed.Dreaming can help you learn and develop long-term memories. Blind people dream more with other sensory components compared with sighted people.
Dreams elude explanation. Researchers spend countless hours analyzing brain activity data during sleep to try to pinpoint the purpose and mechanics of our usually fragmented, sometimes fantastical sleep stories. Psychologists pore over dream journals and discuss symbolism with patients, trying to coax meaning out of dreams’ mesh-mashed imagery.
Theories abound, all attempting to answer this question. On one side of the debate are those who think dreams are random images, and on the other are those who think there is deeper significance to what we see in our mind’s eye. Sigmund Freud thought of dreams as wish fulfillment, stories with hidden meanings that could reveal much about a person’s psyche. Others wondered if dreams help us to manage our moods, to organize our memories, or simply to create contexts for the random streams of consciousness that our brain receives as our bodies sleep.
While some have turned away from earlier Freud-like theories, Harvard researchers turned up a theory that bridges the gap between science and psychology. They found that when people were told to not think of something, those thoughts were more likely to pop up later in their dreams. This lends some scientific credence to the idea that we deal with things in our sleep that we’d rather forget about while we’re awake. It also takes some steam away from those who figure dreams are just random streams of nerve signals.
Maybe it’s a little of both – maybe there is significance in the randomness. Ernest Hartman, MD (of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Westley Hospital in Massachusetts), proposes that the neurological processes that create dreams also create a uniquely effective Does everybody dream every nighttherapeutic zone.
In Hartman’s view, the brain is always processing a spectrum of connections – from hyper-focused moments of concentration to spaced-out flashes to the boundlessness of dreams. At the same time, the brain processes a range of emotions – from simple feelings to complex emotions. And when you’re in the depths of REM sleep, your brain’s emotion center is very active. So, like in a therapist’s office, dreams let you create connections in what Harman calls “a safe place.”
There are several theories about why we dream. Are dreams merely part of the sleep cycle, or do they serve some other purpose.
Possible explanations include-representing unconscious desires and wishes. interpreting random signals from the brain and body during sleep. consolidating and processing information gathered during the day. working as a form of psychotherapy.
From evidence and new research methodologies, researchers have speculated that dreaming serves the following functions-offline memory reprocessing, in which the brain consolidates learning and memory tasks and supports and records waking consciousness. Preparing for possible future threats. Cognitive simulation of real life experiences, as dreaming is a subsystem of the waking default network, the part of the mind active during daydreaming. Helping develop cognitive capabilities. Reflecting unconscious mental function in a psychoanalytic way. A unique state of consciousness that incorporates experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future. A psychological space where overwhelming, contradictory, or highly complex notions can be brought together by the dreaming ego, notions that would be unsettling while awake, serving the need for psychological balance and equilibrium.
Much that remains unknown about dreams. They are by nature difficult to study in a laboratory, but technology and new research techniques may help improve our understanding of dreams.
There are five phases of sleep in a sleep cycle
Stage 1: Light sleep, slow eye movement, and reduced muscle activity. This stage forms 4 to 5 percent of total sleep.
Stage 2: Eye movement stops and brain waves become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles. This stage forms 45 to 55 percent of total sleep.
Stage 3: Extremely slow brain waves called delta waves begin to appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves. This accounts for 4 to 6 percent of total sleep.
Stage 4: The brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. It is difficult to wake someone during stages 3 and 4, which together are called “deep sleep.” There is no eye movement or muscle activity. People awakened while in deep sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel disoriented for several minutes after waking up. This forms 12 to 15 percent of total sleep.
Stage 5: This stage is known as rapid eye movement (REM). Breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and males develop penile erections. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales. These are dreams. This stage accounts for 20 to 25 percent of total sleep time