Why do we dream while sleeping?”

“The physicist Albert Einstein said his career was inspired by a dream in which he rode a sled at almost the speed of light, in which all the colors merged into one.”

Everyone dreams every night when they sleep. Some people say they don’t dream. In fact, they do, they just can’t remember it.

Your dreams are messages about yourself and your life in code. They are a series of images, sounds, thoughts and emotions that form into a topic or story. They can be about anyone or anything, and most of the time we wake up without knowing what it’s about, let alone what they mean.

They are generally based on conscious and unconscious experiences from the last days of your life. In total, you are aware of about 10-15% of your thoughts, feelings, memories and beliefs. This is your awareness. The other 85% is your subconscious. This is where your negative self-talk is hiding, all the feelings or emotions that you have hidden in the course of your life.

A dream is the collaboration of your conscious and subconscious. To decipher the meaning of our dreams we need to remember them as we work to decipher them.

More recently, people have been interested in their dreams, in a deeper understanding of themselves, as well as in promoting creativity and opening up our spiritual side.

Facts to dream about

Why do we dream in our sleep? Scientists believe that dreams are just as important to us physically, mentally, and emotionally as food and water are to our survival.

We all sleep about a third of our lives, so about 25 years. During this time, our dreams correspond to about 6 years. On average, we have 1,800 dreams a year that we hardly remember.

“The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological equilibrium by providing dream material that subtly restores overall psychological equilibrium.” Carl Jung

Dreams help us get in touch with our emotions and draw attention to imbalances. The subconscious processes information from our everyday life, fears, anxieties, stress and suppressed feelings and then brings them to the surface to sort them for healing. Dreaming offers a safe exit for this.

The 5 phases of sleep

Stage 1 of non-REM sleep

When you first fall asleep, you enter stage 1 of non-REM sleep. This is characterized by the cessation of muscle movement and the slow movement of the eyes behind the eyelid. This is the “twilight” phase of sleep, during which you are probably still aware of some things around you. This is a light sleep phase and you can usually be woken up by noise or other disturbances.

Stage 2 of non-REM sleep

This is the phase when you are actually fully asleep and unaware of your surroundings. During stage 2, the heart rate and breathing are regulated, the body temperature drops, the eye movements slow down or stop completely.

Stage 3 of non-REM sleep

The brain waves slow down in stage 3 with only a few bursts of activity. This is a deep sleep in which the muscles relax and breathing slows down even more. From this sleep phase it is difficult to wake up and you may feel disoriented if an alarm or disturbance pulls you out of the sleep phase.

Stage 4 of non-REM sleep

Stage 4 is an even deeper sleep, where brain waves slow down further and sleepers are very difficult to wake up. It is believed that tissue repair occurs during sleep and that hormones are also released to support growth.

Stage 5: REM sleep

The last phase of sleep is REM and that is the cycle in which we dream. The eyes move quickly behind the lids and breathing becomes shallow and quick. Blood pressure and heart rate also increase during REM sleep, and arms and legs are paralyzed so that sleepers cannot live out their dreams. The brain waves in this phase are similar to those in the waking state. The purpose of this phase is believed to be to stimulate the areas of the brain needed for memory and learning, and a way for the brain to store and sort information. REM sleep occurs approximately 90 minutes after the sleep cycle begins. This cycle is repeated about 4 times a night.

The table above shows the 5 stages of beta, alpha, theta, delta and REM sleep, which are the 5 levels of consciousness. In the last phase, the REM, dreams take place.

Theories for dreaming

The Austrian Sigmund Freud suggested that dreams are part of unconscious desires, motivations and thoughts. He believed that hidden or repressed urges play out in dreams that we cannot freely express in the waking state, which are more likely to be childhood sexual fantasies. According to Freud, dreams are full of symbols whose hidden meanings we must discover in order to discover the unconscious desire. He used a technique called “free association” in which the dreamer spontaneously speaks the first word that comes to mind on awakening. He believed that this word would explain the meaning of the dream.

Carl Jung believed that dreams had more to do with the “collective unconscious”. He suggested that dreams are our way for our subconscious to balance our emotional and psychological state. Jung believed that the unconscious is expressed in our dreams with archetypes and symbols that offer insights and more meaning into our waking lives.

The Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler suggested that the power of dreams lies in the feelings that inspire them. The ultimate fantasy that can be experienced through dreams, not in life.

According to the information processing theory, sleep enables us to consolidate and process all the information and memories we have gathered the day before. Some dream experts suggest that dreaming is a by-product or even an active part of this experience processing

This model, known as the self-organization theory of dreaming, explains that dreaming is a side effect of the brain’s neural activity as memories are consolidated during sleep. During this process of unconscious information redistribution, it is believed that memories are either strengthened or weakened. According to the self-organization theory of dreaming, while dreaming helpful memories are strengthened, while less useful memories fade.

The bottom line is, while many theories have been proposed, not a single consensus has emerged as to why we dream.

Much love

Crystal weaving

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