Why Can We Dream? These are 4 theories that can explain

Whether it’s a bad dream, a sweet dream, even a wet dream, everything can come unexpectedly. One of the reasons why we can dream is part of the brain activity to process all information.

Table of Content

1. Why do we dream?
2. Dreams, many influencing factors

When you wake up in the morning, sometimes it is still clearly attached to the memory of the dream that stopped during your sleep last night. Whether it’s a bad dream, a sweet dream, even a wet dream, everything can come unexpectedly. One of the reasons why we can dream is part of the brain activity to process all information.

A person can dream at any time while asleep. However, dreams will feel most real when you are in the REM or rapid eye movement stage of sleep. This is the phase when the brain is most active.

Why do we dream?

Actually, until now experts are still formulating why we can dream. The explanation cannot be as easy as defining how the body’s organs work when sleeping. According To Vsauce Why Do We Dream?

Regarding why we dream, there are many different versions, such as:

  • Stories and images created by the mind while sleeping
  • Increased activity in certain parts of the brain during sleep
  • If you often have bad dreams, there could be a problem in your subconscious
  • The emotional control center in the brain works actively

Apart from the various versions above, there are several theories that can explain why we can dream:

1. Emotion channel

Dreams can be a way of calming fluctuating emotions in one’s life. This may be because the brain operates more emotionally when not sleeping. That is, during sleep the brain can make connections to feelings that cannot be channeled while awake.

2. Fight or flight

One of the most active parts of the brain when dreaming is the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that regulates self-defense, including the fight-or-flight response.

According to one theory, the activation of the amygdala during sleep makes a person more prepared to face threats. Fortunately, the brain stem allows the brain to relax more during the REM stage of sleep. That is why even if one dreams of running, normally one does not wake up and do it.

3. Creativity channel

Another theory that can answer why we can dream is that dreams accommodate one’s creativity. Many artists claim to be inspired by their dreams, right? This can happen because there is no logical filter as is usually used while awake. Thus, creativity can flow freely while sleeping.

4. Composing memory

Dreams are also referred to as a medium for compiling memories. Which ones need to be kept, and which ones are time to throw away. The sleep phase helps a person retain memories. It is strongly suspected that dreams help the brain store important information more efficiently without any intervention.

In addition to the theories above, there are also those who call pure dreams as sleeping flowers and do not mean anything.

Dreams, many influencing factors

How a person’s condition while awake can also affect dreams, such as:

  • Health condition

One of the most influential factors on dreams is the quality of one’s sleep. For example, people who finally sleep after two days of staying up late can have clearer dreams when they enter the REM sleep stage.

In addition, while pregnant a person can also experience more vivid dreams or vivid dreaming. The reason is high hormones that affect the way the brain processes emotions and ways of thinking.

No less interesting, types of psychological disorders such as depression, excessive anxiety, or multiple personalities can also make a person experience more intense dreams. Often, this dream is related to bad and disturbing things. Taking anti-depressant medications also increases the risk of having nightmares.

  • Food

Although there is no scientific evidence, food is also thought to affect the way a person dreams. For example, high-carbohydrate foods make a person feel energized instantly but return to being lethargic a moment later. What is consumed while awake can affect the quality of sleep.

In addition, foods that make a person often wake up during sleep at night also affect dreams. Waking up in the REM phase will make dreams can be remembered more clearly when you are awake.

  • Activity

Physical activity such as exercising in the morning has a positive impact on the quality of one’s sleep. This also affects a person’s stress levels. The more effectively a person manages his stress by being active, the possibility of bringing anxiety to sleep is reduced.

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