Dreams are something that we all experience, no matter if we remember them when we wake up or not. But the science behind dreams is much more complicated than first expected. People have this question in mind “Why do I have dreams?” for decades. Scientist are working to get the perfect information about the story of science behind dreams.
The science behind dreams has been debated for several years. Due to advancements in technology, we are starting to get a better understanding of the science behind dreams, although it is still arguable. One theory behind dreaming states that dreams don’t actually have a meaning, and that they are literally just random thoughts and imagery from our memories. The theory goes that humans construct dream stories after they wake up, in a natural attempt to try and make sense of it all.
It’s never been proven that dreams themselves can produce harmful pain, studies have suggested that real-world pain can incorporate into dreams. In one study a lab induced “pins and needles” sensation manifested as a problematic shoe fitting in the subject’s dream, whist in extreme circumstances more intense pain can produce nightmares where the dreamer tries to escape their source of pain.
You may have heard of the term “Let me sleep on it”, and scientifically speaking, it’s not a bad idea. That’s due to the fact dreams can actually help you to learn, a lot of the time if you have a dream involving a relevant person or situation to your life. This is your brain’s way of telling you to resolve that issue, so often it is a good idea to listen to what your dream is trying to tell you.
Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active.
This mechanism fulfils an important role because when we don’t process our emotions, especially negative ones, this increases personal worry and anxiety. In fact, severe REM sleep-deprivation is increasingly correlated to the development of mental disorders. In short, dreams help regulate traffic on that fragile bridge which connects our experiences with our emotions and memories.
Do men dream more than women?
Men and women dream differently. Women tend to recall their dreams more often than men and women tend to report more frequent and more intense nightmares than men. Men dream more often about other men rather than women, whereas women dream equally often about men and women.
Overall, the science behind dreams is still not fully understood. But we do understand that listening to what your dreams are telling you is important. It can help you in your everyday life as dreams are your brain’s way of subconsciously telling you to do something.